It was eerie. There was almost no email traffic or phone calls. We typically average about 150 calls per day.
Needless to say, we were used to the bustling flow of emails and phones and the silence was alarming. When you are a business owner, your mind tends to wander in times like this to the “what if” scenario. My mind went from apocalyptic to positive and back again. There is no history of something like this to model your reaction.
Most entrepreneurs are good at mastering something positive out of the negative. This was different. Sales suddenly plunged about 90%.
We received a call from a large hospital concern with whom we have a good relationship. They wanted to know if we could manufacture face shields, 10,000 per day. I jumped at that, of course, and said “sure we could.” (How we would do this I had no idea. But it was at least something right?)
Within 24 hours we overnighted them a sample. He said he would know something in a few days. We immediately took to the internet to find the supplies to make 100,000! Those are the risks you take. I thought if they don’t buy them, someone will. It will keep our employees busy.
And manufacture we did. That’s what you do when a crisis hits. We imported much of the materials needed from overseas because American manufacturers were out of most of the needed materials.
So, from printing to face shields. That is what you do. You must respond in a way that will rule the situation rather than let the situation rule you. That is what we did.
We also aggressively marketed ourselves and to our surprise, have acquired quite a bit of new business.
At present sales have rebounded to about 80% of normal. And I couldn’t be happier considering where I thought we might be. I believe this is the American spirit. Americans are resilient and I think most are over the initial shock. We are confident that some sense of normal will return. Though, it may never be the same. Mark Cuban says prepare for America 2.0. He may be correct. Time will tell. Whatever the future brings, we will be ready, we will remain strong, and we will work with it. That is America, that is the spirit that built her to be the greatest nation in history, and that is the belief that will cause us to rise from among the most critical era in her history. I hope you will join me.