Editor/Publisher Christi Ashby was recently asked to share some advice on how business owners, especially women entrepreneurs, can push through during these uncertain times for the WOW Legacy Group newsletter. Below are her comments.
I always say be prepared. As a former girl scout and flight attendant, this mantra has been part of my DNA for as long as I can remember. Being open to new ideas, different ways of doing business, and the ability to change quickly are all key. Having launched a business weeks before the 2008 recession — or meltdown — I learned how to stay adaptable and lean. If you have a chance to learn a new skill, do it. You never know when you will need it. Being able to do multiple jobs definitely enabled us to survive the earlier recession and whatever we may face going forward today.
Relationships are everything! Make sure you fully develop and maintain them, even when things are going great. Whether it’s clients, contractors, bankers or suppliers, never let the gratitude and engagement lapse. Our clients are also friends in many cases and we are able to continue our conversations on social media platforms. It’s personal — they care about us and we care about them. Because of my strong relationship with my community bank, I was able to receive PPP funding very quickly in the first round. I also secured a line of credit years ago when I did not need it just for times like this.
Ask for help and give it. Women never want to admit they need assistance because appearing strong and independent are part of the female entrepreneur’s mindset. But reaching out can be critical, especially during tough times. I have been part of several Zoom meeting groups and the camaraderie and advice has been amazing. Be willing to give to others as well. I have been sending affirmation emails and cards to my fellow females who are suffering now.
Gratitude is everything. We have learned how much we need each other in this community. I feel so incredibly grateful even though there has been plenty of worries and little security about the future. We can’t all help everyone, but we can all help someone — even if it’s something small.
Christi also shares that you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself. Unlike other disasters like hurricanes or economic downturns, no one was truly prepared for this. Make decisions, but don’t rush. To read the May/June issue of Orange Appeal, click here.