Holy Cow… What is Happening?
If you would have told me that in 2020 we would all be sent home, wearing masks everywhere and that every event, concert, and travel plan (and the list goes on), would be canceled, I would have called you a liar. But here we are!
Not only has it had an impact on our personal lives (some good, some not so good), it has had an impact on business. As a business owner, I have never worked so hard, but it is totally different. When things immediately shut down, we were all hungry for information and how we were going to access the PPP and EIDL. I was watching webinar and after webinar to make sure to stay on top of things. We filled out our PPP paper application just to make sure we had the right data needed when the time came to fill it out for real. I remember getting an email on a Saturday night and thinking, “This is it!” and it was just another update saying my turn was next. At that point I was thinking, “Will I get the PPP benefit? Or would the money run out?!” Well it did at first… and then there was more money… Yay!
I always try and think, “Is my business bulletproof? Do we have processes in place if a crisis were to happen to our community or country?” Looking for the weak parts (or holes) in our businesses is smart. I wanted to avoid those unthinkable things, like where Blockbuster crumbled to the ground because Netflix brought in a whole new technology and simplicity. With all the preparation I thought we had done, I never saw this coming, did you? I don’t think many businesses were prepared for a pandemic where everything is shut down at once.
So, how can we look forward and try to see the potential of what can happen? In the Pacific Northwest, what we have been preparing for is an earthquake. We have been told, “It is not IF, but WHEN.” As a company we have done some work to prepare, but if I am being honest, I think there is more we could do after seeing what we are all experiencing with COVID-19.
COVID-19 reminds me a lot of the 2007-2009 Recession. I am here to tell you – If you got through 2007, you will get through this! We can more than get through this… Our business might look a little different (maybe even better), but we will get through this! Lots of huge companies have gone through similar things, pivoted, and came out even stronger.
The Positive Side
One thing I know for sure is that extreme circumstances create an opportunity for new things to come into our lives and our businesses! In 2007, Pacific Perks was born because our family HAD to do something due to Jim’s MS (Multiple Sclerosis). If our family didn’t have to make a change due to that circumstance, I am not sure that Pacific Perks would exist. I am very thankful for that silver lining everyday!
For Pacific Perks, being event oriented and not having a Drive-thru coffee location was challenging. We did find that we were able to create a “Zero Contact” set up that allowed for us to serve the frontline workers. That resulted in serving other essential service companies and keeping our doors open. However, we still have the need to continue to innovate and think out of the box to ensure our success. I know we will be okay, but having a new strategy will help us get there more quickly.
As we speak, I have put on the calendar a brainstorming session with my Operations Team. All crazy ideas are welcome! It is time to be creative, innovative and forward thinking.
I believe there is good in every challenge. I have experienced that so many times in my life! Take this opportunity to reinvent your life, do what you have always wanted to do and go for it. So many professionals never thought they would be making masks out of fabric they have had in their storage room forever. That is the American spirit of seeing an opportunity and having the ability to run with it and see what happens.
Here are some fun and amazing examples of companies that had to pivot to make it and became very successful! Enjoy!