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How to lead a small business through Coronavirus

With the coronavirus shaking up the economy and upending the day-to-day operations of businesses, it’s perhaps more critical than ever that corporate CEOs and small business owners summon up all their leadership skills. Employees who usually are just down the hall are now working remotely from home. The supply chain is disrupted. And customers and clients may be changing their spending habits. But, as important as business savvy and financial expertise can be in riding out all the economic effects of the pandemic, other traits also come into play and may be just as essential, says Marsha Friedman, a successful entrepreneur who still leads a business she launched three decades ago. “One of those essential traits is courage,” says Friedman, founder and president of News & Experts (www.newsandexperts. com), a national PR firm. “Thirty years ago when I started my company, I probably would never have said it takes courage to lead a small business, but without it, I assure you, you’ll fail.” Friedman, who is also the ForbesBooks author of Gaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, understands this first-hand. Her firm, like many businesses, endured tough economic times after the 9/11 attacks. Revenue dropped and bankruptcy loomed as a real possibility. “I had to figure out how to turn my company around,” she says. “It took courage, endurance, and perseverance, but I knew I could not go back, so I had no choice but to go forward.” Courage is just one of what Friedman calls the 5 C’s for building and maintaining a successful business through the good times and bad. “They’re the guiding principles I’ve learned through the ups and downs and all the mistakes,” she says. “They can work during the difficulties we now face as well.” In addition to courage, Friedman’s other C’s are: • Caring . First, care enough about yourself and your dreams to believe you can achieve success even in these daunting times, Friedman says. “Just as important is caring about your staff and creating a positive work environment for them despite the troubles we face,” she says. “Be supportive of them throughout this situation that is bringing additional stress to everyone’s lives.” Finally, a good business leader cares about customers, Friedman says. Be willing to listen to their concerns, take responsibility for mistakes, and correct them. • Confidence. Most people • Confidence. Most people have faced and overcome challenges in life. The confidence ...

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