Close to where I live there are two garden centres. I have been a customer of both of them for many years. The owner of one of them has responded to the coronavirus crisis by shutting down his business and sinking into a black pit of despair. The owner of the other one has adopted a very different approach. Four weeks ago he saw what was happening in Italy and concluded that a lockdown would soon be imposed in the UK. Over the next 2 weeks he paid a local IT company to design and build him a new e-commerce website so that he had the ability to sell his plants online and paid for thousands of leaflets to be delivered to every house in the area. Almost overnight he has built a thriving e-commerce business with a highly efficient same day delivery service staffed by people he would otherwise have had to make redundant. As a consequence, he has sold most of his perishable stock of spring plants to people who have nothing to do during the lockdown apart from spending time in their gardens. 2020 will probably not be the best year he has ever had but at least he is sure that he is going to survive it and his new e-commerce business will continue long after the virus has been beaten. In the meanwhile, his competitor just watches the television news all day and waits for the bailiffs to arrive to take away his business his home and everything he has ever worked for.

You cannot control what happens with the coronavirus but what you can control is how you respond to it. That is why it is so important to spend every waking moment thinking about how your business can survive the next few weeks of lockdown and how you can rebuild the business as quickly as possible when the upturn arrives.

Adam Walker is a management consultant and business transfer agent who has worked in the property sector for over 30 years

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