While Mark Cuban understands that small and medium-sized business owners are facing uncertainty and hardship in light of the coronavirus pandemic, he believes that agile founders will weather this particular storm and emerge even stronger than before.
“We will get to the other side of this, but it won’t be the same as always.”Cuban said during a wide-ranging “Ask Me Anything” discussion on April 22 with Inc. Editor-at-Large Tom Foster. . “There will be an America 2.0 and that is the best opportunity for entrepreneurs.”
Cuban, who is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an investor on ABC’s Shark Tank, has spent a lot of time lately thinking about what the day after will be like. In mid-April, he was hired to serve on President Donald Trump’s economic recovery task force, a panel of 50 advisers from many business sectors who will help shape plans to reopen the economy.
While he believes the economy will not recover this year, he says business owners can better position themselves by being honest about the struggles ahead and communicating with their customers, employees and stakeholders.
“It’s okay to say that you are afraid and that there is uncertainty”. “Then you’ve already developed an honest relationship with your customers and they will respect you.”
But whatever you do, do something, he says. Now is the time to act. Here are his best tips on how to not only survive this unparalleled time of uncertainty, but also thrive because of it.
Particularly for founders on the verge of closing, Cuban encourages them to reach out to employees. “Your employees, in particular, know your business«he says, and adds: «They are the experts in their business. “If there is an idea about how to pivot or restructure the company, it will come from them.”
You may discover that your company’s best chance of survival comes from a completely different business model or product line. You have to be willing to accept change and be open to a new direction.. “All it takes is a good idea”says Cuban. “I firmly believe that when we come out of this, there will be small businesses that flourished because they had a different vision.”
Cuban described the many daily emails he receives about companies creating face masks or testing products. “If everyone is doing the same thing, go where they aren’t,” he says. “Think about things people aren’t doing yet.”
If you have downtime, use it, Cuban says. Spend this time recalibrating your business or marketing plans. Work on website technical issues you’ve always needed to address, but never had time to fix. Plus, now is the perfect time to spend on marketing, as pay-per-click rates have dropped across the board. Even if your company has a product that is not something people want to buy now, they will remember your company. “Build that foundation now because the companies that are announcing now will look strong.”.