I started out building a group as a citizen to allow access to factual information and resources provided throughout our local county. It had become so difficult to decipher fact from fiction, study-based information from conjecture. So I vet, the best I can, all of the posts submitted and the information gathered on a community level to provide the most cohesive set of resources in the surrounding area. Carroll County Maryland COVID-19 Information
Then, as businesses started closing, stay-at-home orders began locking us in around the country, I knew there was more needed. So here we are. How are we going to navigate all of this? The next thing I did was pull together Maryland State Resources for businesses in Maryland and put them on the resource tab of this website. I will be gathering information for business owners and their employees with the hope that it helps you access the things you need.
With all that said, I'm just going to write a bit here for my fellow small business owners. I know you're all scared, anxious and broke. I know that this is our worst nightmares coming true. But we CAN control certain aspects of this.
Let me explain. I have always been taught that the only thing you can control is your reaction. That goes to personal relationships, business relationships and the world around you in general. So let's talk about what we can control.
1) Finances: We have control of which steps we take to mitigate our losses. By using the resources provided by the state and federal government, we can begin to access funds for both ourselves and our employees to allow survival into the next phase.
2) Consumer Relations: We have control over how we interact with our communities and customer-base. If we are positive and reinforce our determination to assist and foster our communities, they will remember who we are and line up for our products/services later.
DRAFTJS_BLOCK_KEY:6jt2cI started out building a group as a citizen to allow access to factual information and
3) Employees: Treat your employees with respect. Let them know you are doing what you can to keep them ok. Look into the grants to allow you to keep them paid while they're off work. Make sure you know the unemployment guidelines to allow those eligible to get unemployment right away.
4) Products: Reach out to companies like mine. Most of us are working with people to move them online with e-commerce stores. My company is providing assistance at extremely low cost (just enough to keep us operational) to other companies. We are recommending that you utilize a new website with products that you can link to directly from social media. The entire universe is on social media right now for most of their days.
5) Non-Essential Service Providers: There are several things you can do. If you are NOT an essential service provider, you can utilize your social media to provide "self-help" type items for your customers, provide "tips and tricks" etc to help get them through. Focus on retention and brand recognition instead of acquisitions.
6) Essential Service Providers: What I am recommending here is to streamline your appointment, intake and payment processes. We offer several solutions to provide online appointment booking, online forms (all your intake stuff to keep people out of the offices) and telecommuting options. Payment wise, electronic invoicing is huge right now. No cash exchanges hands, no handling of point-of-sales equipment etc. This is more difficult for senior business owners & customers but can be done and made simple for most.
All in all, this is a very simple blog that will not cover every aspect of things, but I am hoping that it provides some direction and resources
for those of you who can utilize the information. Stay tuned & Stay safe.
And if you have thoughts that would help, please - email a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll get it posted for you and give you/your company credit. Let's be hands on!