The COVID-19 crisis has changed the world in so many ways. Social distancing regulations have meant that some businesses have changed almost unrecognizably. This has created real challenges, particularly for small business owners. However, it’s important to remember that times of change create new opportunities for entrepreneurs. A crack in the business landscape isn’t just an imperfection. Sometimes, it lets in some light.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for businesses to operate in the usual way, but it has also made interesting pivots possible. For example, a Los Angeles company that typically makes chef coats and aprons has shifted to making face masks. Cafes that became famous for their great sit-down atmosphere have transitioned to take-out only. Office jobs have mostly become work-from-home remote opportunities. For entrepreneurs who are willing to check in with themselves and do a brain dump, it’s been possible to uncover new opportunities. Even during this challenging time, there are ways to grow.
Although the pandemic is still ongoing, it’s not too late to adapt. Think of it as just another change to the market. All businesses need to adjust to those as well, and this is no different. Two of the programs established via the CARES Act, namely the EIDL and the PPP loans, have been extended. There are also grants available for many small businesses. Some cities, counties and non-profit organizations have offered grants in multiple rounds. It’s important to keep checking the local news for forgivable loans or grants. There’s a very good chance there’s help available.
In addition, don’t be afraid to share information. Help doesn’t have to be material. Business is competitive at the best of times, but there’s a time and place for that. Without mutual aid, the small business community in many areas will not survive this crisis. In some cases, the best way for entrepreneurs to support one another is just by talking. Sharing strategies that work and attempts that didn’t is a great strategy. With communication and community support, there’s a good chance for many small businesses.
Finally, remember that every challenge is an opportunity to grow. Many of the biggest, most famous businesses in the world got their start during recessions. Keep brainstorming. Be a source of encouragement. Keep getting up each day and seeking success.