December 2020 “Which way is up and finishing strong?”
If anyone could have predicted this last year you would have called them crazy, but here we are. This brings me to the essence of business and being prepared with a strong business plan and 3 to 6 months’ worth of cashflow on hand to be considered a solvent business.
There is no doubt that business has become incredibly more complicated day by day with regulations on top of regulations costing big and small business alike dearly to the point of mass relocation and a second look at their business model. Business by and large try to do the right thing by their employees not only because it’s the right thing to do but the labor market is tight for skilled labor or more simply if an employee will even show up for work.
A positive outcome of the current crisis is those businesses that can work remotely do and are changing their business model and shuttering a portion of their office footprint saving a tremendous amount of overhead costs. What business have also found is the personal touch and employee physical interaction is still key to a healthy business.
Manufacturing has been hit hard in some areas including transportation but has increased in other areas such as plastics, molding, and pharmaceuticals to name a few. Transportation and on-line businesses have seen amazing growth and will continue as folks become more accustomed to online purchases and food delivery. Airports and Airlines have balanced passengers with freight and airports are gaining ground.
The hardest of all is how do you plan when the direction continues to change along with the rules? How do I stay positive, focused, and viable when the ones making the rules get a paycheck regardless of the rule they make? Keeping pride and a sense of self-worth while moving through this crazy time? These are all valid questions and concerns.
The two areas to focus on first is your metal attitude and staying positive with a clear mind. If you’re not positive you can’t have a positive outcome. Second, get help and get engaged with your local Chamber of Commerce. Your local Chamber of Commerce normally has a direct line to legislators and/or the local municipalities that make the rules that you have to follow.
Pushing back when appropriate is healthy and it’s your right. All too often government wants businesses to provide all to everyone taking away personal responsibility and when businesses get over burdened not only the business fails but the community and the employees fail as well.
Besides your local Chamber of Commerce there are a number of resources available to help either at no cost like the SCORE program that retire professionals coach and give helpful advice and industry connections or low cost or no cost such as some law firms that provide pro-bono services to those in need. Also, in some cases Community Colleges step out of their box and provide resources as well such as asking to work with an instructor that specializes in an area of need for your business or a student intern that is working towards their marketing degree that can help get your message out and/or come up with new and creative advantages to road blocks.
Reaching out for help and uncovering all opportunities not only gives one hope but also alleviates second guessing and regrets down the line.
The bottom line is to finish strong and pay it forward, stay positive and remember to be kind to others, the whole world is watching.
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