Being resilient is the key

For this marketer, the first two weeks after the stay-at-home orders were issued were a complete train wreck. Every client’s marketing plan, every email campaign, video and social post planned and scheduled was reviewed. Most of it was torn from the schedule. While businesses shifted in response to the pandemic crisis, new messaging was developed, approved and scheduled. It was the craziest consecutive 14 days I have ever spent as a marketing agent—and one I do not care to repeat!

Those were difficult weeks. Businesses struggled to adapt—especially those companies deemed as non-essential. Two month later, some businesses are thriving, others are on life-support, and unfortunately some have already closed their doors.

I have been fortunate to offer support as clients, friends and family members shifted their business in ways to keep them alive and relevant during these turbulent times.

resilience

What I admire most are those non-essential businesses that are closed to the public (like retail, medical, and personal services), who used this opportunity to “work on their business” instead of “in their business.”  They have shown resilience by developing new ways to offer services and keep their customers engaged. They are trying to survive. They are staging themselves to thrive!

Here are just a few of the businesses who impress me with how they have responded to the pandemic crisis.

Getting to know Zoom

In person meetings and training moved online. My favorite Toastmasters clubs moved to Zoom meetings and actually added members during this time. A ballet teacher I work with moved her classes to Zoom and a friend who is a fitness instructor now offers her classes through Zoom. That’s bold and daring!

Government meetings are now online as are court proceedings. Doctors are using telemedicine to meet with patients. Networking luncheons are either on Zoom or one of the many other online meeting platforms. I am guessing that anyone who had the foresight to own stock in Zoom is pretty pleased with the results right now!

Most retail businesses in Michigan are deemed non-essential and have had to close their doors to customers. This means that those small family-run mom-and-pop stores that keep our small towns alive had to find ways to continue doing business. My favorite consignment shop has stepped up their Facebook activity by posting items with prices and offering curb-side pickup. An upscale menswear store in a small Detroit suburb decided to totally update their website and add more product for online shopping. They stepped up their Facebook and Instagram activity with vivid product photos, clever writing, and curbside pick-up and home delivery. This shift helped them remain connected to their customers in ways that meet the expectations of the stay-at-home economy of their customers. It also positions them to compete in the online shopping environment to which we are all growing so accustomed.

My friend Kelly in Florida opened a tap house. Less than a month later, all restaurants were closed by the state. Not to be deterred, Kelly invested in a golf cart and now provides at-home food and beverage delivery service to her community. When you can’t get out for a beer, Kelly can deliver one to you!

Lawyers who used to spend hours waiting in a courtroom are now meeting clients in private Zoom rooms before entering the courtroom. These Zoom hearings are open to the public, just as any courtroom hearing might be. My son, who just completed his first year in private practice, used some of his freed-up time to add automation to his practice software. The automated protocols and practices he has initiated will benefit his practice for years to come.

Entrepreneurs understand the risks and rewards of being self-employed. They are resilient and they will do whatever it takes to succeed.

Business owners want to do more than survive. They want to thrive!

Support your local restaurants. Shop in stores owned by your neighbors. Participate in Zoom meetings until you can safely go back to face-to-face meetings.

Be resilient. The “new normal” is local and online.