Dear Partners, COVID19 has arrived in Europe and is asking all of us to take unprecedented measures - both personally and professionally. Many companies I am in contact with are facing existential challenges. The announced support of governments, such as staffing cost reimbursement through the unemployment insurance or federally guaranteed loans, will only mitigate them to a fraction. The impact of the global pandemic will be felt far beyond its health aspects, and it will likely last for months and years. It is a very serious situation. And that is exactly why I would like to offer a few words of encouragement. In recent days - locked into my home office as most of us are - I had the chance to chat with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders in the SME and startup environment about the implications of COVID19. And I have been immensely impressed by the vast amount of pragmatism and creativity the crisis is evoking in so many companies and teams:
All client visits to hospitals and nursing homes are canceled - hence, the entire sales team of a MedTech company is working hard towards making their devices commissionable by remote instruction.
The long vacation a head of marketing had planned ended abruptly at the check-in desk of the airport. 24hrs later, he was back in the office and is now determined to create the most awesome customer experience of his industry in Q3.
Lawyers and CPAs are offering free consultations for companies to clarify their eligibility and request government support.
Event spaces and incubator programs are working towards virtual conferences and creating a completely new, immersive experience for professional events.
A company which had its store closed by the new directives is lending its team to a friends’ food delivery business, which saw an uptake of orders by over 100%
Far-reaching corporate decisions, including outsourcing of work and reorganizations are suddenly taken with determination and courage. The understanding and acceptance of all employees is very high.
An SME, which was managed very conservatively in the past years, is in the process of expediting to buy up a competitor that has become substantially distressed due to the outbreak. The owner told me that this is a once-in-20-years opportunity for his company.
The word CRISIS is of Greek origin, it means DECISION. After the inspiring discussions of the past days I have thus decided to face the tremendous challenge that COVID19 is posing to all of us head-on, together with you, as follows:
Starting immediately and until at least end of April, I am offering companies and entrepreneurs free consultations to develop and discuss potential COVID19 forward-strategies (subject to availability)
Clients with already committed, ongoing consulting projects who would like to reevaluate the agreed scope of work due to recent events can do so at any time. All currently ongoing contracts and commitments can be canceled or put on hold without cost repercussions.
For companies with limited liquidity, I am offering an increased payment period for my services.
I am not looking to paint a rosy picture here. We don’t know if the current lockdown will last for 1, 3, or 6 months, and how bad the likely ensuing global recession will be. But please allow me to encourage you. Good products from strong companies are bought even in the most difficult of times. I am convinced that many of your employees and colleagues are now more determined to make a difference than ever. Their spirit and resourcefulness will surprise you in the weeks and months ahead! And as after every stock market and asset price meltdown, investors who have now liquidated their holdings will need to reinvest into longer-term opportunities again at some point. I wish you tons of energy and strength and a clear head to face the upcoming challenges, but also to spot and seize the opportunities that this unique situation offers!
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