PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Thinking and Taking Action Like an Entrepreneur During the Coronavirus Crisis

By at 27 April, 2020, 10:05 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in government shutting down big parts of their economies, resulting in unprecedented jumps in unemployment and declines in business activity, with some industries simply ceasing operations. Small businesses, obviously, have been suffering greatly, and will continue to do so. These actions have been taken to limit the spread of the coronavirus, and therefore, limit illnesses and deaths. Obviously, the economic costs for workers, entrepreneurs and businesses should not be underestimated.

Even in the midst of a health and economic catastrophe, however, the entrepreneurial impulse persists. Indeed, entrepreneurs seek out opportunities in troubled times, looking for ways to survive, to meet challenges, and to help and serve others through innovation, and new and improved products.

Consider a few reports of value pointing to entrepreneurial thinking, opportunities and activity during these extremely tough times:

Find Solutions to New Problems or Gaps in the Marketplace: At Entrepreneur.com, one article makes the case that “if you are newly out of work, it’s worth considering there are solutions-providers making it increasingly possible to start an online brand overnight.” Hmmm. The author points the startup ecommerce entrepreneur to an assortment of instructions, tips and tools to help it happen.

Find New and Creative Ways to Deploy Your Business’ DNA and Value: A Forbes.com article offers some fascinating insights from one-person, $1-million businesses. Specifically, what are these “scrappy street fighters” doing in the current situation? The author notes, “All were very concerned about the crisis and its public health implications when I spoke with them, but each found a way to stay positive and focused on keeping their businesses strong when I spoke with them. If you are looking for some creative ideas for your own business, here are some of the strategies they are using to tough it out.” My favorite recommendation? “To expand your business, you have to think like a caveman exploring and looking under every rock.” Check them all out.

Crisis as a Catalyst for Change and Entrepreneurship: Another article from TheConversation.com takes the attitude of the coronavirus crisis serving as a “catalyst for entrepreneurship.” Changes among consumers, in technology and in other areas are examined. That includes the behavior of entrepreneurs. As noted at one point: “Actions during the crisis will shape firms in the long run. First, the crisis creates opportunities for businesses to become more innovative. Facing external pressures, some business leaders are stepping out of their routines and comfort zones to become creative problem-solvers. Along the way, they rediscover their entrepreneurial spirit.” That’s a good question for business owners: Are you rediscovering your entrepreneurial spirit in these troubled times?

Crisis Spurs Innovation: It’s pointed out in a CNBC report that “a time of crisis is also a time of opportunity.” The author goes on to point to areas where innovation is stepping up, including fighting the pandemic, serving people in quarantine, areas where changes during the crisis will live on and thrive, such as telemedicine, and reinvention in industries hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

None of this subtracts from the hardships being suffered. But they do point to opportunities for making a positive difference now and into the future.

Stay safe, healthy and innovative!

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

 

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