Originally posted in Siouxland Magazine.
Wow, what year we are having! COVID-19 has affected not only everyone in the United States, but over 180 other nations as well. It seems like we can’t go 5 minutes without hearing more bad news about the impact of the virus on our daily lives.
As a state, we have been basically shut down for 13 weeks – a very long time. Many businesses have had to learn some hard lessons on what to do and what not to do. Most have had to adapt to new ways of doing sales. Others have had to pivot entirely, changing the focus of their business to a new service or product line. Many, but not all will overcome this time of trial and be able to prosper. I think we should try to learn from this and remember a few things.
First, this virus is not the fault of anyone in our state. Our state is getting through this the best we can. Iowans always help their neighbors. Now is a great opportunity to practice that. Who do you know who could use some help and support? If you are able, do it.
Second, if you have a friend who is a business owner and struggling; but you know someone who isn’t and in similar industries, introduce them. They may be able to help each other in this time of distress.
Third, success right now is different for a lot of people. I know of one business who had their best month ever in April, after 20 years of business. For others, success may be surviving until they can open up at 100% again. It is not the same for everyone.
Fourth, not everyone is going to make it. This shut down was not anyone’s fault and some are going to have to close after this. Two months or more of no revenue will do that to a business. Those who will close will be suffering a very hurtful experience. It hurts to close a business. Give them some slack as they try to sort it out.
Finally, when we open up 100% I want to encourage everyone to support your local business and business owners. I wish each of you the best as we come out the other side of this and hope you all come out better than before.
About America’s SBDC Iowa SBDC and the Author
Todd Rausch, Regional Director for the Western Iowa Tech SBDC in Sioux City, has been in the position since 2013. He is a veteran and has a passion for helping small businesses succeed.
America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops.