Thursday, April 16, 2020

Entrepreneurial Opportunities in A Pandemic?

One of the reasons that I enjoy working with entrepreneurs so much is because so many of them have a positive outlook. Think about it, would anybody really even think seriously about starting a business if they weren’t looking beyond all the challenges they will face to see the potential opportunities?

As we all know all too well from our current view through pandemic-tinted glasses (sitting in sweatpants, socially distant from others, wondering what day it is, trying to avoid cable news networks, and hoping that our Zoom calls don’t get disrupted), businesses of all sizes are being dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 virus and related stay at home and social distancing measures put into place by governmental officials. Unfortunately, some (possibly many) businesses will not survive the crisis. 

I believe that many of the ones that survive and maybe even end up being stronger will be those run by entrepreneurs who see the glass as half full. Rather than huddle in fear, they will instead look for the opportunities available to them during and as a result of the current coronavirus crisis. While it can be easy to be sucked into all the negative news and real human toll the virus is taking, l — like my entrepreneur clients — prefer to focus on the opportunities.

Stories like this article, which details many of the adverse events faced throughout human history (even including pandemics) that have been a pivotal catalyst for entrepreneurship, help to reinforce my thinking. I’ve already seen several local entrepreneurs who seem to have taken the bull by the horns and found ways to adapt, including:

  • Entrepreneurial restauranteurs who embraced curbside pickup and delivery. Check out how Daron and Nicole Close, owners of Acqua Restaurant (a favorite of mine), have not only their full menu, but all sorts of grocery and bulk items for home cooking available on their web site. I’m sure they’d rather be a full service open restaurant, but I can tell you from personal experience that you need to call early to reserve a pick-up time and they claim to have been doing “weekend night” business volume every night of the week!
  • What about local distilleries and breweries who are using their equipment to make hand sanitizer?
  • If you can’t have people come to experience your puzzle/escape rooms (a favorite pastime of mine), how about a virtual guided puzzle experience for you and some socially distant friends like they’ve launched at Trapped Puzzle Rooms? Full disclosure: Trapped is a client of mine. (I don’t think they need my endorsement — it’s been tough to book a time because the slots fill up so quickly!) Honestly, in addition to “Herbert’s Laboratory” being a lot of fun while we played it this past weekend, it was also great just to have something (anything) booked on my calendar!

I’m excited to see all the new and interesting business opportunities that arise out of the current crisis…whenever it ends.

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