If you are a newer business and have never experienced a crisis before, these past few weeks have been gut wrenching and, seriously, my heart goes out to you. It’s tough on an old and seasoned business such as my own much less a newer one. However, I have experienced enough of life and business to assume that a crisis will be inevitable and it will happen at the most unexpected and worst time possible. How then do you navigate these uncertain, terrifying times?
Let me give you a quick synopsis of my business in crisis through the last thirty-five years to layout how you can experience crisis and continue to move forward, even better than before.
The first crisis for my truck and equipment repair business was in 2001, September 11th. The trucking industry was negatively impacted by the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and across our country, and the industry almost came to a complete standstill for a period of time. This is when things changed forever in the world of trucking. There were more mergers and less pay for owner operators. We started doing more work for the booming construction industry and then the second crisis came in 2007 when the housing industry had created a big bubble that burst bringing construction down to its knees. Again, we readjusted our business to acclimate to the new world in which we lived. We sold our business in 2010 and started a new mobile repair business working on commercial boats and barges. And now this crisis has happened. I too am now navigating these uncertain times and deciding on how best to move my business forward…just like you.
But I am reminded from history that especially during times of crisis in order to survive and thrive in your business it will be necessary to readjust. The past will not be recreated. It’s impossible. We have now shifted as a country and as a world. Ask yourself the following questions to get back on track:
1. How do you see your business serving others going forward that will also allow you to love what you do in a new way that fits how society has changed?
2. What have you learned from this experience to be able to work through the next crisis possibly more prepared?
3. What is your plan to move forward?
“There’s a way to do it better – find it.” –Thomas A. Edison
As a business owner, you have already made sacrifices and worked undeniably hard for your business success. If you are like most owners, you have fought, cried and triumphed before. You certainly can do it again. If being a business owner matters to you than readjust. Crisis happens in every generation several times. Use these times to learn, grow and create a business better than before.