“It’s so important to do a self-check-in a couple times a day and make sure you’re in a great head space.”– Kasey Armstrong, Senior Small Business Advisor
As the initial shock and chaos from the pandemic passes, businesses are working to adapt to the new normal everyone is talking about. But adapting (and change in general) can feel overwhelming, uncomfortable and just plain irritating at times. We hear you—and we’re standing by you. We connected (virtually) with Kasey Armstrong, Senior Small Business Advisor, to chat about how her conversations with members have changed, and hear some important lessons for keeping your business and—more importantly—your mind healthy.
What’s the first thing you should do as a business owner?
Do you ever intend to phone someone and later decide not to because you’re unsure of how you’ll sound? Or you know you have unanswered questions, but you’re not sure how to ask them?
The amount of new information released makes it hard to keep up with what’s available (and best suited) for you and your business. Take the first step and call your advisor. A business advisor, like Kasey, can talk through the best relief strategies for you—but the call itself won’t be “strictly business”.
A strong advisor knows the health of a company largely depends on the health of its people. “At the end of the day, your health is more important than anything,” says Kasey. Be open with your advisor, let them know how you and your family are managing through the highs and the lows.
How can you keep a positive mindset?
Talk openly with your friends, your family and your trusted advisors.
In the past weeks, Kasey’s conversations with business members have changed. Talking about what’s going on in the world, the financial crisis and the hurting economy is common—and it can lift the weight from your shoulders to know that others are in the same boat. But there’s always a purposeful time dedicated to sharing a few positives and chatting about what you’re thankful for.
Ending the conversation on a positive note is a great way to keep the momentum train rolling into your next conversations—whether they’re with your staff, your family or the ones you have with yourself.
How can you adapt and keep your business relevant?
Work with your employees to embrace creativity while focusing on your community.
Most businesses have transitioned their focus to continue operating throughout the pandemic. Think Burwood Distillery who started producing hand sanitizer a month ago. They’ve grown this creative idea and are now donating proceeds to Mealshare, a community organization feeding youth in need .
Or the Pembina West Co-op in Barrhead who expanded delivery services to seniors and Mayerthorpe residents in isolation—going the extra mile with a 40-minute drive. If you can shift your focus to helping your community, you might find creative ways to keep staff working or employ those who were laid off. Talk about a positive boost for your mental health!
How can businesses prepare for future challenges?
Focus on building your emergency fund. Make it a top priority.
We bet you’ve heard the sayings “hurry up and wait” and “always be prepared.” After seeing the financial impacts caused by the pandemic, these sayings will carry more weight in the future.
If you’re looking to start an emergency fund, or want to rebuild the one you’ve dipped in to, we have tips and tricks that can help you prepare for future crises.
The road ahead may seem like an uphill battle, but we know businesses—and the people who’ve built them—are resilient. As Kasey says: “The traction on how you coped and got through this is going to really play a big part in your success moving forward.”