• Growing Resilience in Times of Uncertainty

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    For most small businesses in Pierce County, the Stay-at-Home Order has meant loss of income, layoffs, and those temporarily deemed non-essential, complete closures. No one has escaped the uncertainty and sobering realization of how finite resources can be. Right now, we look to our past experiences for tools to utilize during times of uncertainty. Historically, what determines those businesses and tradesmen who survive and even thrive after an economic crisis? Studies show resiliency! 1

    History implores us to take this data-garnered wisdom and apply it to our industry on a State, County, City and personal level. Resilience that can prepare us for the worst by staying hopeful and ready for the success of the future through action.

    How can you be resilient in our current situation? District Mortgage Sales Manager with U.S. Bank Home Mortgage and MBA Pierce 2020 Membership Committee Chair, Il Yi, shared the following:

    “What we learned through the last financial crisis are that things can still be strengthened, financials reckoned, tools polished or repaired, and accounting records cleaned up -- personal as well as professionally.”

    In “Resilience: the Secret to Success,” Khoshaba also writes that staying involved and committing to projects helps strengthen resolve, and that leaning in may be what gives us the necessary push to advance beyond the obstacles before us. What does commitment look like for a small business at the bottom of the hill of recovery?

    “Look at financials. Ask yourself how you can improve in your professional and personal spending habits, such as your daily coffee run,” said Yi. “It’s also important to stay visible to your customer base and let them know you are still present and a part of the community, facing these challenges alongside them. Keep your presence on social media, post an update, or make a personal phone call to your customer base.”

    Yi also encourages self-evaluation right now. “This is time for self-care,” Yi said. “Fixing your kid’s bike, spending time with family, and finding the positive in what you do have. We are going through a tough season and the commonality is that everyone (rich, poor, black, white, Asian, etc.) has been affected. Utilize the time as a gift, an opportunity, and in the spirit that we still have a choice. While the competition sleeps, be ready when the boom in Pierce County resumes and the economy fully reopens.”

    As bulleted in the article1, turning stress into an advantage can also prep for a more successful work life, building resilience that, in turn, makes success easier to achieve.

    Simple tips to practice resiliency and take control of stress:
    1. Sharpen your tools! Literally and figuratively. This is a great time to look at the tools of your trade and ask yourself how they are working for you; does a blade need replacing, a motor lubed, or company truck washed?
    2. Pulse check the needs of your employees. Are there additional trainings or courses offered online through BIAW or NAHB? Education offerings:
    3. File or shred paperwork long lost forgotten. Reach out to L&I to check you are in good standing and if you find an obstacle, make plans to resolve it.
    4. Have you filled out inquiry cards for benefits your company may qualify for through MBA Pierce? Retro programs like R.O.I.I. SELECT and GRIP save our members thousands year after year!
    5. Have you written your company safety plan?
    6. Does your business have a website? With today’s technology, creating a simple website is easy and affordable. A website gives your company a way to present yourself and give potential customers needed information. We also have members who specialize in services like printing business cards, creating mailings, developing marketing materials and more.
    7. Check your digital listing on our MBA website; is the information up to date and how you want it to look? To update this information, log in to the Member Information Center here
    8. Set up a growth chart to monitor where your business is the most successful.
    9. Are you enrolled in MBA Pierce member benefits programs like BIAW Health Insurance and APP Fuel rewards?
    10. Attend MBA Pierce Virtual Coffee Hour for members and share your trials, success, and encouragement with others.
    11. Instead of cancelling projects, look to reschedule. Lock in what you can, even if you end up needing to change it again. Keep your foot in the door.
    12. Give back to others. If you are able, this is the time to lean into community service! Food banks need volunteers, collection of masks for essential workers, and looking out for your neighbors. MBA Pierce is delivering meals to frontline healthcare workers. Find a cause to donate time or resources. Share the resilience you have found with others.
    13. See our COVID-19 Resource page for links and updates on ways to help your business stay on track!

    Finally, MBA Pierce is a member-driven association and we appreciate all you do! We are vested in your resilience, participation, and your health and well-being are important to us. When we all practice resilience, we will thrive together in time.

    1 - Salvatore R Maddi, Deborah M. Khoshaba, A. (2019). Resilience: the Secret to Success. AMA, https://www.amanet.org/articles/resilience-the-secret-to-success/.
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