How Every Businessperson Can Fight Back
They want to undermine our confidence.
They want to destroy our economy.
When the trauma and grieving begin to subside, when the lost are accounted for, when the guilty are punished, when the heroes are thanked -- it's still not over. These terrorists hope to drive our nation into a recession or depression that cripples our ability to fight back and threatens our ability to lead and defend the world.
Each of us can fight back. Each of us can work to secure the economic foundation that supports this country. Economics are about confidence as much as they are about money. Here are some things you can do to show we are strong and will not be stopped:
Open your doors and go to work. As soon as possible, make it clear that you're still in business and working hard. The ice cream truck drivers were back on their routes the morning after the disaster.
Support your employees. Provide emotional and economic assistance to those in need. Provide paid leave, emotional counseling and a helping hand to those who need it. People may be troubled inside even if they don't show it on the outside.
Show patriotism in the workplace. Fly the American flag.
Find a way to hire one extra person. Try giving a steady job to a temporary worker, or a full-time spot to a part-timer.
Support your peers in trouble. Many businesses were severely hurt. Do what you can to help those you know. Ideas: Share offices or storage space with those who lost it; be lenient on collecting receivables; extend delivery time on contracts.
Report the profiteers. Watch for gas stations and retailers who use this disaster for personal profit. Expose them -- then never do business with them again.
Use what you have to help. Use advertising space to promote charities. Link your company's home page to legitimate support organizations. Donate goods and services to the rescue and recovery effort.
Stay cool. Tensions and stress are running high. Remind everyone to be extra polite and understanding. Help your operators and customer service reps deal with misdirected anger.
Stay positive. Attitude is everything.
Andy Sernovitz, Founder and CEO, GasPedal Ventures Inc.,New York