As we enter day 2 of the Movement Restriction Order (the “Order”), how are you doing so far? I don’t usually write contents for financial intermediaries, but I know many of you have been reading my blog and privately messaging me to ask for more information. And since this will be the first time I am writing to financial intermediaries, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for reading my blog since June last year.  

Covid-19 and the Movement Restriction Order

  With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring Covid-19 a pandemic, many countries including Malaysia is restricting the movement and travelling of their citizens. This is important because the carriers of Covid-19 are asymptomatic. This means that the carrier may not know that he or she is a carrier thus spreading the virus unknowingly, and this may cause an exponential growth in the number of cases if travelling is not restricted.  

When will a vaccine be ready?

  As mandated by the Order, most companies are not allowed to operate. Many Malaysians are experiencing virtual working or work-from-home for the very first time. My Facebook feed is flooded by video conferencing we-fie yesterday. Even though we are only restricted for 14 days, till 31 March 2020, it is almost impossible that the virus is eradicated entirely. While there has been news that a new vaccine for Covid-19 may be introduced soon, it is anyone’s guess when it will be available to the masses.   According to this article that was just released by The Guardian, there are many roadblocks when it comes to researching, providing and delivering the vaccine to Covid-19 patients.   The first hurdle is to make sure that the vaccine is effective and side effects have to be monitored. The article pointed out that President Trump wants the vaccine to be ready by the US elections in November, however, a vaccinologist claims that it is an impossible timeline. She doesn’t think that the vaccine will be ready before 18 months. The second problem is to ensure that there is sufficient quantity to cater for all patients. However, many of the organisation do not have the necessary production capacity.  

“Our experience with vaccine development is that you can’t anticipate where you’re going to stumble”

 

The New Normal

  Since we are no where close to getting our hands on a vaccine for this virus after 14 days, it is possible that the virus will start to spread again once the movement restriction order is over. If that happens, it is possible that a new restriction order may be introduced again. It is also possible that a longer restriction order or a total lockdown like the one we see in China will be implemented.   Before we can find a cure or a solution to this, “social distancing” is the only way to go, and therefore, staying away from another human being is now our new normal.

Canada Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau

 

The New Normal requires companies to do things differently

  As financial intermediaries, we always say that we are in the people business. Our job is to meet our clients and prospect. However, during times like this, when everyone is practicing social distancing, can we continue to run this “people business”?   Yesterday, many companies are using video conferencing with their employees to keep in touch while working from home. Using technology may be intimidating for the first time, but once you get the hang of it, it is actually not very difficult. Throughout the process, people may discover that they don’t have to travel as much and use technologies to communicate as though they are physically present.  

Benefits of using technology

  If you have been following me, you know that I have been using technology and implementing it into my business processes since the very beginning. I have been meeting clients over a video conference instead of face to face even before the discovery of Covid-19. This allows me to work without borders. The client that is furthest from me is from Luxembourg, Europe, and I have not met her in person. Besides video conferencing, I also use a suite of cloud computing software and tools to ensure that I have access to my files anytime, be seen by more people without the need of travelling, and organised my clients files without having piles and piles of paper.  

Tools that I use

  I have tried many tools and have to say that these are the tools that works very well with the kind of work we do.   Connectivity – Google Meet Client Scheduling – Calendly + Google Calendar Admin / To-do Reminder – Trello Notetaking / Presentation – OneNote (paired with iPad and Apple Pencil) Client’s documentation – Google Classroom Online Presence / Website – WordPress (plannerd.io) Automation – Automate.io   It’s hard to share with you the exact steps on each tools and how I use them, but if you are keen to know how I do it, feel free to drop me a PM here. We will never know the future, but as a planner, we should also plan for our business and prepare for the worst . What is your Business Continuity Plan?

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