Deja vu All Over Again

April 29, 2020

Will It Be Déjà vu All Over Again?  Hopefully.

2008 is looking pretty good right now.

In 2008 we felt we might never dig out without permanent harm to our businesses.  The Federal Government was scrambling for solutions, the economy was in freefall and companies of every kind, small and large, struggled to doggy paddle through the incoming waters.

But at least we could work side-by-side.

Yet, in many ways 2008 feels much like the unprecedented times we are living in.  Every small business owner Chris and I work with feels unsure how to lead their business through this once-in-a-lifetime business pandemic caused by a once-in-a-lifetime virus beyond their control.  How do they keep their business afloat?  Should they furlough, lay people off or stay the course?  Will the Federal Government bailout small business, or are we in this alone? Just like we felt in 2008.

Dig just a bit, and 2008 actually offers something seriously positive to small business owners.

Guidance.  By recognizing the parallels between the two crises, small business owners will uncover beacons they can use right now to stay healthy or afloat until the incoming waters recede.

Over the next several weeks we’ll share key parallels we’ve already learned, implemented and maybe forgot.  Here are the first two of eight:

  1. Pivot your course; keep your goal. When the market changes course, zigs unexpectedly, you must zig with it.  Your goal remains the same.  Your path to it alters.  How can you provide your services in a new way, perhaps putting technology to work for you?  Remember the telephone.  It still works great and doesn’t require anyone to download a new app or figure out the intricacies of a new-fangled software.
  2. Recognize you’re already critical to somebody. Your current customers chose to work with you because you solve a problem they just don’t want to experience anymore.  Ridding themselves of the problem is critical to their business or personal life.  Critical—not nice to be gone.  Their current situation hasn’t reduced their desire to caste the problem out of their life. If the problem is critical.  Make sure you understand the critical nature of the problem you solve.  Then help your clients remember.  They might need you now more than ever.

Thank 2008.  While we didn’t like it at the time, 2008 has handed us lessons for right now to better navigate our small businesses through rough times.

Use these lessons from 2008 well, and we’ll see you smiling when we reach the other side of this pandemic.

Remember:  good things fall apart so better things can fall together.


Go forth and do great things,

Martha and Chris