The spring of 2020 isn't likely to be at the top of anyone's list of favorite seasons, especially if your business category didn't make the governor's list of businesses allowed to be open as Illinois (and other states) battled to overcome the effects of the coronavirus.
Assuming for discussion that we either have won the fight or are closing in on a victory -- or, like any good entrepreneur, you're making plans for the next business step -- planning for your business' rebound should be under way.
Mind, you won't find solutions here to the COVID-19 medical crisis, or an end to the discussion about who is to blame for apparently short supplies of items that protect the health care professionals who hopefully protect the rest of us, or whether the U.S. government was slow to recognize and react to the coming danger. Instead, what follows is based on the assumption that we ultimately will triumph over this disease.
The key in what ultimately is a plan-ahead process is, according to Brian Basilico, to pivot -- or, put only slightly differently so there is no confusion about Basilico's basic approach, to be ready to adapt to your changed situation.
Basilico is a longtime, and generally successful, entrepreneur. Pivot in his lexicon means that when this crisis ends, successful entrepreneurs "will have to adapt to whatever the new situation is; innovate, by looking at what else their businesses and leadership might undertake, and communicate -- to be certain to stay in front of the marketplace."
The good news is that additional help is available -- for example from Harriet Parker, center manager at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at Waubonsee Community College in Aurora. Most of the business owners Parker talks to these days "are scared. Money and survival" are companion issues, especially for businesses shut down during the stay-at-home period.
However, that's where many of us are.
Fortunately, Parker has a good awareness of disaster assistance that, hopefully, will help lead a small business recovery. No matter how much the entrepreneurial world changes, Parker almost inevitably has a practical awareness of the issues small businesses face and possible solutions; she likely is a source you should seek out.
That doesn't mean Parker can solve today's comeback issues, but she begins with a firm belief that "We all need a support network, someone to talk to."
It's sometimes difficult to avoid panic, but panic, Parker knows, "will not help. We need to take a deep breath and say, 'What can I do today?'"
Basilico and Parker are very different people, but they're likely worth finding. Basilico, who, like many entrepreneurs started as a solopreneur, found others who could supply talents and services his clients needed but Basilico couldn't personally supply -- and today has a squad of support professionals connected to B2b Interactive Marketing, an Aurora company where Basilico is Director of Direction.
He can, and willingly does, trace his entrepreneurial beginnings to a New Jersey childhood -- well before our paths initially crossed in a Lombard recording studio.
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