What I’ve Learned From COVID-19: An Interview with EO Birmingham Members

What I’ve Learned From COVID-19: An Interview with EO Birmingham Members


If you’re a business owner (or anyone, really), you’re no doubt shocked by the way the world has changed in such a short amount of time. Though we can all hope that the pandemic is a one-and-done scenario, we can’t afford to be complacent. A lot about business is uncertain, and there is much to learn from the response to COVID-19

A pandemic might not have been your ideal test to find out if your business could weather a storm or not––but the fact that your business survived means it’s highly adaptable. This is good news!

Here’s how our members at EO have navigated the global health crisis while keeping their heads above water. 

Resilience and Adaptability 

There are ways to adapt many small businesses to ensure they continue working in the midst of a crisis. The question is: Are you willing to make the changes necessary to adapt? Or are you fighting to keep your business in the old way of doing things? 

There’s nothing wrong with missing the old ways, but it doesn’t mean you have to hold firm to them. In fact, refusing to budge when it comes to the way your business operates is a fast path to failure. Instead of fighting against the waves of change, we recommend riding out the current. Operating a store online, allowing your restaurant to focus on curbside or take-out, offering online classes, and letting your employees work remotely can all ensure your business stays open long after COVID-19 is over. 

Adaptable Business Owners Plan for the Future

Look, no one saw a pandemic coming—and if they did, they didn’t realize the magnitude of its arrival and the devastating loss it would leave behind for businesses and families alike. Unfortunately, (we see this a lot) many business owners do not plan ahead. Sure, they plan for a crisis that lasts for a few weeks, but this is where they get into a bind. 

Disaster can strike your business at any time––it doesn’t have to be COVID-19. To help your business survive tough times ahead, we recommend having a healthy cash flow, a robust savings account, and a plan for addressing recession scenarios so that your employees aren’t caught off guard when you have to make tough financial decisions. 

Communicate Often

Even before COVID-19, we as a society have struggled to communicate effectively and clearly in and out of the workplace. Because of this, it’s important that you establish open lines of communication within your workplace and amongst your company leadership team. During these times, it’s more important than ever to have open, compassionate, and honest communication about short and long-term goals. 

If you fail to keep open communication, your employees will start assuming the worst, and come to their own conclusions. Don’t wait for this to happen––start communicating better today

Be Empathetic 

Empathy is unfortunately not always common in a workplace environment––where it’s “every man for himself.” Instead of shying away from moments of empathy, we recommend that you embrace empathetic situations, and realize that work and business are not the only things on your employees’ minds these days. 

Try to understand the context of every situation. With so much change to everyday life, it’s hard to stay focused on business 24/7. Take a moment, and extend empathy to your employees––they’ll thank you for it.

Prioritize Business Continuity

Due to social distancing, workplaces are displaced. We are seeing a lot of virtual workplace mobilization as a result, which means network and security risks are enhanced and stretched in ways never seen before. 

In order to make business continuity a priority, you need to secure personal and professional data. We’ve noticed an uptick in online hacker prevalence––using faux articles about the coronavirus to spread mass misinformation––thus, spreading cyber viruses. 

It is imperative that your company adopts a strategy to keep your remote workers safe from cyber activity. 

For a Better Future

Our advice isn’t just a temporary glue to spread on your current business strategy––it’s part of a lifelong journey that will hopefully help your business not only stay open, but also thrive in the years to come. Put these practices in place today––for a better future.

Become a Member Join EO