Roundtable Recap: COVID-19 and Your Business

Apr 8, 2020

Facilitators: Marcia O’Connor, The O’Connor Group and Angela Pointon, 11outof11

There’s no getting around the elephant in the room: COVID-19 is impacting every aspect of the business. Our Roundtable was a lively virtual discussion that touched on the PPP and the HR, energy levels, video, and home organization ideas and tips being employed.

Take – Aways

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). With much confusion still swirling around the PPP, a few items of preparedness can work in your favor. In advance of completing the loan forms, have at least at the ready: 1) quarterly payroll tax records, 2) articles of incorporation for your company, 3) valid driver’s licenses, and 4) payroll data from 2019 and/or 15 months back. Note that this money is going to go quickly so be ready to apply quickly. Your banker is going to be your best resource in securing this money so be sure you are having frequent communications. With so much information coming out so quickly, it’s important to use trusted advisors to help understand and navigate through the PPP and SBA. More information can be found here, here, and here.

HR. There are numerous difficult conversations that you may need to have where you would normally be face-to-face. With that option most likely unavailable, it’s important to be cognizant of your organization’s culture and how the delivery of difficult messaging will be accepted by impacted persons. Think about timing and appropriately securing company technology. Have someone with you as you carry out these measures.

Energy Levels. You’re probably worried as much about your energy level as you are about your team’s energy level. Some ideas to keep engagement high and motivational include having a team huddle every day, talking about good news (yes, it is out there!), laughing, virtual happy hour gatherings, theme days (college colors, hats, meet the kids, met the pets), and even virtual scavenger hunts! As leaders, be as open and honest as you can with your employees and, if nothing else, let them know it’s OK to have the dog barking in the background during myriad Zoom calls!

Video Tips. Pay attention to lighting! You don’t want to look like you are in a prison and you don’t want reflections of light in your face. Virtual backgrounds can be fun but play with it before going “live” with one. Make sure where you actually position yourself within the virtual background doesn’t cause you to lose your “power” as you present yourself. Also, take a look at how you fill up the video screen. Keep a small space (hold your thumb and index finger a small space apart) between the top of your head and the top of the video screen ensures YOU are filling up the video screen and not just a floating head!

Home Organization. Create a dedicated workspace away from your living space. Otherwise, you tend to “work” where you “live” and it becomes challenging to make the transition between the two. Have a great chair, if possible, and think about what noise level is going to suit you best (because sometimes silence can be deafening!). With others in the home office with you, be sure to communicate your schedule with them so everyone knows your availability.

Next Month

We will meet at the virtual table to discuss running a video conference with confidence. We’ll be joined by Laura Sicola, who has delivered keynotes, workshops, and presentations on topics ranging from leadership communication in diversity, persuasive speaking, conflict management, media training, intercultural business communication, and presentation skills, to “managing up,” vocal empowerment for women, and delivering the business pitch.

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