Managing Your Business During COVID-19 - 3 Leaders Weigh In

COVID-19 has caused us all to think about our businesses. How do we navigate successfully through the next several months?  Many have written content highlighting how they’re working through these issues. 

This article has the same goal — with a different approach.

Today we’ll look at three companies that are making the most of the current situation, see the response of their leaders in their own words, and  use their examples to draw tools and tips for running your business remotely. 

Brooke Moore of MyVirtual.Lawyer

Brooke Moore is the founder of MyVirtual.Lawyer, a company focused on helping lawyers grow their firms with technology

For Moore, the changes involved since COVID-19 took on a twist: She’s been educating law firms on the benefits of going remote for several years, but even for her it wasn’t completely “business as usual.”

“The biggest adjustment for us wasn’t really the interaction with clients. We’ve done that virtually,” Moore said. “But we really had to adjust the way we network. Since we serve business owners we typically spend time networking at events, which is obviously much different. We’re finding ways to keep some of this going remotely.”

The experience important now than ever, as My Virtual Lawyer also rolls out educational material for law firms who are looking for advice on running the firm remotely. She said one of her primary messages for attorneys who are being thrust into remote work is to stay calm.

“I always tell firms to start with what they already have. Many times you have solutions right in front of you that you’re not using to their full potential.” 

She listed as an example that a firm may use a practice management solution with a client portal. 

“Now is the time to utilize that client portal,” Moore said.

As for the lack of networking, Moore is finding ways to make the most of her time. “I’m encouraging others to be more active on social media,” she said. “You need to have a social media presence, and there are still opportunities for making connections virtually.”

Mark Homer, the CEO of GNGF, had a similar experience in his firm, finding new connections and networking opportunities… from home.

Mark Homer of GNGF

Mark Homer is the CEO of GNGF, offering marketing solutions for law firms to succeed in any environment.

GNGF is a fixture at many of the prominent events for law firms around the country. When events started cancelling, Homer and the GNGF team were left searching for new ways to spread the word.

“We had to retool on the fly,” Homer said. “Spring is a busy time for speaking and sponsoring events in a typical year. So we started reaching out to colleagues and finding ways to teach.”

One example was a collaboration with Smith.ai’s  Head of Growth and Education, Maddy Martin, on a Saturday webinar series, “COVID over Coffee.” The event went out to 60 law firms, and since then a litany of virtual events have popped up to serve the community with tools and best practices. 

Positive takeaways during a challenging time

While the COVID-19 challenge has affected so many, Homer said there have also been positive takeaways. For one, he felt a stronger connection to partners and clients.

“I think we are going to come out of this situation with stronger relationships than ever before.” Homer said. “We decided to proactively engage with our clients and our network. Yes, we’ve probably worked more hours, but we’re more grateful than ever for the community we have and the people we get to work with.”

The right mental approach

Homer acknowledged the pressures brought on by the present crisis. “It’s hard,” he said. “Every day you’re seeing the news and there is more information coming out and you want people to be safe.”

As a leader, he knows it’s important for his team to balance the emotional impact of what is happening with a positive focus on the opportunities at hand.

“We’ve had to try to be smart and balance the short term with the long term. I want us to still grow. I don’t want a scarcity mentality to fall on our team.” he said. “So we’re really taking things one day at a time and trying to make the most of every opportunity.”

Josh Youngblood of JLY Tech and JLY Tax

Josh Youngblood is the president of JLY Tech and JLY Tax, companies specializing in helping businesses in two troublesome areas — technology and taxes.

Josh Youngblood and his team at JLY Tax had to jump in  on the federal CARES Act. Their timely advice and support would be critical to their clients securing funding  to keep operations moving.

This meant a focus on meetings and delivering value for clients.

“Our business has always focused on providing personal service, which often involves meeting with our clients.” Youngblood said. “This has been a shift for us, and we’ve leaned heavily on Zoom.”

Youngblood said video chat has been crucial for their team in navigating the last few months. Video allows them to better connect with clients and avoid isolation in their day-to-day work. 

From a financial perspective, Youngblood knows the economic effect will be significant. He is advising his clients to remember that “cash is king,” and to do as much homework as possible to understand what loans and relief might be available.

For his firm, the goal was simple right from the beginning: Be a resource.

“We’ve tried to go above and beyond to help connect with our clients and get their financial house in order.” Youngblood said. “The next few months will be trying times for all of us.  It is important to do what we can to help each other out.  It is important to be viewed as someone that a client can count on as a trusted advisor.”  

What Steps Are You Taking?

Let us know: Send us a message at support@smith.ai or connect with us on social media. We’d love to hear what’s changing and what adjustments you are making in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

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