When I first heard about COVID-19, I have to admit-I wasn’t nervous. I thought that most people were blowing the situation out of proportion.
As the virus started to spread globally, though, I realized that we were about to encounter a massive, nationwide emergency.
When faced with panic and fear, it’s natural for your “flight or fight” instinct to kick in. As a mother to both furry and human children, the first thing I thought of was my kids. Have any children been affected by COVID-19? Can dogs get it? Should we move up to Wisconsin temporarily where there were less reported cases?
Once I was reassured that neither of my kids were at too great of risk, I had to focus on my business. What do you do when an unprecedented event occurs that there are no “rules” or “best practices” to fall back on? How do you tactfully tell your clients that if you cannot count on their support, that the business you’ve toiled over for ten years will not survive?
There are moments of desperation and others of hope where I think that this business may survive COVID-19. Being a good business owner is so often rooted in “effective control”. Control of operations, finances, strategy, hiring and so many other things. Perhaps the thing I was most scared of heading into this time of unknown, was our clients reaction to our financial plight. Afterall, our primary duty as an employer is to provide for our employees. I could have never expected the response and outright humanity each and every client has shown us thus far.
Hundreds of clients have offered to either compensate their walkers and/or the business directly in order to help our employees. I have never felt so much gratitude, especially in the wake of such drastic change. It has taught me that, in situations like this, you have to surrender. While difficult, it allows you to embrace the unexpected and accommodate the very best you can.
I know this isn’t the end of our struggle and I know that my business is still very much at peril, but I feel a sense of calm knowing that we, as Americans, are supporting one another and choosing the right side of the moral compass to fall.
Thank you for everyone’s support both personal and professional during. It’s nice knowing that people genuinely care.
Stay healthy and happy,
For more COVID-19 information, visit the CDC website.