In the stages of grief we are experiencing from the coronavirus crisis, we’ve moved past denial. We’re now keenly aware of how real this pandemic is, and that it will continue to impact every one of us long-term. We’ve (hopefully) worked through our anger and depression, although I think there will continue to be challenging emotions for a while. So if we can agree that we’re ready to accept what’s happening and try to move forward, we’ll be better off.
When I deal with hard times, I always look for lessons I can take away. Otherwise, what good can come from bad? I asked a few entrepreneurs what lessons they and their clients were learning in the midst of all the chaos.
Plans change—keep moving
Kimberly Crossland, owner/operator of The Focus-Driven Biz, says she had a plan for her business all figured out—ha!
“As the plan crumbled because of COVID-19, it became clear that I had two options: 1) stall or 2) keep moving,” she says. “I chose the latter and leaned into taking imperfect action and started getting my business in front of new people. Through the journey, I learned the importance of forging real, human connections and tweaking deliverables according to the current backdrop.”
Like so many entrepreneurs, Crossland found that she’d been in hustle mode before the coronavirus hit and hadn’t been putting her ear to the ground to listen to what her customers truly wanted. She says, “By taking a step back to silence my hustle mentality with this pandemic, I was able to hear my audience’s needs better, get in touch with what customers truly wanted, and adjust my offerings to meet them where they’re at.”
Always save for a rainy day
We all know in theory that we should have an emergency fund, but so many small businesses were taken by surprise during the pandemic. Andrew Schrage, CEO of MoneyCrashers, says, “One all-too-painful lesson that millions of small business owners have rather abruptly learned is that it always pays to save for a rainy day. Building a liquid emergency fund on an irregular cash flow is not easy, but the sudden credit freeze we saw in March made it abundantly clear that business lines of credit aren’t guaranteed to be there when you need them.”
He says that many business owners have now seen up close the limitations of fintech lenders—and the federal government—attempting to operate at scale. As a result, thousands of such businesses didn’t receive the funds they desperately needed and were forced to lay off employees. Lacking access to working capital, many businesses suspended operations altogether; some won’t ever reopen, Schrage says.
“If there’s a silver lining to this crisis, it’s that the business community is rapidly absorbing information that will leave the pandemic’s economic survivors stronger and better prepared for future crises,” he says.
Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:
Constant communication is key
Ivana Taylor, small business influencer and publisher of DIYMarketers, says the pandemic has taught her how critical it is to be able to be in immediate communication with your customers through your website, email, Facebook, and Google My Business profiles.
Published at Sat, 30 May 2020 19:20:50 +0000