It is a challenge to suddenly change a successful routine. However, a crisis forces you to shift perspectives and reshuffle priorities. The adjustment can be arduous and momentum lost is difficult to regain. Nevertheless, it is a necessary step for progress and recovery – for building back better. This progress can be painstakingly slow but opportunities exist in even the bleakest situations.
Running a business is challenging enough on a normal day. It is difficult to maintain your business while taking care of your personal needs. When events occur that affect normal business operations this difficulty increases exponentially.
All SeizerStyle Designs’ priorities changed immediately after the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Dominica on September 18, 2017. Business survival became secondary to basic survival. The sheer destruction made it difficult to focus on anything other than those impacted. To put things in perspective, it would be months before basic utilities such as running water and electricity became readily available. Internet penetration plummeted to near zero island-wide. Telecommunication services were slowly restored due to the extent of the damage on a geographically challenging island.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Grappling with the coronavirus situation has once again highlighted our vulnerabilities. This disruption is even worse than a hurricane in sheer worldwide scale. Fortunately, we still have access to utilities while many people are confined to their homes. Nevertheless, the illness and death that come along with this disease overshadow the inconvenience of having to stay home. Life, health and safety are the priority when fighting a contagious disease.
Adjusting to new situations
As a small business with few resources, any disruption to your revenue stream is worrying. It is also difficult, and in some cases insensitive , to collect funds owed during a crisis. This forces businesses to get creative. Should you shut down? Can your business be temporarily repurposed? What can you do? Although you may not be able to change the situation, you can help those affected by it.
Building back better community
It is important to remember the effect of a crisis on your customers and the wider community. Many people may feel isolated, stressed out or depressed. Some may have lost jobs. Others may have even lost loved ones. While this may not seem directly related to your business, it is significant. Businesses are part of the community. It is important to be aware of the emotional state of this community.
Building back better work habits
Technology can help us stay close even as we are far apart. Social distancing does not mean total isolation. Working remotely is ideal for situations where utilities are not affected. SeizerStyle Designs can do most work remotely. This makes us extremely flexible. Work locations can change with minimal impact on work quality.
Now is an ideal time to see what aspects of your business can benefit from an online presence. Answer emails and phone calls promptly. Meet virtually. Make use of online payments. Firstly, it minimizes the risk of face to face communication. Furthermore, it builds flexibility. This can be useful long after the crisis is over.
The silver lining
No crisis lasts forever. Things will improve. You have to deal with the current situation but also prepare for the aftermath. There will be new opportunities. Businesses will reopen. Therefore, use the time today to prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. You can read up on topics that interest you. Another option is to listen to podcasts that interest you. Whatever you do, stay safe as we continue building back better.