2020 was full of contingencies, but in difficult times understanding what worked and what didn't work is crucial. Many of us have been limited in providing and receiving the services we have come to expect this year and are forced to create new customer experiences, opportunities and revenue streams. As we begin a new year, there are many lessons to be learned that can last a lifetime.

Early on in the pandemic, there were many middlemen who were repurposed. They bought little hand sanitizer and sold a lot in other markets, bought from mask factories, and sold the same masks to hospitals at high rates. These people are not business leaders; they are opportunists who capitalize and trade in the art of arbitration, which is inherently short-term oriented.

At some point prices will go back to where they belong, and when supply rises to meet demand, they will become fair. another seller. There is no human value in arbitration, only potential for short-term financial gain. This was an opportunity that sprang from struggle and often did. To be a true entrepreneur, you need to add value, have a lasting experience, and even develop a recurring relationship.

Entrepreneurs understand that in order to thrive in these tough times, you shouldn't look for ways to make more money from your customer, but add more value to your customer. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, everyone feared their future, where their next salary would come from, or if there would even be another salary.

Nevertheless, the real entrepreneurs provided comfort and peace of mind, and we rewarded them with more and more customers while continuing to reassure us of their efforts:

  • Restaurants that were 100% personal started to offer delivery or use of the delivery apps offer. They increased health and safety protocols even before it became mandatory. Some even offered grocery delivery to take advantage of their wholesale relationship and bring it to their customers.
  • Designers began designing masks for hospitals and sharing instructional videos. communication and guidance through understanding federal loans for free to strengthen relationships for our long-term customers
  • Amazon prioritized essential goods in their warehouse, and Airbnb emphasized virtual experiences
  • Local supermarket chains started to offer delivery services and special hours for the elderly to help protect them
  • And the good employers gave their staff the peace of mind to work from home and let them transition seamlessly into the new normal

There are countless examples of companies that managed to support themselves through the pandemic and the principles they imposed. These principles are not unique to the pandemic; they are deeply rooted in leadership, adaptability and the desire to learn from all situations.

The strongest companies will not only hold out during the pandemic, but would have added a new stream of corporate income, a level of confidence and efficiency to maintain themselves after the pandemic. This strong foundation will be essential if and when their old business model returns to normal.

Written by James Giacopelli .