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The COVID-19 crisis has changed everything for everyone. Schools closed. Businesses had to hit the pause button. Some people lost their jobs for good, while others were furloughed. Still more people found a way to pivot to a new endeavor. Doing side gigs like Postmates or Uber became a way of life for some people. And of course, those in essential industries just kept plugging along. As the country gets ready to finally re-open, it’s a good idea to take a look at what small businesses learned from the coronavirus pandemic.


The first thing for entrepreneurs to take from this crisis is that they’re not alone. Running a small business can feel like a solitary endeavor. Most of the time, that’s accurate. But the coronavirus crisis showed whole communities that their fates are interconnected. This was oddly reassuring, as people worked to support each other’s businesses in addition to their own.


Another takeaway from this crisis is that the world will not go back to the way it used to be. There’s been a lot of people waiting for a return to the way things were before this started. It’s probably not going to happen. We can all expect to deal with things like social distancing and masks for months, if not years, to come. Many businesses will likely also start to be more comfortable with remote work. Now that everyone’s had a crash course in Zoom and Hangouts, expect to see those tools used more regularly.


COVID-19 has also taught businesses to be prepared. One thing everyone has witnessed is the scramble to gather documents in order to apply for Small Business Administration loans. Some businesses also struggled to come up with the necessary supplies to meet new guidelines about cleaning and social distancing. Many entrepreneurs have realized that they need to expect the unexpected, and that they should have a prudent reserve.


Finally, remember that actions taken today will be a huge factor in ultimately determining outcomes. It’s been really important to stay flexible and be ready to adapt. In the long run, this crisis should teach business people some great lessons about how to be light on their feet. Making it through this is great preparation for anything.