COVID-19 vs. Business

While many unknowns remain about the Coronavirus and the full impact, it will have on anyone business, and one thing is clear: There is no shortage of people rallying no shortage of businesses pushing through and no shortage of planning. 

With that in mind, many business leaders and experts are sharing their insights to help those who need guidance right now. Women in Business – Leading the Way Best Selling Author April M. Davis was recently interviewed and shared her candid responses to the Top 6 questions that every business owner and entrepreneur needs to ask about how the Coronavirus is going to impact their business:

If my economy takes a severe hit, how will it impact my customers or clients? 

Unfortunately, in my field of architecture and design this industry is one that is impacted greatly and is usually one of the first industries hit for cuts.  New structures can always be put on hold until funds become available at a later time. Renovation projects are about the only ones that will happen during difficult times, because most renovation projects are critical and still needed. This scenario happened back in 2010 when the economy took a turn, but what I realized back then with any business, you must focus in on a specific niche within your line of work. Somewhere your skills will be needed, and during this pandemic creating feasible working environments that help with social distancing is an area I am trying to zoom in on as we go through this pandemic.

Understanding this impact on my customers or clients, how will it affect how, when, and what they buy from me?

In my business this affects what clients might buy and they only focus on needs, as wants are put on hold. A lot of times, when money is tight we value engineer jobs, so if the client wants to continue, we just have to look for ways to make things work for them and make them feel comfortable when it comes to cost.  Sometimes we just need be patient and wait on the things that aren’t essential and get them when the funds are available.  It’s important to just be flexible and accommodating as we walk through these challenges, we ALL are facing at the moment.

How can I take steps today to best position my company to best and most profitably serve my customers as these shifts are happening?

Honestly, have a heart to heart conversation with clients.  Let your customers know you are thinking of them and check on them regularly. Once we get through these times, you will be ready for the job itself. Today we must focus on things that are already in the works and work faster to finish these things along, so when the time comes, you can start with the new and hit the ground running.  Also, work with clients on ways of payment plans. We all must remember we are in this together, and we can all benefit from working through these times together.

 “What steps can I take today to mitigate the risks to my company born out of Coronavirus?”

Honestly, right now, I think we all have just to be patient and realize things are moving around us at a slower pace.  Most importantly, it goes a long way, keeping a positive attitude.  I spend more time focusing on prayer and family, and it is my faith that makes the painful times seem to dissipate.  We all are impacted in some way and having to work differently. I for one have changed my way of looking at things altogether and concentrate more on making things simple. During this time, I have learned a lot more about coping with difficult situations and how to come out on top, and just being a listening ear to clients as well as family and friends is a game-changer during these challenging times.

 “What big opportunities exist for me and my company born out of this situation?”

Lots of new opportunities are coming and I have been extremely blessed keeping my business going.  I have realized design has changed due to the pandemic, and I am getting more business to figure out ways to make working environments more social distant and creating new layouts for working environments. The way we design things at this point has forever changed, so new jobs are coming down the pipe line for me.

Let’s fast forward to an optimistic scenario. It’s March 2021, the economy has recovered. What do you hope will have changed to make it a better economy for Women in Business?

I just want to be remembered that I was a business who persevered during the hard times and that I impacted my clients in a positive light and helped them through these crazy times. I hope everyone realizes that teamwork is what it truly takes for success and that we need each other more than realize. I can only hope that my reflections of success are seen and recognized, and everyone should keep in mind this scripture: Matthew 22:39 “Thou shall love their neighbor as thyself. ”  We all need to continue to impact each other in positive insight and only the strong weather the storm.  A powerful quote during these times to reflect on is… “Success is never Final; Failure is not Fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts.” So just remember keep the faith and all things will work out as good does come out of difficult situations, it’s just a way for us to learn valuable lessons as I know I have learned a few myself during these times.

Tera Jenkins

Project Manager with WBEC-West.