By Adam Niec
What a year 2020 has been. It has presented new challenges and opportunities for all business owners. No matter what industry or sector you serve, you have been affected by COVID-19 and the unprecedented, forced changes it has brought.
During the pandemic, you may have been affected in a positive way, or you could have lost everything. Either way, you are still you, and you can overcome whatever is thrown at you. Successful business owners know how to pivot and adapt. I refer to this as agility, the ability to change something in your business model to not only stay in business, but also thrive and grow.
There's a reason why banks don't offer mortgages or lines of credit to new business owners before the coveted two-year milestone is met: being in business for at least two years. Here's the hard truth of this: most businesses fail, and most of them fail in the first two years in business. It's extremely risky to loan new business owners money because they simply haven't had enough experience.
Many new entrepreneurs start their businesses because they're passionate about a recipe or an idea. Any successful restaurateur will tell you that you won't survive on passion and hard work alone. You need a plan, and you need to figure out how to delegate, so you aren't wearing so many hats.
Banks and other lenders know this; hence, the reason why they rarely make exceptions for mortgages, lines of credit and even business cell phone plans for new businesses.
I'm grateful that we had a full year of lessons, ups and downs, and growth before COVID-19 hit. Small businesses, for the most part, got hit hard by the pandemic. Many adapted by offering PPE, changing their fulfillment process to minimize contact, or figuring out how to create additional streams of revenue.
We adapted quickly by focusing on online ordering for our restaurant clients to help them stay in business and build email and text lists so they would be armed for the next possible shut down. This helped dozens of restaurants stay in business. It also generated additional revenue streams for us, which helped us stay afloat.
We are living in unprecedented times of uncertainty; many folks are living in fear. But that doesn't have to be the case. COVID-19 has presented opportunities for all business owners. If you have an abundance mindset and focus on solutions, not problems, you can make it through the dark times and come out stronger than ever before.
It's not always going to be like this. Markets will return to normal. Consumers will eventually not be afraid to leave their homes and interact. In fact, many people don't buy into a doom and gloom scenario, which is good, because it keeps spirits up and money moving.
The most important asset for a small business owner is right between your ears. Mindset is everything if you want to survive. I've seen clients tighten up and lose their minds because they couldn't do business the way they were used to doing it. Because of their inability to adapt, they lost their businesses.
On the other hand, I've seen merchants quickly change their product offerings, structures, business models, etc., and it has caused massive abundance for their employees, customers and family. The main difference: how they responded to COVID-19. Life doesn't happen to us; it happens for us.
My late father-in-law always looked on the bright side and used to say, "It's all good." Many things happen that are completely outside of our control. We all have the ability to decide to respond in either a positive or negative way. The choice is ours.
Adam Niec is the co-founder of Certain Pay, whose consultants leverage mastery of credit card processing and combine global experience with local knowledge to help merchants focus on the big picture to succeed in any business environment. For more information on Certain Pay, visit www.gocertainpay.com. To reach Adam, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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