COVID-19

COVID 19 – TaurusPivot

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COVID-19

COVID 19 – TaurusPivot

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Unwavering support from Sharon and the Taurus team with the COVID-19 challenge

Supporting you and the Taurus community in this historical Team Australia moment.

COVID-19 has left us in unchartered waters.

We’ve reached a ‘new normal’ as we adapt almost by the hour to changing and challenging circumstances.

One thing is not changing.

That is, the Taurus ‘no bull’ approach, which for 25 years has underwritten the way we’ve supported, protected and built client brands.

Now, in these unprecedented times, the ‘no-bull’ mantra, has even stronger meaning as Sharon and theTaurus team is committed 100 per cent, to provide support in meeting head-on these difficult challenges – both on a personal level and in our jobs.

At Taurus, we recognise and understand the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people and businesses may be experiencing in relation to COVID-19. We should try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working to the best of their ability to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible. At the same time, Governments are responding with stimulus packages to help alleviate the financial strain on people.

On a business level, it is important we don’t fear change. Change helps us become smarter. With many of the 1,000 clients we’ve helped over the years. We are used to providing a helping hand in moments of change and transition, that need to be undertaken.
Now, in these difficult times, we are here to help you in a wide variety of ways. Whether it’s just as a sounding board or to navigate your family and your brand through these next six months.

While we have provided PR and Marketing for a specific outcome e.g. attracting new customers or re-establishing your brand, our expertise doesn’t stop there. Our business strategy employs our TaurusBullseye™ Methodology, along with our experienced Issues Management and Crisis Management offerings, which are in high demand. We are able to provide you with the appropriate tools to respond to emerging trends or changes in this ‘new normal’.

It is always wise to keep an open mind on what else you could be doing.  

The worst thing we can do in situations like this is to look back after we have beaten COVID-19 and in hindsight, say “We should have done this.”

This is our Team Australia moment

This period requires a new way of thinking

18th September, 2020

COVID-19 has tested leadership in unimaginable ways and created change that is here to stay.
Leaders who can stay level-headed, emphasize clarity, motivate a team, act decisively and quickly amidst uncertainty and risk are better placed for survival and reinvention.
Transparency is key to keep your team updated, motivated and on track. As leaders, we are in a unique position to accelerate positive change to impact our organisations and people for the better.
This is certainly not a time to put your head in the sand.
For those operating on full staff, normal hours and no job cuts this is testament to your strength and resilience - or the relevance of your service and product offering in this new normal – but for all of us and almost every scenario, it has not been business as usual.
Now is the time for us to work even more closely together, invent new ways of doing things, new ways of interacting and re-align strategic plans with clarity and a “no bull” and outcomes-driven focus.
Simplicity cuts through.
The priorities are to empower your people, embrace flexibility and re-purpose roles to keep the business afloat and your staff in their jobs.  It’s about re-skilling, encouraging cross training and getting the team prepared and ready for the next stage of, what started as a health crisis, but is now fundamentally an economic battle.  
Courage, fortitude and tenacity is at the forefront of leadership required right now. These values are held tightly atTaurus.
As leaders we have to prepare ourselves, the business and our teams for the disruption and new set of skills to get through this unprecedented period.
Success will depend on you and your team’s ability to constantly adjust to a changing environment, assess speed, agility and cost savings to create best scenario planning.
We need our team to be proactive and embrace the opportunities presented, rethink how we work and invent new and better ways of working.
Champions will emerge, way above their job descriptions.
Now is absolutely the time to revisit internal communications, business plans, operational procedures and staff expectations to stay ahead, share strategy, learn from the experience and move forward which may be away from how things used to be done.
In conversation with my client CEO’s and peer group, it is clear this modern global crisis has created devastation and change for many brands.  BUT the upside is, we are being provided with endless new opportunities.
IF we focus, call upon our teams to help and create new ways of thinking, learning and working, things will be better and for the foreseeable future.

Sharon Williams, Founder and CEO, Taurus Marketing

COVID-19 IS MOVING THE FINISHING LINE
A further 250,000 businesses shut down today in Victoria Australia


4th August, 2020

As each day brings on new challenges and our neighbours in Victoria enter their harshest moment yet, what is the shortest way to the finishing line for Australia?
There are a few options.
We have been asked to be sensible. If wearing a face mask, practising social distancing and constantly washing or sanitising our hands helps bring the finishing line closer to this dark phase in Australia’s history on our health and economy, I’m 100% on board.
A few months ago, we were planning a period of lockdown - not an extended lockdown. Having navigated this initial five months, we hoped August would be the time for consumer spending and businesses to kick-start or, at least, take first steps toward the normality we take for granted.
But for now, we are thinking about Victorians as we wish them individual strength and a speedy recovery from this tough time. Healthy Victorians and a prosperous Victoria, which represents over a quarter of Australia’s economy, is what all Australians want for the good of this great nation.
In NSW, our Premier has declared this week is a “make or break’’ week for our State.
Our efforts to date in meeting the pandemic challenge have been admirable but continuing that success and avoiding it spiralling out of control requires us all pulling together more than ever to continue to be sensible and focussed.
On an individual level, I am calling out to my team and my family, because it’s so important we look after our No 1 asset - our mental and physical health.  
Our lives will be different for a while yet, but it is reassuring that the experts, the professionals like those working in Government, Beyond Blue, Lifeline and the Black Dog Institute - to mention a few - have helpful advice on their websites.
The stress on business and families is there for us all to see.
Don’t hesitate to seek help if you, or someone you know, is struggling to keep on top of their feelings, particularly as a result of isolation. We can all help and start by staying in touch with members of our own family and our work colleagues. I am inviting my team members to take time out.
I have chosen to be upbeat, a half-cup full, continuously reinventing and go for growth. I will stick to what I know and what I believe in over the last 25 years and continue to produce tangible outcomes and deliver time and time again much-needed business counsel and value to our clients – whatever the state of the economy.
In these challenging times, the first thing business should be doing is making sure it lives and breathes constant communication and care – with staff and with the broader world where the next business opportunity (and therefore sustainability) waits.  If you think, there is something more you should be doing, but not sure it is the answer, let our experienced team at Taurus help provide a fresh point of view.
Be assured we will reach the finishing line if we remain sensible, show deep care of each other and over-communicate to see us through.

Sharon Williams, Founder and CEO, Taurus Marketing

Check out Sharon's Pandemic
1 O'Clock Club Ebook

Through the pandemic a gathering of entrepreneurs, CEO's and CMO's came together to work through advice and solutions. Download our free learnings

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Sharon Williams at The Carousel
Sharon Williams at White Knight Foundation
Sharon WIlliams at Party

I am preparing for Round 2 – how are you?

July, 2020

This last few months has been a journey, but this next 3 months promises to be just as tough.

I recollect it was 24 September 1993, (local time) and the whole of Australia erupted with excitement when Sydney was announced as the host city for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Australia appeared a united country after a momentous victory over world powerhouses like Beijing (China) and Manchester (The United Kingdom). The self-confidence of the Australian people was at an all-time high. All of the country adopted the bid’s theme, Share the Spirit.

Now, 27 years on, the date September 24 2020 is going to have a whole new meaning and is potentially another landmark moment in our history. It’s when the Government’s stimulus package (Job Keeper and Job Seeker) in our fight against COVID-19 is scheduled to end.

How we as Australians, business owners, team players, families and individuals respond will be the big challenge facing us in the second half of 2020.

If you and your business have managed to survive the last three months during the height of this health and economic crisis, it says a lot about your character, guts and smarts. But the new challenge is to maintain the tenacity and drive to see your tribe through, not only to keep your head and theirs above water but to prosper over the next four to six months and beyond.

As CEO of Taurus, although I am naturally a half cup full person, I need that optimism to inspire people around me in my business as well as my clients, current and into the future, to continue to lead them through this crisis.

Taurus has been in business for more than 25 years and we are still here since COVID-19 hit. My experience over a quarter of a century has steeled me and those around me to adapt, pivot and remain not just relevant but a lifeline for other businesses.

During the pandemic, Taurus has been conducting business as normal as far as we can through virtual links and in the last couple of days/weeks Taurus has restarted face-to-face meetings with clients and, at all times, observing social distancing requirements.

Now we are ready to make the next big jump into a new office. The office is state of the art and is a big step up for Taurus.  

Having said that it is the strongest message I can shout out to the world and my own team, on how we feel about the future direction of our company. It is not just bravado in taking this step; but rather having the confidence that we as leaders in Australia have a fighting spirit to come out on top and if we take actions to set the scene, we will come through.

Sharon Williams, Founder and CEO, Taurus Marketing

Top tips for small businesses on the road to recovery

3rd July, 2020

New normal, pivot, a virtual world, reinvent, re-strategise, and making the most of your digital communication capabilities. These are just some of the terms we wake up to since we started to navigate our way along the tough road to recovery, and to staying in business.And, to think three months ago before COVID-19 turned our lives upside-down, you were probably working five, six or maybe even seven days a week. Just like the rest of your team (many of whom are still working from home now or are on reduced hours in the hope to return to normal) and while it was always hard to make ends meet it wasn’t nearly as complex as the position we find ourselves in today.Lots of things have changed in a very short space of time and as a small business, we need to battle-hard to meet head-on the challenges ahead in these uncharted waters.

Advice and tips are being handed out by the plenty and a lot of them make sense, while others may not. At the end of the day, it comes down to common sense. Survival is paramount. Survivors are ethos with the initiative to know the priority is to re-strategise and pivot for longevity.While COVID-19 is the crisis now in 2020, brand transitions have a long history of evolution. There are numerous success stories here companies have faced the need to reinvent, to rebuild and to stay alive. Those that pivot will win. This global pandemic has created change and the upside is, this provides us with endless new opportunities.

After 25 years running a successful marketing and Public Relations company, I, as the CEO, am the first to admit COVID-19 has tested leadership in unimaginable ways. Not wanting to overload you with another long list of tips I have selected what I call my “diamonds for survival.”

  1. Make smart business and financial decisions
    Importantly, as we come out of COVID-19 and are faced with the threat of recession, look at what needs to happen today, in a month and in six months, and determine quickly your cashflow threshold. Companies able to act decisively and quickly amidst uncertainty and risk will have more chance of survival The best decisions are taken after identifying the weaknesses and threats to your business. It’s not a time to put your head in the sand.
  2. Be a transparent leader
    I’m in the PR and marketing business, so I take a lesson from what I tell clients on a daily basis: Over-communicate with staff, clients, suppliers, and other stakeholders.
    Show leadership. If in doubt, look in the mirror and stand tall. Being upfront and transparent with your staff is ethical and they will respect you for doing so. You may need to ask your people what their minimum home budget is to survive – can they afford pay cuts. Amazing teams will pull together to keep their job security and keep businesses afloat.
  3. Plan and be open to evolving!
    Now is the time to stay ahead, avoid complacency, and review your marketing strategy. Make a new plan. When your handing out advice to your employees remind them that their digital resume and personal brand is more important than ever in this new era of change. Remind them that human connection and brand empathy is such an important sales tool in business. It is also a time to take the time to invest in your learning to upskill.

Good luck!
Sharon Williams, Founder and CEO, Taurus Marketing

Kochie's Business Builders Contributed Article - Heading back to the office

Everything you should know as a leader before you venture back to the office

1st June, 2020

Are you ready for the face-to-face interaction as we transition back to the physical office? I wasn’t – quite! writes Sharon Williams, founder of Taurus Marketing.

Yesterday, I was faced with the first face-to-face meeting since lockdown with a prospect in the city, followed by our first get together as a Taurus team in The Rocks with wine and cheese.

Both encounters were met with a mix of considerable excitement, discomfort, unease and awkwardness. Should I hug my team? How does the excitement of seeing each other play out? Should I stand far from the prospect? Should I accept the glass of water offered? Were the seats distant enough? Should I actually give the prospect our printed pack of info? Was it OK to breathe in the same air for what turned out to be a 2.5-hour meeting in an enclosed space?

When I automatically offered a handshake to the new prospect, it was slightly awkward to suddenly withdraw my hand at my meeting hosts aghast expression.

With my team, there were certainly open hugs, absolute openness, no fear and no concerns. Others, there remained significant distance, a little dance to dodge each other, side on hug, hand on heart and even an ankle touch.

It struck me, as leaders and business owners, we might need to invest the time upfront, to prepare ourselves and our teams, to transition “back to the office” in a way we have never had to before.

Without this foresight, you risk a period of transition that is undetermined, permits discomfort for some, insecurity and fear for others and may create a few false starts.  It is likely you, your team and the community have forgotten how to interact face-to-face on a personal and business level and are not sure of the new “rules”.

This is a gap, as a leader, you can easily fix and take control of to smoothen out.  Moving back into your office space is like giving up a sport and the associated training for three months. For some the road back to fitness is instinctive, for others a hard slog and others will resume like a duck to water. The important reality is, the experience is not going to be the same for all your team.

For some team members, they may have moved on and entered a whole new way of interacting. In the case for some in my team, the threat of viruses on family members with challenged immune systems is just all too scary to be anywhere near an office environment for the foreseeable future, and they need encouragement, reassurance and empathy.

Well before COVID-19, our norm was back-to-back face-to-face meetings and gathering together was joyful. As you take those first timid steps back to physical office space on Monday 1st June, and we observe the 1.5m rule, it’s going to look and feel a little strange.

Take time out now to address anxieties some team members in our care may be facing as we start the step back to the new, “business as usual.”

Here are some tips to help ease the hesitation, smooth the process and make the comeback a comfortable success for everyone.

  1. New protocols – remember, handshakes are a thing of the past. Set new team protocols. Perhaps agree to offer a hand on heart, air hugs or even new foot kicks to greet one another and avoid the initial awkwardness and awkward dancing around each other.
  2. Social distancing – is visually confronting and quite a shock when you see it in action, so prepare your colleagues to see desks with a 1.5m spaces in between, which quite frankly looks odd and anti-social when used to a more intimate desk experience.
  3. Book bigger board rooms – be smart about the size of the rooms you book and the number of guests invited to the meeting. You literally need double the space to fit. Give yourself, team and clients the capacity to socially distance and comfortably run face-to-face meetings.
  4. Hygiene amenities is a must – ensure each staff member has their own hand sanitiser on their desks, meeting rooms are cleaned and sprayed with disinfectants and you are complying with Safe Work Australia’s regulations.
  5. Remote work is here to stay – tried and tested and it’s clear the future of work is flexible, remote and digital. Something I’ve always encouraged anyway. Now you will have to offer flexible working arrangements to assist teams in making a gradual and comfortable transition back to the office.
  6. Be prepared – with what you need to set up again, lunch, equipment eg. chargers and what needs to be back in the office to perform effectively.
  7. The commute – do remind teams to factor in the commute, buses, trains, busy roads. Not only have we all been hyper-productive with no travel time, but it’s also almost an interruption to have to set off on a journey to work again!
  8. Be empathetic and gauge your company overall readiness – be transparent and communicate your transition plans with the team. After lock-down, moving back to the office, jumping on public transport and sharing office space can trigger concerns and anxiety. Take the time to check in on each person’s requirements, personal circumstances and ensure feelings are respectfully acknowledged. Then plan around their decision.

Good luck! Welcome back.
https://www.kochiesbusinessbuilders.com.au/everything-you-should-know-as-a-leader-before-you-venture-back-to-the-office/

YOU WILL SURVIVE - YOUR NEW MANTRA

1st May, 2020

Are you feeling tipsy?

By that I mean, are you awash with all the tips and solutions circulating to navigate through business in this COVID-19 time? If you are one of the lucky ones, like me, to still be in business you must be doing something right. So why might you still feel anxious, or at least ultra-cautious and worried about the future?

At least some of the doubts about weathering the Coronavirus pandemic are behind us and there is an air of expectation that we are moving closer to the other side to get the wheels of industry turning over once again. We have batten down the hatches, made smart, fast decisions and done the hard yards and it would appear, the country is winning the health battle.

However, realistically, you would have to think this is just the first phase of a crisis that has gripped the world and is now readying itself to reveal the ugly picture about the state of each country’s economy. The how it was, how it is and how it is going to be. The good, the bad and will it be…the ugly?

I think we must brace.  The road ahead that brings about an economic recovery is going to be tough.  It will call on all our strength and smarts as we learn to exist and operate in a vastly different world in the weeks and months ahead. So, I urge you, rather than feeling relief we are winning the health battle, now is the time to mobilise and re-think the future.

Make it your Mantra: I Will Survive. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

The last thing you want is to be one of those companies that does not survive the COVID-19 pandemic having got this far, or flounders when you get to the other side and look at what that view looks like.  The survivors will be those that have the initiative to know they need to re-strategise and pivot for longevity. While COVID-19 is the crisis right this minute in 2020, brand transitions have a long history and there are numerous success stories from years and years where companies have faced the need to reinvent, rebuild and to stay alive.

Those that pivot will win. A global crisis like the Coronavirus creates change, and the upside is, this provides endless new opportunities. For change, for the better, for ever. I am, as the CEO, the first to admit the Coronavirus has tested leadership in Australia, in unprecedented ways. Getting ahead of the next stage in the Coronavirus crisis is of paramount importance. Our Covid-19 page is full of resources to assist your brand through.

With expectations growing that we are crossing to the other side, now is the time to stay ahead, avoid complacency and review your marketing strategy. We look forward to being of assistance as we evolve together through this time and reach the other side.

Make a new plan - Good Luck

Sincerely, Sharon Williams, Founder, CEO Taurus Group

Don’t be afraid to say the latest five letter word (Pivot)

17 April 2020

We are entering a vastly different world once we come out the other side of the Coronavirus tunnel. So ask yourself, which of the following two scenarios best describes your situation:

1. My business is in high demand
2. My brand needs to pivot

If you selected no 1, it is wise to remember the words of successful businessman Warren Buffett “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.’’ So while everything seems to be swimming along on a high, the volatility caused by COVID-19 makes it all the more important to review your marketing strategy to stay ahead and avoid complacency. If you selected no 2, you need to be thinking of the future so that your company survives - even in a different form - the COVID-19 pandemic. The survivors are those with the initiative to know they need to re-strategise and pivot for longevity.

While COVID-19 is the crisis now in 2020, brand transitions have a long history and there are numerous success stories over the years where companies have faced the need to reinvent, to rebuild, and to stay alive. Those that pivot will win. My experience in dealing with different businesses is that they need strategic PR & Marketing professionals to help articulate their “real world” business proposition as it evolves AND someone experienced to point out the pitfalls of each chosen option.

TaurusBullseye© has led the way over the past 25 years for some of the largest brand transitions in Australia and other parts of the world. Look on our website a tour many case studies. A global crisis like the Coronavirus creates change and the upside is, this provides endless new opportunities. To finish with another of those classic Warren Buffet quotes ‘’In the business world, the rear-view mirror is always clearer than the windshield. ”Do not be one of those who says ’I wish’

Sincerely, Sharon Williams, Founder, CEO Taurus Group

THE SEA CHANGE

NOW IT’S THE C-CHANGE 

9 April 2020

How quickly we’re adapting to a virtual world.  Before COVID-19, a global pandemic, affecting each and every one of us, wasn’t something a lot of us contemplated; I think we all resigned ourselves to it wouldn’t happen to me. Now, the #newnormal as it is being described, is creating a virtual world as the main channel for communication while we adhere to guidelines of social isolation, physical distancing and lockdown! 

And, from the feedback online, most of us are finding it isn’t so bad - even for the non-techo types that are using Zoom, and other means online, as we look to the virtual world to keep the “Open for Business” sign on the front door. 

The other big plus is it does do away with the time-wasting traffic jams we sub-consciously took for granted as part of our normal daily grind. 
Yes. It cuts down the face-to-face contact with work colleagues but only last night, wine glass in hand, we chatted via Zoom, and I felt as bonded, if not more so than ever, with my team. 

At Taurus, the team has made a seamless move to the virtual world in doing business with our clients. While initially some of our clients might have thought it was too daunting to continue to do business this way, they too have now jumped on board with the #newnormal and we are working around the clock to service them.  
We are committed to provide the same unparalleled levels of Taurus service we have offered for 24 years while others have come and gone.

Let’s not be scared or hesitate about these changes being thrust upon us. The mood is right to re-invent the way we do things and we will emerge different and potentially stronger.  At another time it might have been called a SEA CHANGE and so it is THE C – CHANGE. 

Sincerely,  Sharon Williams, Founder, CEO Taurus Group

Working From Home the #NEWNORMAL

30 March 2020

Just like you, we are experiencing unprecedented circumstances during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Australia is at war

With empty supermarket shelves, confronting media stories AND working from home in new situations – stress is at the forefront.

Our, your team and families mental health is paramount. With social isolation and changed living circumstances coming into play, here are 10 tips to make life easier:
1. Reach out to resources to help your mental health. (Beyond Blue, Lifeline, Headspace)
2. Over communicate with everyone in your world.
3. Get enough sleep.
4. Get enough mental and physical rest.
5. Be prepared for constant change.
6. Plan your meals for the day.
7. Keep in contact with those who provide you with light and peace.
8. Less running around to meetings means you will be sitting more so pro-actively plan exercise.
9. Set new protocols for working remotely with all in your world.
10. Encourage a laugh to keep mood light.

Sharon and the Taurus team sends you wishes of support and self care at this time.

HOW        ARE        YOU        ?

A callout to ‘NOT        DROP        THE        BALL!’

30th March, 2020

Everyone’s situation may be different as we confront the challenges around the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. Our hearts go out to those who have lost their jobs.

Not in their wildest dreams would some Australians had envisaged a few weeks ago they would be lined up outside Centrelink offices seeking help to survive. At Taurus, I have re-engineered to keep my team in their jobs.Then we have the valiant efforts of our health workers who are doing everything in their power to keep us healthy and safe. “We really are all in this together.

”It can be heavy going as we listen to the hour by hour news reports from here and abroad that detail not only the Coronavirus carnage but the stringent changes Governments around the world are imposing on people to hopefully contain the spread of the virus and bring it under control and determine the source of outbreaks to contain them.

While our own Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has led the way in outlining the “battle plans” he has also given us hope that we will get through this crisis and, as he describes it, cross the bridge, as we return to the Australian way of life. We need to stay mentally strong. Beyond Blue reminds us that while it is reasonable for people to be concerned about the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic we should try to remember that medical, scientific and public health experts around the world are working hard to contain the virus, treat those affected and develop a vaccine as quickly as possible.

Let’s not drop the ball. Especially when it comes to businesses that are still able to operate under difficult circumstances.  Communication is a rich and valuable tool in these testing times. Companies need to be providing regular updates to their partners, customers, friends and, of course, their staff.

Circumstances are changing constantly and we need to reassure these people of any change; rather than letting them interpret, or in some cases misinterpret, a situation.  Let’s work together to not have “false news’’ and set expectations as best we can, as things change. Sharon and the Taurus team has the skills and professional know-how to keep the updates flowing to ensure communication remains not only a top priority but a key strength in this fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

DON’T HESITATE TO CONTACT US FOR HELP WITH YOUR COMMUNICATION NEEDS.

Sincerely, Sharon Williams, Founder, CEO Taurus Group

Sharon’s Business Survival Guide

30th March 2020

This is leadership in the new normal
1. Look at what needs to happen today, in a month and in 6 months.
2. Determine quickly your cashflow threshold to match the same periods above.
3. Identify weaknesses and threats.
4. Ask your suppliers for help – what can they do?
5. Over communicate with staff and customers.
6. Work out what has to cut and communicate it fast.
7. Ask your people, what is their minimum home budget to survive – can they afford pay cuts – amazing teams will pull together to keep their job security and keep business afloat.
8. Look at the leader you are in the mirror and stand Tall. Then Taller. This is why you are the leader.
9. Make key decisions quickly and decisively.
10. Re-examine your business and it’s new potential.
11. Make a new plan.
12. Get some Sleep. Wake up and repeat!

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