As our world changes because of the Corona Virus, it is essential to fill in some of the voids that have been left by the lack of human interaction, working in a new environment, and the added stress of uncertainty. I find it as a college student that I am always trying to find ways to elevate the stress that is put on me from tests to assignments and I find that it is quite similar to some of the things that employees are going through as we are all adapting to this situation. Here are some tips that I found to make myself feel more relaxed and comfortable.


Working out

This has been said time and time again, but working out is a great stress reliever and can help you sharpen your mind and body at the same time. I find that if I am having a stressful day or am stuck on an assignment I can go to the gym and clear my head and come back to it with a brand new outlook. Working out also releases hormones that make you feel happier and relaxed. I use it as a time where I can focus on myself and find it relaxing. If you don’t feel comfortable going to a gym, there are many options that you can do from the comfort of your home. Yoga is a great example of this as it is a good workout that is focusing on your body and mind and can be done anywhere. Going for a walk is also a great way to stay active and get some fresh air, this can help you stop thinking about work for a little bit because you are not confined to the walls of your “new office.”


Time Management

I find that when a deadline is nearing that is when I am feeling the most stressed, that is why if possible getting these things done in an organized way makes all the difference. Cramming all of your work into a small amount of time can make you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. If you plan out your days, and schedule a few breaks, you will feel that you will get things done better and more efficiently.


Social Interaction

This can still be done safely, it is always a good thing to keep in touch with friends and family, and talking to them can do wonders. Most of them are just a phone call away and they are always happy to hear from you and what you have on your mind. Also with this day and age, you and your significant other can find a new hobby that you would have never thought of. One of the examples that I have done is fishing. When it was warmer out after my day of work I would go out to a pond or lake with my family and just go fishing, this is a great activity that helps you get out into nature and help you not think about work.


I hope that this can help you or others as we go through this virus. Just remember that you are not the only one going through this and communication can always solve your problems, if you are getting stressed talking about the concern you have can help you tremendously. People are more understanding than you think and asking for extra time or just a day off has never hurt anyone.

During these trying times getting your package may be the least of your worries, but order fulfillment has taken a hit. This is not like every holiday season, being this may be the worst that we have seen. With more packages being shipped out this year than previous because of the travel restrictions and the overall conscious decision to stay safe your order may be delayed weeks because of the overflowing number of packages that the shipping companies are dealing with. That example is a prime example of when crisis management can be used. A crisis management plan is one of the most useful plans that your company can come up with. Here are some tips that you can use to overcome problems in the future.


  1. Expect The Unexpected

Most companies believe that the problem needs to be solved after the problem has occurred. Only 10 percent of major disruptions are truly unexpected. However, with the COVID-19 virus, we all knew that there were going to be delays, so planning is crucial to every case. The best way to go about this is once a quarter brings in a team that can come up with likely scenarios that may occur in the future. This is where you can hypothesis with the industry professionals that you have working for your company to make a small book of things that may occur and solutions that can be used to solve them. This book can be used as an outline since the exact problem may not happen, but similar situations might arise.


  1. Be Proactive

Being proactive comes when the crisis occurs and when trying to prevent major disruptions in day to day operations. Planning for events that might happen is very important so the crisis can be dealt with swiftly. When going in with a plan, any problem can be solved quickly and efficiently. If you think about it in a none business way, every time you get on a plane everyone has to watch the safety video where if anything does go wrong there is a plan to make sure that you can get off the plane. This is the same thing that your company should do, prepare for scenarios, and train a specialized team to deal with the problems if they ever do occur. Another important piece is when making a statement to only say what you are prepared to say. Don't say anything that you can not back-up or prove.


When dealing with crises it is important to move quickly and be transparent with your audience. Cover-ups only tarnish your name, being truthful will make sure that you are not digging yourself into a deeper pit. No one has ever been in trouble for being too prepared, but people get in trouble for not being prepared, so have a contingency plan and keep your company going the best it can go.

The challenge is in the design, development, communication, and collaborative execution.


Brand and Business Management in today’s business climate is not JUST about selecting the BEST component partners, but creating a communication process and detailed “plan” that integrates all partners (from Conceptual Development to Logistics/Fulfillment/Distribution) – thereby ensuring consistent communication throughout the lifetime of any campaign. Net, net – organization + streamlined communication + detailed integration process = greater profit margin and revenue!


The Financial Pro-forma:


In organizing and executing a well-planned Brand and Business Management structure – the first initiative is to develop a sound financial plan. Detailing a Breakeven and Cash Flow analysis will ensure that all components (i.e. Median Media expenditure, Upsell and Premium integration, Cost of Goods, Component partner cost, etc.) are evaluated, negotiated, and projected. The financial Pro-forma provides a working document of financial data that provides an opportunity to evaluate the viability of a business initiative while deciphering all cash flow and capital expenditures needed to initiate a realistic business. The Pro-forma also allows for the analysis of any potential media and inventory funding that might be necessary to either offset current cash flow or provide funding that would otherwise not exist.


Brand and Business Management – Gantt and PERT chart construction and ever-evolving analysis:


Since the essence of sound Brand and Business Management involves the consistent review of all component partners – from Manufacturing to Distribution – a well-designed and executed Gantt and/or PERT chart must be developed. Within this structure – all methodical steps in the process are outlined, projected date ranges are profiled, and partner accountability is measured (including client partner involvement). This evolving organization segments all component partners, by providing ongoing detail as to the “what”, “where”, “how”, “when” and even “why” of all task deliverables. The truest value – above and beyond the organization and detail – is in the constant communication that takes place between every component partner.


This organization provides for a NON-SILOED, collaborative campaign structure that promotes “shared knowledge” and the assurance that all partners will work together with commonality and client objectives at the forefront of all action. The design of the Gantt and/or PERT chart will always allow for adjustment and will provide all partners with a “view” of campaign progression and actual deadlines. This is critical in maintaining all client campaign “launch” objectives – while measuring all benchmarks and achieving milestones during a campaign. This evolving document is the architecture by which all collaboration and program measurements take place.


Communications Integration and Client Partner Care (CPC)


Above and beyond all process mapping, component integration and implementation, campaign management, and benchmarking – is the critical component of communication and Client Care. As all firms should be dedicated to the success of client partner programs – the consistent and accountable communication that takes place between all component partners is paramount in achieving all client partner goals and objectives. This – above all else – is vital in maintaining program performance and achieving anticipated projections. Simply, with the attention paid to astute, interactive client engagement, the opportunity for long term success is eminent.


Benchmarking and Measurement:


To qualify and quantify the actual results and ongoing measurement of any Brand and Business Management program -  Benchmarking must be instituted to ensure performance measurement and accurate review of all campaign components. Through all processes, procedures, service level review – the ability to benchmark both internal – and external – functions is necessary for providing consistent measurement during each phase of program development. As a periodic review of all operations process (i.e. inventory control, fulfillment accuracies, data and report analysis, program, and functional behavior, technology effectiveness, logistics and customer care cost assessment, etc.), setting benchmark standards will allow for accurate “reviews” of all components of the logistic and customer care mix. These processes will also provide a safeguard for continuous learning, continuous improvement, and program success.


Although benchmarking is a technique and application associated with “task” oriented issues – the challenge to benchmark internal functions is often satisfied by “employing” the services of external consultants, attending and exhibiting at trade events, involvement in educational seminars – and most important – LISTEN to your client partners!


As we have learned – the successful art of Brand and Business Management not only entails the thorough review of all best practice component partners but the astute execution of all communication and coordinated information sharing. As we start to evaluate each business initiative – it is critical to maintain organization, expert implementation, and multi-channel awareness in each facet of a program. The measure of a truly successful business is in the people involved in the brand, the expert process that is employed – and the calculated measurement that drives all sales!

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