No Shortcuts - What COVID Has Taught Us

COVID has brought doom to many many many small businesses.  Consumer behavior is shifting.  Many brick and mortar locations are forced to close.  What consumers needed 8 months ago is very different from today.  This stuff happens that is totally out of our control, but it has drastic impacts on businesses. 

Sloane is surviving and I am very grateful for that.  Our sales are down by 50%.  We have just adjusted how we operate to ensure we can still stay in business.  We have low overhead, which is very helpful in periods like this.  Having many employees, buildings, equipment, etc would have made the adjustment MUCH harder. 

The main selling feature of our undershirt is that it cannot be seen by others.  We run into an issue when people aren't leaving their homes, so a big benefit is no longer relevant.  I know I wear Nike shirts and casual track type pants daily now.  No polo shirts.  No button downs.  They are all collecting dust in my closet.  I don't wear my own product even close to what I wore it before because I barely leave the house anymore!

Starting a new business is risky.  COVID was a Mike Tyson level punch to the gut reminding me that a global pandemic can happen and stall the plans that you had for your business.  The focus is now survival.  Conserve and live to sell another day. 

I read articles on how COVID is now creating so much opportunity in new spaces.  eComm is growing.  People will be working from home much more.  Health safety (masks, cleaning products, etc) will be much more in demand.  Businesses can be started to take advantage of these trends. 

What about all the businesses that are closing and struggling to stay alive?  What happens to the owners of those businesses who worked for years to build them?  How do they pay off the loans/investment they took?  What do they do next? 

If you are interested in starting a business, then I think it's a great time to look at what's happening in the market.  Could you take the stress of seeing your company take on water?   Could you fire loyal employees?  Could you pivot to something quickly?  We are seeing a very unique situation happen right in front of us.   It's the equivalent of the car wreck you can't turn away from looking at. 

The articles are out there.  Read them.  Learn from them.  Starting a business is always very up and down and we are seeing as down as it gets.    

I am a very optimistic person and try to stay positive as much as I can.  I am a realist though and what is happening right now is as real as it gets for business owners.