This is for business owners. Remember back in the day when you were a new entrepreneur with boundless optimism, and enthusiasm but ZERO experience? You tried a myriad of ways to generate business. Some worked, while many failed miserably. However, you did not let those failures stop you from getting up and trying again; you pressed on. Over time, you learned what worked in your business and what did not. You developed systems to streamline processes and outsourced tasks as you saw fit. You began to hire employees, and learned the value of a positive, hard-working team. You learned that training and ongoing learning are important, as your industry and technology constantly evolve. Who remembers when there was a phone operator? Or a Blockbuster? At the time, you would have never guessed those would go away. Then along comes Covid-19: a worldwide pandemic. A true setback. A kick in the gut, and the pocketbook. For many business owners, it means having to start all over again.
But luckily, you have so much more than when you originally started your business. You have expert industry knowledge. You have credit. You have built relationships. You have a customer base with contact information. You have resources beyond measure, and the confidence and know-how to put all of these things together, and move forward. You have access to the internet. There may be forums of business owners, who like you, are struggling or starting over. You can throw out ideas. There are ways to use social media to tell your story. You can record a video and post it using your cell phone. Need to learn a new skill? You can go to a learning site like Lynda.com or YouTube and watch professionals teach your topic of choice. Need to watch it again? Go right ahead. Experts in just about any field can easily be reached via Twitter and Instant Messenger, and are willing to answer your questions.
Will life be the same as before? Maybe, maybe not. Will it be easy? Probably not. But you are better equipped now to tackle the challenges of Covid-19 than when you first started. Imagine five years from now; you will be able to say “I started my business in the middle of a worldwide pandemic!”
Congratulations. You can do this. Go for it. Keep on keeping on!
John Tolson is the Director of Marketing and Membership for the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, where he has been for 10 years. He also has an independent insurance business, where he is a Broker for many home and auto carriers. He has owned both a retail and wholesale business for over 18 years. Currently, he is also a Planning Commissioner for the City of Simi Valley. He can be reached at [email protected]