Dear Small Business Owner, You weren’t wrong.
Dear Small Business Owner,
You weren’t wrong.
When you had the vision to build something new. You weren’t wrong.
When you spent days, months, or years researching. You weren’t wrong.
When you developed your plan and boldly presented it the world. You weren’t wrong.
When you took everything you had to do something better, new, scary, and exciting. You weren’t wrong.
When that day came and you opened, surrounded by everyone that supported you and encouraged you in this process. You weren’t wrong.
When months and years of success went by and life felt like a roller coaster with the ebbs and flows of business. You weren’t wrong.
And when hard times hit, and you had to adapt and change. You weren’t wrong.
When you fought through the hard times and came out the other side successful. You weren’t wrong.
When you grew and needed to hire staff and those people became loved ones that you vowed to provide for. You weren’t wrong.
When you took chances, took risks, took change as it came. You were never wrong.
This is not your fault. You still did what was best for your family, for you, and for your clients. There was never a line in anyone’s business plan that prepared for a pandemic. You didn’t miss anything or do anything wrong.
There are over 30 million small businesses in America. Nearly half of the nation’s workforce are hired by small businesses. Being a small business owner is never easy and I can personally assure you that the lows are extremely low and the highs are incredibly high. Right now, the overwhelming majority of small business owners are in the lowest point they have ever been both financially and also emotionally. Everything they built is quickly being stripped from them and it feels like they are powerless to stop it.
Many businesses were simply stopped, stuck in limbo without warning or time to adapt. If this is you, know that I am so sorry. Please don’t give up and remember that we care about you and we are here for you. We as a community are here to support you in any way that we can so please do not be afraid to reach out for help. Things will be different for a short time, but we cannot wait to see you thriving again. For information on SBA disaster relief loans please visit the Small Business Administration website.
To the businesses that are not stuck, you are not stuck. Read that again. Go, do, build, create and adapt, change, think like you’ve never thought before. Forget about thinking outside of the box, there is not box anymore. This is temporary. If you don’t have a product or service that you can sell right now, look for opportunities to create one and always be on the lookout for ways to grow your audience in preparation for this to be over.
You must adapt and change, or you too will find yourself stuck before too long. Right now, we are watching breweries make water, distilleries making hand sanitizers, group fitness classes continuing over the internet, salons spending their time teaching clients and potential clients about their products, and there is even a governor allowing alcohol deliveries with your food purchase (genius!)
You aren’t the only one struggling. Find businesses you can connect with (online) and brainstorm ideas together. Are you part of a chamber, a downtown association, leads group? Maybe you have a few friends or family members that you can be open, honest, and blunt with about where you are and what you can do?
While some of us may shy away from asking for help or banding together with others, being involved with groups can undoubtedly open more doors. People have already started to change the way business is being done and there are definite opportunities for growth.
Start a community fundraising campaign where you promise to throw a mega party in your downtown when things start to return to normal. Try online auction services for package deals like coffee for four, haircuts for one year, fitness classes for one month… your community wants to support you, but you must create the means and tools for them to do so.
So here is what I have for you. We have a great Facebook group filled with business owners that are smart, creative, and kind. This morning I announced that I wanted to turn the group into a resource for business owners that need help during this time and asked the members if they would help with this effort. They overwhelmed me with their support to do so! Click here to join our rebranded group of The Art of Business! We are going to get creative and bring our brainstorming powers to keep all of our businesses moving forward. Join the group, add a post about your business and what you are struggling with and we will be there to help you!
You were not wrong my friend.