Business: Expectations vs. Reality


Our Next Steps as Business Owners

Businesses have been swept up in a whirlwind these last few months, some still in a holding pattern, some barely surviving and others, well….thriving.

Let’s step back for a moment. Think about when you decided to start your business. Remember the vision that seemed like it was “placed” in your brain? Whether you used vision boards or something as simple as graphing paper and #2 pencil, it flowed out of you because you saw something, you knew something, you put it together in your mind and it came out as a plan which then became framework, which became a business model, then business plan and so on and so forth and the rest is history, right?

Now, let’s step into the here and now once again. Here we are, fellow business owner, in the middle of a pandemic and newly evolving guidelines presented to you practically every morning. You are meeting with your management team via zoom or spread out in your conference room awkwardly, observing social distancing requirements. Finances, Human Resources, Safety Committees, Operations on “high alert”…so many factors, so many things to manage. Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or is this more like a cyclone?

America has experienced catastrophic situations since its inception. Through each tumultuous trial that we have faced as a nation, one thing has been a constant. Americans are resilient. American business owners are fierce. We are innovators, inventors, and imaginations run wild, even when chaos is all around us.

From what I am observing, the businesses that are “thriving” have taken a moment, poured a cup of coffee or tea, turned off the noise and had a reality check of their own. You’re sitting there in your quiet place, probably holding your head, saying to yourself, “I had a plan, I have expectations…now what?!?”

Don’t forget every expectation that you had coming into 2020, however, you are going to need a reset mentally and operationally because as with all of the aspects of life, we have to adjust our expectations to meet our current circumstances. Some businesses are still rolling along because they’ve made “adjustments”. They didn’t loose their identity nor did they throw their vision in file 13. They did re-envision their business models and came up with ways to continue to offer their services, manufacture and sell their products in innovative ways that worked in a COVID-19 environment.

So, a word of encouragement to business owners who feel like they are in the cyclone rather than a brief stint in the tunnel: You were visionary and innovative and creative and clever when you started this business of yours. You still ARE! Gather your team and have brainstorming, collaborative sessions. Make ways in the desert. Focus on the positive. In 2020, you have so many different internet/digital avenues to keep your message, your brand, even your new offerings out in front of your potential client base. Make your name known. Provide special offers to potential clients. Create community by making a concerted effort to build a “fan base” within your social media channels. Make friends with other local business owners and give them props on your channels. Feed the unity and draw the community closer together in this time “apart”, and thrive in this season of uncertainty. Your new normal, your new reality might be your next favorite vision.

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