001 - "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
The challenging year that was 2020 needs no further analysis. The past 12 months have been a test for our mental strength and focus. For small businesses, it can only be comparable to that of the Great Depression in the amount of challenges associated to the events throughout the year. But, the resilience and motivation of entrepreneurs has kept industry alive. Many businesses have taken the necessary steps to pivot and shift their entire infrastructure in order to comply with, what is being referred to as, the "new norm".
We are now two weeks into a new year. Generally, it is a time that allows us to mentally reset and focus on new goals and new achievements for our next trip around the sun. But has the flip of the calendar exposed the much desired light at the end of the 2020 dark tunnel? Will it?
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity" - Albert Einstein Business is no stranger to challenge. In fact, one can argue that without challenge, a business cannot flourish. It is the hard times that define the great times...and so here we are. Several businesses were forced to close their doors forever, however, many more will be emerging. There are successful ventures that will come from these uncertain times. These "new norms" that we keep hearing about will only lead to "new opportunities".
Ok, so now what? Whether you are deciding to put your long-awaiting business plan in motion, or simply trying to evolve your current business to meet the criteria of this "new norm"...what should you do?
First...stop making excuses! We all know that there are things happening right now that we cannot control...lockdowns, Covid restrictions, political and cultural pressures, etc. Complaining that these distractions are not fair only distracts your focus from making your business succeed. We get it...every day it's something else. But the glass is half-full approach keeps you motivated and reminds you why you started this business in the first place. So shut out the noise...stay away from the social media town squares and keep the focus!
Second...adjust! Whether your business offers products, services, or both...find a way to adapt to this "new norm". There are several tools out there that are cost-efficient for you to pivot and keep you, your employees, and your customers safe and sound. Make the investment into the future of your business.
Third...reassure your customer base! Believe it or not, you're not alone in this mess. Your customers are also facing similar concerns with this "new norm" being shoved down everyone's throats. Reassure your customer base that you are making the necessary adjustments to stay open and provide them with the services/products that they rely on you for. Make them aware that you cannot do it without them, and that we all need to work together in getting through this transition period. Regardless if they wrote a 1-star review on you or not...they will appreciate feeling appreciated.
Finally...don't give up! Think back to when you first got involved in your business. Think of the emotional roller coaster you went through...fear, anxiety, joy, anticipation, stress. It didn't end. You gave birth to an entity that has required your undivided attention. Don't throw that all away. Every business that has started has a great back story...usually one that involves challenges and struggles. They all began from an idea that blossomed into what it is today. This "new norm" is only the next chapter in that story.
Stay Strong! ~M~