Let’s face it, 2020 won’t go down as a great year. We’re only halfway through it and already we’ve had a pandemic, a global economic disaster, and now summer wildfire season is on the horizon—where’s the plague of locusts?! Small businesses are exhausted from trying to understand the constantly rotating rules and regulations and chasing elusive money and loans just to try to keep their heads above water. Advice is coming at us at a fast and furious pace. It seems like every agency, consultant, neighbor, teacher, friend, and foe has the secret to small business survival …  “Just read my article about the best practices for your business, and you will succeed!” The best practice I can think of is to go for a long walk to clear the mind and disperse the fog.

For West Center, this has been six months of extraordinary challenges as we counsel our clients in this brave new landscape that none of us are familiar with. In a typical year, our counseling services reach more than 450 clients and we help launch 100+ small and diverse businesses into the County. This year, the rulebook has been ripped up and we’re having to make it up as we go along, digging up resources wherever we can and lighting the way for clients through their fear of change. The term “pivot point” has never been aired so much as in 2020!

So, in this uncertain time, let’s take a moment to turn things upside down and consider a list of worst practices for your business this year. Don’t worry if you recognize some items you are not alone!

  • Spend more time writing to government agencies about the injustices of the pandemic than writing to your customers to retain their loyalty

  • Don’t peek at your Yelp page—no one could possibly be writing about you while they are sheltering in place. . . besides, who’s eating out these days?

  • Do not, under any circumstances, update your hours of operation on your Google My Business page or your website; after all, everyone’s still afraid to go out

  • Don’t apply for any loans—even if they are at rock-bottom percentage rates—because you just know that when the five-year due date comes around, the economy will still be stalled 

  • Cash is king, so the saying used to go. Wait a minute… the king is dead, long live the king!

  • Don’t look at your website sales. Oh, wait you don’t have a website. . . it must be time to pivot!

  • Consider silk screening your brand name across your face mask so your company gets recognition…wait that one IS a good idea.

  • Relearn your alphabet – PPP, SBA, EIDL, COVID are now the only letters you really need to remember.

Indeed theses are hard times for all. We know finances are tight, patience are thin and sometimes loneliness is overwhelming. No doubt we will all be changed because of the times in which we are living. But fear not, through laughter and tears, we will all survive this together.

Stay up to date with our COVID-19 page here.

Free Business Advising at West Business Development Center

If you are a business of one or a company of 100 employees, at any stage from startup to established, WestBDC offers free business advising  — on whatever topic you might be stuck on. If it’s finding the right loan to expand, staffing your business with the right people or even just wading through new minimum wage requirements, we have experts ready to help you right now. 

Click here to sign up for free advising. We’ll schedule a free, thirty-minute call and then we’ll assign you the free expert advisor you need.

See how these successful businesses set up, grew and expanded with West Business Development Center Free Advising services:

See how these successful businesses set up, grew and expanded with West Business Development Center Free Advising services:

Frosted: Cupcakes & Goodies, Fort Bragg

Seagull Inn, Mendocino

Peace and Plenty Farms, Kelseyville

Smithwood Mercantile, Mendocino

To see more Client success stories check out our Client Stories or our YouTube channel.

Are you a woman-owned business? 

Please join us for our monthly networking events where you can meet other women entrepreneurs and share best practices, knowledge and make friends.

If you are a women-owned business and are interested in hosting Women’s Mendopreneurs Empowerment Night we would love to hear from you! Send us an email at events@westcenter.org

RSVP to Women’s Mendopreneurs Empowerment Event Here