Coming out of COVID-19 is a blessing and the entire period taught us a lot. It made us better as Entrepreneurs and human beings. The lessons learned either polished us up or tarnished us down. No one was prepared for COVID-19, and some people grew exponentially or lost everything they had. Most of it was circumstantial or based on a specific business niche, and some of it was based on mindset and ability to improve, pivot, or adapt as quickly as possible.
COVID was unprecedented in terms of the impact it left on Entrepreneurs.
We, all of a sudden, had to change at least one thing in the way we do business and our mindset towards planning and how we run our business(es).
The first thing I learned was that you can never have too much money as an Entrepreneur. As my business grows, we realize how quickly money comes in and out of our bank accounts and, no matter what, you can always save and invest more money. We all want to grow our business, and as it grows, ebbs and flows of money increase more with each phase of new growth.
We got hit hard by COVID because our business, Certain Pay, generates revenue based on the amount of credit card transactions our clients process. Our clients are small businesses and many of them got shut down and/or had to close or reduce their capacity. Restaurants, bars, retail, etc. took it right on the chin and while most made it through, many did not. Our strategy was to double down on growth and fire on all cylinders. We focused on the success of our clients and bent over backwards for those who needed us. While we took a big hit, we made it through because we kept moving forward and supported our supporters.
Another big lesson we learned is that, as an entrepreneur, you better be ready to make some sacrifices. Whether they’re financial, personal, time, or rolling your sleeves up and doing the work that a former employee did, you own your business so you own EVERYTHING in it, and it’s your job to take care of what’s needed to be taken care of. Many of us entrepreneurs got humbled by COVID and found ourselves doing things that we worked so hard to automate and delegate. It gave us the opportunity to step back into our business and find the inefficiencies and flaws. It opened the door for us to improve everything in our business and to further separate ourselves from our competitors.
COVID also presented some advantages such as working remotely. Remote employees and teams can both be good and bad.
Here’s how it’s a good thing:
- Lower costs (little to no traveling)
- Less time getting ready for calls and meetings
- More energy put towards desired goals
- Better focus and planned/scheduled communication
Here’s how it’s a bad thing:
- Isolation is dangerous
- Culture/morale can take a hit
- Harder to track/monitor employees
- Relationships become mostly based on screens
All in all, if you leverage technology correctly, can pivot, and have an abundant mindset towards the forced changes we all went through, you will more than likely come out of COVID victoriously.
We have a multi-location dry cleaning client that gave really good insight on the whole COVID-19 pandemic period. We talked with him and asked how his business was holding up, and he said something along these lines:
“Most of my competition closed their doors because they simply couldn’t handle the overhead and lack of revenue. I’ve always run my business with the intention to be ready for whatever could possibly be thrown at me. Granted, we saw a drop in sales because many people weren’t going into the office, so dry-cleaning demand dropped dramatically. Even though that happened, I stayed open and provided great customer service to my existing clients. The dry cleaners that went out of business around me lost their clients to me, and by sticking to my plan, I actually grew my business during COVID. I picked up a bunch of brand new loyal clients and my business is past where it was and we’ve been breaking sales records month after month!”
This particular client has always had an abundance mindset and thinks positively even about a pandemic, which leads me to my next point:
COVID taught us that there’s a positive in every situation and that every problem has a solution. You can always learn and get better, especially during stressful times because that’s when you’ll learn and grow the most. Many people panicked and lost everything because they just didn’t know any better. Some businesses were doomed from the get go, and that happens from time to time. The real Entrepreneurs adapted immediately, learned everything they could, and went balls to the wall and doubled down on what was working. The real Entrepreneurs that might have lost their business will go back to the drawing board and start another one (or probably already have.)
In business and life, you should never stop learning and growing. The day you stop learning is the day that you’ll die while remaining alive. The opportunity to learn and get better is one of the most exciting things about life and the Entrepreneurial journey that we are on. It may not always be sunshine and rainbows, and that’s what makes it exciting. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
COVID taught us that everything is temporary and the second we get complacent, it can all be yanked out from underneath us. We must always seek to grow and get better, because if we don’t we could become our own greatest pandemic.