Sunday, August 8, 2021

Being A Small Business Owner In A Pandemic Is Hard

Accidental selfie in the car waiting for a to-go order. After a year and a half of dealing with a pandemic and owning a business, I can't quite muster up the energy to deal with the public.

Owning a business right now Right now meaning in a pandemic. A pandemic that has not been deemed as over, we're still in it, experiencing surges. We're a year and half into this and I still spend time looking over the newest and ever-chaning recommendations and guidelines. Unlike other businesses, I don't have a choice of doing nothing. 

As with many small business owners during this pandemic, I've had to stop and think about every avenue. Every avenue that could lead to a permanent business closure. They're scary thoughts considering this is my livelihood, it's what I've built for over 10 years. The possibility of having it ripped away is heartbreaking. 

I'm not going to go into detail about how or why I would be forced to close the doors of my business. If I ignore all guidance and guidelines, my doors can close forever. That's not a choice I'm willing to make, so my business still abides by all Covid "rules" that were in a place a year ago. I'm lucky because I haven't had a single person question my Covid rules. I tend not to share my luck with others because many business owners are less fortunate. When I choose to check into social media, I'm disgusted at how people are treating business owners.

Many of them have experienced push back from costumers on all things: masks, new hours, lack of staff, etc. Businesses are overwhelmed right now. If you choose to ignore the pandemic, people come out of the woodwork to tell you you're doing it wrong. If you choose to "follow the rules," people come out of the woodwork to tell you you're doing it wrong. There is a rarely a happy medium. People are impossible to please and businesses are suffering. I know many people who chose to walk away from their businesses instead of conform to what people are demanding right now.

Owning a business of any kind is hard. Owning and operating a business during a pandemic is hard, if not nearly impossible. Please be nice, kill owners and workers with kindness. The pandemic is rough in all the ways. Some are barely getting through it all. Remember that the next time your order isn't correct at your favorite restaurant, a business has to close early or have an extended closure due to Covid, hours change, or the services a business offers changes. 

I can't believe I have to use an entire blog post to remind people to think of business owners and how the pandemic has affected businesses, but here we are. I have used that line for everything in the last year and a half. Here we are. Do better. Be considerate. Life is hard for a lot of people still, including small business owners. I can guarantee you they don't want to spend their day off thinking of and reviewing new policies and guidelines. Yet they don't have a choice.