Although states are reopening and people may be returning to their offices, we’re still very much at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting recession. MSP owners and CEOs may be wondering what to focus on as they work to keep their businesses thriving. 

Here are my recommendations for 9 areas CEOs and owners should prioritize right now:


1. Protect Stakeholder Value - This is something that needs to come from the top, as it doesn’t make sense for anyone else in an organization to prioritize this. Even though you’re likely focused on keeping your business afloat, you should also think about how to make it thrive in the future. 


How to accomplish this: Maintain and create business value.


2. Define Business Legacy - What are your benchmarks for success? Does everyone in your company know what your version of success looks like? Now is the time to make sure everyone in the company understands their role and how they contribute to where the company is headed.


How to accomplish this: Start from the top with a vision and a high-level strategy and let it trickle down to every member of the team.


3. Manage the Balance Sheet - We are all aware of the importance of cash flow, especially now. Maximizing cash flow - whether through banking relationships, government programs, or cutting costs - must remain a current focus. 


How to accomplish this: Keep your company adaptable and solvent in today’s environment, but ready to thrive tomorrow (theoretically speaking).


4. Define the Culture - It can be challenging to do so, but setting an example works best when it comes from the top. An owner/CEO should guide the culture of an organization, driven by a mission, vision, and core values. 


How to accomplish this: Make sure core values and culture are clearly communicated to team members, especially during this time of remote work.


5. Grow through M&A - At some point, owners and CEOs consider mergers and acquisitions as a way to meet a business legacy objective. Keep an eye out for these opportunities. 


How to accomplish this: Be actively involved in the M&A market to pinpoint and pursue any opportunities that would make sense to your company.


6. Develop Your Leaders - Meet with your team members, get to know them, and identify opportunities to help them develop. As a leader, one of the most important things you can do is invest in your team members’ personal and professional growth.   


How to accomplish this: Hold regular individual and team meetings focused on skill development and growth; CEOs and owners should also make sure they’re developing their own leadership skills. 


7. Acquire and Retain Key Talent - The success of your organization depends largely on the talent you have on hand. Focus on building a leadership team you have confidence in, as they will ultimately be drivers of company success or failure.  


How to accomplish this: Clearly define your talent needs and be proactive about filling in gaps while retaining the A players on your team.


8. Manage Critical Relationships - When owners or CEOs are directly involved in a relationship (whether business like finance or legal or vendor/supplier relationships), these relationships must be well-managed and protected. Now more than ever, as we face a complex set of challenges, these relationships are vital. 


How to accomplish this: Foster better and more frequent communication and interaction with key relationships at this moment.


9. Drive Innovation - Your biggest competitor is likely not another company in your industry. Instead, it’s resistance to change and maintaining status quo. To flourish and thrive in our new world, change is a must. 


How to accomplish this: Be open to new ideas, encourage free thinking, move outside of the box, and be an innovator. 


For more of my insights and thoughts surrounding our current state of work, tune into ConnectWise’s Inside the Industry podcast series


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