11 C’s to Get You Out of Crisis

Rishi Khanna
7 min readJun 4, 2020


The chances are that the past few months have been some of the toughest in history for your business, no matter where in the world you’re based. If you’re like most of us, the past quarter has left us feeling demotivated and a little lost, as we face business challenges that we’ve never faced before. From dealing with lessened profits to having to let go of some valued full-time staff, every business has faced their own unique difficulties during this time.

Luckily for those businesses that have been around for a while, we’ve been able to learn about how to handle a crisis from the experience of the Dot Com Bust, 9/11, and the Financial Crisis of 2008. We wanted to share our top tips on how we survived those dark times.

We’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of businesses that have reached out to find out how they can use remote workers to keep delivering a fantastic service to their customers, proving that people have the drive to make it through this crisis. Although these times have been difficult, collectively we have been able to navigate this crazy time together and we will no doubt be able to see this through as businesses and as people.

We’ve pulled together some of the best advice we’ve read and heard over the past few weeks to give you the 11 C’s that we believe can get you out of a crisis and keep the ship sailing. Take a look.


We all need to care for ourselves and each other the best we can at this difficult and unprecedented time. This means looking after yourself, your loved ones, family, and your team. They all need you more than ever, and you need them too.

This means considering both your physical and mental health as you get through this rough patch, and ensuring that you check in on others too. We all need to support each other in order to care for our health and mental state. Without calm and composure towards both yourself and others, you’ll risk making some hasty decisions under pressure.


It sounds cliche, but we really are all in this together. In such crises, we need to ensure that our responsibility goes beyond your family, friends, and team members and reaches out to the community you are part of. It’s essential that we support others who are being affected as well as those close to us. This could mean your suppliers, your local community, and your clients and customers too.

Your social responsibilities need equal amounts of attention as your personal and professional responsibilities during this time. Community is key.


At this time, most of us are working remotely and in ways that we have never worked before. This means that communication between teams needs to be impeccable in order to get things done effectively.

You will need to be prepared to communicate, in fact, over-communicate with your teams with facts and not emotions. Not only is this essential to ensure that work gets done, but communication is needed to ensure the team is motivated and is aware and not blind-sided by issues and risks beyond those they can see right now. Preparing them and keeping them informed is of utmost importance.


Change can be amazing, however, it can also be catastrophic if it blindsides you and your team. Crises will bring tremendous change in everything you thought was the norm and a new normal will be established. Your business, your business model, your way to communicate and deliver, market, and sell will all change and the quicker you adapt to that change and keep running as usual, the better you will do.

During a crisis, you need to be open to change, innovation, and improvement on whatever you were used to.

Instead of fighting and resisting change, and trying to go back to what you thought was the old normal, you need to embrace the new and accept it.


Cash is the lifeblood of the company — without that, there is no business. Cash cures all problems in business so conserving cash needs to be the utmost priority right now.

You need to optimize your operating expenses, as none of us know how long this crisis will last. If you cut costs, you cut early and cut deep. Without cash, in the bank, you may not exist and no bank will lend you anything if you do not have a good discipline of cash management in business.


This can be a great time to think about how your business is different and why it exists. What principles lie at the core of the company? What is your core competency, your USP — Unique Selling Point?

Discovering what your core offerings are, who your core team is and who has the capability to manoeuvre you back to your glory is essential. If you can understand where you’re going right and keep heading in that direction, you’ll be able to build strength from your core through the crisis and beyond.


Your clients are facing similar risks and challenges as you — no one is spared. At this stage, what your clients need from you is support, care, and exceptional service. They do not need to be sold at this stage, it’s more about nurturing that relationship and ensuring that open communication is maintained.

They need you to be there to support them through this global crisis as much as you need them. You need to be there to support them through their challenges and they will in turn support you through yours.


Whilst for some businesses, a crisis can bring new leads and customers (think toilet roll companies and hand sanitizer producers!), for most of us a crisis will mean a loss in clients and customers.

Instead of building brand new relationships, for most of us, this is the time to reconnect with people who already know you. These are the people who will take your calls and connect with you during this difficult time and hopefully will try and help you out.

This is the time to expand your relationships in the existing relationships with current and past clients and prospects to see how they are doing. Seeing if you can add value to them will mean they remember you long beyond the crisis.

Clean Up

When you have free time around the house, what do you do? A spring clean! And the same is true for your business. You will need to look under your hood and start a serious spring clean up of the business.

Cut all your non-essential business operating expenses and under-performers will have an incredible impact on your business. If you want to survive a crisis, it’s likely that some difficult decisions will need to be made.

This might include revisiting your team’s roles and responsibilities and ensuring they are focusing on what is most important.

You will need to ensure you clean up your act and realign your focus, to ensure you have mind-space to focus on the most important tasks.


Businesses are being judged more than ever right now. What you do, and how you respond to the crisis really matters. It matters to your people, and it matters to your customers.

Your purpose, your core values, and your company culture will become even more important for you to protect and leverage in the time of crisis. This can present a good time to assess your culture and values and ensure that everyone is working for them.

Without a clear identity and collective goal, your people may feel lost during this period whereas the reverse is also true. If you keep the company culture-positive and uplifting, you will be able to get through this period much more easily.


In reality, we all know what to do. We know that all of these things are essential for our success, however now it’s time to put it into practice and prove our worth as business leaders.

Once you have gone through the other 10 Cs above, it will be really important for you to commit to your action plan, your vision of your company, and the new normal and the opportunities that you can currently see.

You will need to commit to your people, your services, and your business plan to get you out of these challenges — this might include writing a lot of it down, getting everyone on board, and making an action plan. Once you have the discipline to get your business back to where you can leverage the new growth opportunities, you’ll be able to navigate the crisis effectively.

This is as much about discipline as it is about knowing what to do in a crisis.

This is an unprecedented time for all of us, no matter what your business does. Covid-19 is causing a lot of disruption. If your business needs help where one of my companies can assist, please get in touch. Likewise, if you want to get connected with anyone in my network, feel free to reach out and I’ll do my best to help you.



Rishi Khanna

Thought-leader, Culture Building, and Growth CEO. A leader in the following companies: ENO8, ISHIR, BorderlessMind, DigitalSuccess, and AnythingCloud.