Tag: small business resilience speaker

Now, more than ever, Every Business Must Be Resilient

 

As a motivational resilience speaker with a passion for small business, I know how tough it has been. My background as a small business owner, manager and consultant, made me aware of what every small business employee knows: the pandemic may be hindsight for several industries, but small business challenges continue.

Our Survival is Based on Us

In March 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, issued an important report, The Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Small Businesses. No small business, from the aircraft parts manufacturer with $90 million in revenues, to the pizzeria with $600,000 in revenues was surprised by the conclusion (the italics are mine):

“The effects of the pandemic will continue long after it ends. The pandemic changed patterns of consumption and forced businesses to find new ways of serving their customers. Some businesses have died, some have been born, and many that survive will have been permanently changed.”

Across America, no small business was spared; but in most large cities, especially foodservice, hospitality, travel and leisure, transportation related, niche schools and day care services, things were particularly bleak. If conditions weren’t bad enough for white-owned businesses, they were even worse for minority-owned businesses.

Everyone associated with a small business is being asked to dig deep as never before. The strength of every small business in America has not been in technology or raw ingredients or marketing, but in its people. We are innovative. We always find a way.

Its Time to Stand Up

In February 2021, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce published an article entitled:

4 Ways to Make Your Small Business More Innovative. This was especially important in light of recovery from the effects on the pandemic. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce agreed (the italics are mine):

“Big or small, innovations involve solving problems and challenges, whether with products or services, internal systems and processes or changes in the marketplace. But people in a company often get stuck in silos, unable to envision much beyond their area of expertise…rotate employees to different roles so they gain a broader understanding of the company’s challenges and opportunities. Have company leaders take a day each month to work in someone else’s shoes. Even the owner—especially the owner—should get her hands dirty on the factory floor, or perhaps answer customer service calls now and then.”

This is not the first time that small business has had to rise to the challenge. American small business has not only survived, but led the way through a Great Depression, recessions, diseases, Wars, famine, natural catastrophes and now – recovery from a pandemic.

There is nothing we can’t accomplish.

How do we stand up?

We stand up by having a shared mindset. Not individually, but as a company, organization, association, to overcome and out-innovate every challenge in our way.

Americans love this. It’s in our blood. It’s part of who we are.

We stand up by having a vision. Our vision is to succeed. Our vision is to work together and to see ourselves getting through this. If we’re stuck in our thinking, then let’s un-stick; if one door is closed to us, what’s our vision to open another door? If we can gain perspective from where we are, let’s have the vision to change perspectives.

Finally, no challenge has ever risen up for American small business that wasn’t overcome with the daily grit where we were determined to win. I know we can do this, and I know we will succeed.

 

 

For more information on booking Scott Burrows, Small Business Motivational Resilience Keynote Speaker for your next event, contact him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

Small Business in America: It’s Gut-Check Time

 

Being a small business resilience speaker and having my own business, I relate on a personal level to one of the tragedies of the COVID-19 pandemic: how it impacted small business across America.

By May 12, 2020, the Washington Post reported that at least 100,000 small businesses had shut their doors.

A small business doesn’t necessarily mean a “Mom and Pop Stationery Store.” The U.S. Small Business Administration defines a small business as having as many as 1,500 employees and $35 million in sales.

When a small business goes out of business, it is a tragedy. A business isn’t a “thing,” it’s people trying to build something for themselves and their families.

It is Time for Small Business to Go Big

In July 2020, the United States Chamber of Commerce conducted a survey entitled “Small Business Corona Virus Impact Poll.” The poll reported that of the small businesses that survived the first wave, “Two-thirds of small businesses (65%) are concerned about having to close again or stay closed if there is a second wave…”

The survey reminds us that after the initial lockdown occurred, 85 percent of small businesses were forced to temporarily close. They don’t know if they can survive a second onslaught.

However, there is optimism in this bleakness. Businesses are taking action to anticipate the second wave: 32 percent are purchasing extra inventory, 29 percent are updating websites and improving social media profiles, and 25 percent are refining and boosting e-commerce.

While I’m pleased that small businesses are taking steps to look ahead, there is much more that can be done. In an Associated Press release, entitled “Ways Small Businesses Can Fight Back Amidst COVID-19 and the Retail Apocalypse,” Nebraska farmer Steve Buchanan had some interesting insights including the implied need for local businesses to have the determination to reach out to local communities and to make an impact.

There is great wisdom in reaching out locally. In fact, Mr. Buchanan now sells his produce almost exclusively online.

When I speak to small business associations, I encourage each organization to develop a mindset that envisions success. Does your small business have a vision that looks beyond the current challenges to overcome the challenges?

While buying extra inventory, updating websites and boosting e-commerce are necessary, they are passive.

An important part of having the mindset to overcome challenges is to be creative, to be willing to be an active participant in finding new ways to get customers “in the door,” and to share that vision with every member of your organization. This is called resilience.

Whether you have a dog grooming business with three employees or 300 grooming businesses with 500 employees, there must be a shared vision. To be truly resilient means that everyone in the organization must be determined to pull together to encourage opinions and to believe in your mission.

My heart aches for those small businesses barely holding their own, but I would feel even worse if the only thing standing between success and failure of a small business in the coming months was a lack of resilience to meet the challenges.

Let’s all be determined to have the daily grit to make the vision work and the resilience to do what we need to do to get through this time together.

 

Scott Burrows, Small Business Resilience Speaker, is available for virtual or in-person sales meetings for associations and organizations. Contact Scott today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169