Covid-19

Journal

From lockdown to open for business

by Jack Shepherd
April 19th, 2021

Design director at Jackson Wynne

The writing was on the wall. Inevitable.

It was January 2020. Nobody *really* saw it coming.
Restrictions in Ontario began in March. An official lockdown didn’t happen until December 2020.

So many industries have been terribly affected by the lockdowns, especially travel, restaurants, events and entertainment businesses, to name a few. Small businesses that are month to month were hit the worst with no way to pay their lease or mortgages, let alone staff. Every week in the news, you heard of a restaurant being shut down.

At first, it seemed fine because it was only temporary and nobody knew the reality of how long this would last.

Fast forward to today, almost 2 years later and it’s still going on. We’ve moved past a pandemic and into the endemic territory.

What does this mean for your business today?

Many are playing catch-up and want to get whole again. Trying to hire back a workforce that is no longer there or hesitant to return or already moved on. It’s decimated progress and we’ll see the long-term effects of this for years to come.

It’s hard to think of the last major event that happened since many of us weren’t around for it, i.e. “The Spanish Flu” in 1918. If you study history, it’s a recurring theme that does happen in cycles. While it feels like something you can’t account for, and in many ways, it did blind-side us all, the truth is this is nothing new. Bill Gates was right when he said it’s not a matter of “if” but “when.”

Even with this knowledge – the whole thing is really surreal and many are still trying to figure out what happened left picking up the pieces.

Is your business pandemic proof? Pivoting and adapting

What sort of techniques have you seen out there for businesses trying to survive?

Whether it’s ramping up a product or service and offering delivery to changing your business model altogether.

We’ve seen entire industries shift to advance their offering. A good example is grocery stores offering delivery (OK, this existed before, but there is no excuse like the present to REALLY make it work).

Despite best efforts, it’s a sad realization that many businesses don’t make it and have to shut down. Take it as an opportunity to learn and regroup or shift your focus to something new.

What’s next

I’m not one to pretend like I have all the answers because who knows how this will all go.

After a better portion of the globe is vaccinated and we’ve mostly managed the virus, 2022 is a year of hope. Of rebuilding. Businesses once shuttered will be flourishing again with a healthy and active, loyal customer base just itching to get back out there.

Living through bad times has presented an opportunity to revisit our priorities and focus on what’s truly important.

Many say people have short attention spans and in a year, it will feel like a distant memory. I personally feel like this is a reminder to all – what’s the most important thing in life? Your health, wellness, partners, friends and family are always going to be number one.

So if you forgot that, all it takes is a pandemic as a friendly reminder to treat each other well. While we’re not all in the same boat, we are in this together and should do our best to make the experience a little better by being good to one another in any way possible.

One small gesture at a time.

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