By: First Union
Staying Inspired About Your Business Through COVID-19
Your business may be shut down right now. Perhaps you had to furlough your oldest employee. Even if things are still going well and you moved everyone to work from home, this is not the business that you are used to. You may feel like the business that you worked so hard to get off the ground was just pulled out from under you. Whether you just got things up and running and had to stop in your tracks, or you’ve been steady for years, this economical halt is taking its toll on every small business owner. Luckily, there are things you can do to keep yourself inspired about your small business even in these darkest of times.
First and foremost, remember why you started. Think back to before you got all your licensing, and your website to when your business was just an idea in your mind. What made you motivated to start in the beginning. Are you passionate about your product or service? Do you love working for yourself and being able to give people jobs? Try to remember that none of that has changed. Even if you had to lay someone off you are still a job creator, and there is still need for your product or service. The world may feel like it has changed, but people who look at this as an opportunity will come out on top.
Stay In Touch
Keep in touch with your friends. Telling them of your intentions to come back strong will hold you accountable. The more you verbalize your plans, the more likely you are to stick to them. So, lean on your connections and friends. If you have been in business for a while, someone slightly outside your normal circle can shed new light and bring a fresh perspective about your difficulties.
It will also be important during this time to stay in touch with your employees! If you are working from home you know how important this is. But, if you have had to put a pause on operations or had to furlough people, keep in touch with them too. If you know you will be opening back up as soon as you are able to, let them know and keep them abreast of updates. You can all get excited to go back together.
Find New Resources
Whether you are a new entrepreneur or you’ve been at it a while, one can always benefit from the help of a mentor. A mentor is someone who has been here before, perhaps they haven't exactly had to deal with a global pandemic interrupting their operation but, over the years they have certainly had their fair share of trials and tribulations. If they are still in business, they came out strong on the other side of a lot of hardships, no doubt. Mentors can give you feedback about the struggles you are facing. If you are lucky to have a mentor in your industry they may be able to help you make some valuable connections with people who would otherwise be too busy and together you can work to ensure the longevity of your business.
Business organizations can usually be found in your local area, but right now you may even be able to branch out due to everyone being forced to operate online for the time being. These organizations are designed to bring like-minded business owners together. You can ask for advice, network, and exchange ideas. These groups are full of encouragement, which is what every business owner needs right now. These are the people going through the same thing. Learning how they are navigating these difficult times may bring new inspiration and motivation. Try The Chamber of Commerce website to get connected, there are also a lot of Facebook and Linkedin groups designed for this purpose. These are free to join and are sure to lift your spirits.
Think Outside the Box
If your business operations have come to a halt, maybe you have some extra time on your hands. While taking a break and regrouping is always good for inspiration, you may be heading into your 3rd of 4th week of quarantine now. Get your creative juices flowing and don't let this all be lost time. Maybe there are things that you have never had time to do, like dig into email marketing or setting up a Pinterest account. Take advantage of every free resource you can and see how you can make it work for you. Social media is a relatively free tool that you can use to market your business and communicate with your clients and customers. It takes some time to set up and learn about it, so if you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands, try it out! If you have an email platform that you rarely use, sit down and get creative. Look up email blasts that you really or follow in your own inbox, and try to emulate it. Even if you do not end up sending it out, you will learn a lot. If nothing else, try to find something new that you can use to leverage your business when you can get back up and running.
If you are looking for funds to fuel your inspiration, First Union Lending has 9 different business loan options to fit your needs. Our lending specialists are waiting to speak to you and help you through this tough time, call 863-825-5626.