It goes without saying that, as business owners, the challenges currently before us are unlike any other we’ve ever experienced. For those who’ve been doing business in the RMWB long enough, there’s a certain similarity between what we’re dealing with now and what we went through 4 years ago during the wildfire. I remember that time so clearly. I had been working so hard to rise above the current economic climate we were faced with, and then without much notice, it all came to a stop. When a good portion of your life is to eat, breathe and sleep business and it’s suddenly taken away, it can leave a lot of emptiness, doubt and fear as a placeholder for what you’d otherwise be doing. This time, though, it’s different. Our enemy is invisible and while the spread is akin to that of a wildfire, there’s no end in sight and we don’t yet have the resources in place to fight it.
There are 3 things that helped business owners 4 years ago that also ring true today. While the situation is different, the method of getting to the other side is largely the same: 1. Capital – right now, we don’t know when things will get back to a new norm and when we’ll be able to derive income from our businesses again, and yet the bills continue. Cash is key! If you’re a small business owner, find out how you can get your hands on some cash pronto. This will likely come in the form of a loan, whether through BDC or a financial institution. Trust me when I say no business owner wants to go into debt over something like COVID-19, but getting a loan to tie you over could be the one thing that ensures your business’ future viability. 2. Resourcefulness – times are changing right before our eyes and if our businesses are going to survive, we must change with them. I’ve seen some great examples of innovation and adaptation already in our community – from retailers switching to an online platform with free delivery options, to restaurants collaborating with one another to ensure each other’s success, and even online program delivery. This is the time for “outside the box” thinking. Figure out ways that your business can both maintain health and safety protocols and make some money. 3. Determination – as uncertain as these times are, it’s not the time to roll over and give up. Think of all the challenges you’ve faced as a business owner to date. You made it through and you’re still here, and that counts for something! This challenge is going to take every ounce of determination you’ve got, so stay focused and use your energy to focus on solutions. Being in business is never without risks, and one of those risks is that we never fully know what tomorrow brings. The situation before us is unfortunate but not impossible. If you’re feeling like you just don’t know how to get to the other side of this, talk to someone (like a Business Coach for example) who can help you brainstorm some solutions and step outside of the situation so that you can see all of the options available.