The past few years have been great for small businesses & small business owners. The economy was strong, and it seemed like we might never have a recession again.
And then it hit. I thought I realized how much the world would change when flying back from Argentina in early March and everyone seemed nervous, talking in hushed voices, furiously scrubbing their hands & even getting their temperature checked at checkpoints in the airport.
But even then, I had no idea how much the world would change, how hard businesses would be hit & ultimately how many shots our own company would take until my brother, the owner of Buskey Cider up in Richmond Virginia, called on the verge of tears and told me that he was making the decision to pro-actively close his tasting room to protect his customers & employees.
But I also didn’t realize the power of the human spirit even in times like this.
Later in that call, he explained he would be laying himself and his wife off to make sure he could continue providing his employees a living wage.
But by the end of the call, there were no tears. Only excitement. He knows his family & his business have hard times ahead, but he wasn’t ready to lay down. He climbed over the obstacles in front of him, reallocated his sales & tasting room teams to delivering cider and partnered with us to launch a brand new website.
Since then he’s actually HIRED NEW EMPLOYEES. By embracing the challenge ahead of him, by looking at this as an opportunity for his business to pivot to be a digital & data-first brand and by finding new ways to do business, he’s actually grown revenue. He’s launched a nearly statewide delivery program and has met customers where they are.
You can too. The challenges ahead will be brutally hard. Rebuilding from COVID is going to take a long time. But you can get through this. Whether you retool your entire production facility to make a new product like our partners at Thorlo who partnered with us to launch Face Tek – a whole new brand & site selling face masks, find new ways to scale your existing product like Google Classroom or Zoom or even just make the change to be a digital-first company like Buskey Cider, there are resources out there to help you.
Unfortunately there’s no set course that every business can follow, but every business needs to pivot and come up with unique playbook in this crazy time. If you need help building that playbook, upgrading your digital capabilities or brainstorming ways you can pivot your brand, email me or shoot me a note on LinkedIn.