Santa Barbara Business Network


Is your Business Ready to reopen successfully? Part 1

Article written by Mary Jean Vignone, Success Reach Ltd.

Who could have predicted that we will be sheltering in place when you set your 2020 business goals back in January? Here we are after months of stores, restaurants, and businesses closed, and millions of people on unemployment. It’s hard to believe that we find ourselves wondering about the next steps to reopen our businesses. Now is the time to think about your business readiness.

Moving from shutdowns of many businesses, especially those in the retail sector, to reopening, you need to have a business readiness approach to continue to be ready for change. We talk about the new normal, but the reality is that the new normal is constantly changing.  So, I call it the next new normal. There will be little time between the next new normal and next to normal after that.

I use arconym LEAD, to help you with the complexities of readying your business for reopening.

Leadership is about how you lead during the reopening.

Environment in which you lead- regulations, restrictions, and community health.

Assessment of your business model and what is needed to retool your business

Discernment, your ability to know and do the right things for your employees.

This blog features the L in LEAD. Stay tuned for E in a couple of days.


You are the leader, and you need to embrace your role and responsibilities fully. As a leader, you must set a clear vision, even if it is a vision for the next few days, weeks, or months. Clearly articulate the vision to your employees and listen carefully to their ideas. Seek to ignite their creativity to find solutions to the challenges you may encounter.

During the reopening of your business, your emotional intelligence will make a difference in connecting with your employees, customers, and community.  We are living in uncertain times, and not knowing the next twist this virus will present.  Self-awareness is paramount to your success. Be aware of your emotions and how you react to them. Self and impulse control will help to acknowledge your emotions and how you modify your response.

Another aspect of emotional intelligence that will serve you well during the current situation is empathy. This crisis has affected all of us but in different ways. People experienced food insecurities worries about paying rent and mortgage, family dysfunctions, isolation, and loneliness, to mention only a few of a wide range of stressors. We don’t know how the sheltering at home created stress and strain on us in ways we never know before.  Show empathy by leading with an open heart accompanied by a cool head.

To learn more or to connect with Mary Jean Vignone, please visit her SBBN profile for her contact information and direct links to her website and social media.

 Ph.D. Organizational Development

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