Doing business in the era of COVID-19 has seen many challenges. Regardless of whether you run a multi-store operation, you are a single shop small business owner, or you just happened to launch a new business amid the pandemic, most throughout the U.S. have had to restructure the way they operate. Chances are that if you are a business owner, you have navigated your way through challenging times.
We currently live in uncharted territory. None of us has ever faced a crisis like one of this size that has completely shut down our communities for months on end. While you may have developed a crisis prevention plan, the scope of what we have been living through since March could not have been planned for. There is no handbook for businesses on persevering through a global health pandemic—yet!
Those businesses that demonstrate resilience through the toughest of times often have a hardworking, dedicated team both managing the operations and performing daily tasks. As a business owner, there are a few key lessons to remember in demonstrating resilience and leading your team through a crisis.
Display transparency to build trust
Employees most want to feel that they are valued for their work and that they can trust that their employer has their best interest in mind. During such a volatile time, layoffs and budget cuts can hit the business, individual, and community hard. One of the most important aspects in being a well-respected leader is in being transparent with your employees. Let them know where the company stands financially and how this may affect them moving forward. Trust that your employees will understand the current scope of circumstances and allow them to have faith that you will do what you can to support them.
Embrace adversity to spark creativity
Often, the most successful businesses are those that can overcome adversity by adjusting to a new reality. Throughout this pandemic, we have seen businesses adapt and try things that would have been disregarded in normal situations. Working and networking from home, curbside to-go food, and online shopping has all been taken to new levels, allowing businesses to continue to build their bottom line while giving customers what they want. If your business is struggling, take some time to get creative with what you offer and respond positively to the adverse conditions the COVID-19 pandemic has set.
Succeed with perseverance and hope
Nine months into this global health crisis and we are still dealing with the negative stigma of what it actually is and how we should conduct ourselves. Politics aside, there is one thing that makes a business resilient, and that is the simple concept of hope. There is something to be said for maintaining a positive mindset, reciting daily positive mantras, and setting goals for yourself and your business. It has long been said that “if you think you can, you will” and, often with a lot of hard work, sleepless nights, and dedication, that is very true. We can all get through this pandemic together and build our businesses stronger than before if we persevere and maintain hope during even the darkest of times.
Lastly, one thing we can all do, business owner or community member, is to be supportive of each other. Building a collaborative community helps increase resilience through access to new capabilities, resources, and innovation. We are all living in this pandemic together, and together we can breakthrough.