Driving Business During Covid-19

Driving Business During Covid-19

I just got fired from my job … and from life.


When a person is let go from the life they know, it can be devastating. They may face a finite amount of time where a combination of emotions and fear can paralyze them.


On March 17th 2020, in response to Covid-19, the province we live and work in declared a State of Emergency. This declaration didn’t mean that our Driverseat business was shut down, in fact it was far from that. We were declared an essential service in the province of Ontario and since then, many states and provinces have followed suit. To provide essential services like food and medical supplies, there must be transportation. Since then we have been leading our franchisees across North America through an interesting and challenging time.


Life as we knew it had changed. Our new normal was a combination of working remotely, using technology to assist in collaboration and creating regular routines for our franchisees that would have them build so they can prosper #postcovid19.


Realizing that the new normal could be hard to adapt to for some, we had to recognize the challenges they are facing so we could address them and help them move from grieving the situation to producing.


The feeling of worth


When someone is fired from their job, they may lose confidence in themselves. Daily work provides many with a feeling of worth, a purpose. The new work needs to do that but in a different way. Understanding that your old self-measurement (revenue / sales / new customers) won’t play the same role in this temporary new world.


The unknown


Uncertainty is uneasy for many. For entrepreneurs, it is far more difficult. We are used to being in control. We like to work on solutions and strategies to control the outcome.  The reality is we will come through Covid-19 but the uncertainty means that we are working to an end that can’t yet quite be seen.


The routine


The life of an entrepreneur is far from routine yet there is a routine to it. The new routine doesn’t always result in a sale today or even tomorrow. The new routine is one of a three-part program my response team put together on March 16th and we have been using it since.

  1. Focus on physical and mental health
    To succeed and be strong through this, we have to all ensure physical health and mental health. Each day we have provided our franchisees with guidance on what to do to make this part of today’s new normal.
  2. Build your business today
    Our business is about transportation. Like so many other businesses across the globe, regular business has slowed or stopped in some categories.  Pivoting to ensure we take advantage of what is available while helping recovery efforts was key. Each day we pursue new opportunities to help.
  3. Spend the time building the brand, your personal brand, your knowledge base and your connections
    This is not spring break and we are not 20 years old. Each minute and each day is important. Using this time to pursue the growth strategy is so important. There is no time to grieve for the current situation – that won’t help anyone. There is no time for denial – that will only delay the recovery efforts. 


Impacts on other sections of their lies


Understanding that other portions of your life are impacted plays a role. This is more significant than most of us have experienced through our life and it impacts family, friends, plans, personal finances, ability to socialize in traditional ways and so much more. Compartmentalizing this makes it less overwhelming. Taking advantage of government plans to assist with the financial impact reduces stress in that area and allows you to spend energy on other aspects.


The lack of control


Those that are self-employed / entrepreneurs were either drawn to that line of work because they liked to ensure they had control, or they came to appreciate that once they started their business. Not having control can be uncomfortable for anyone and very uncomfortable for those self-employed. Having perspective that there is light at the end of the tunnel is important. We can’t see the light yet. We don’t know how long the tunnel is, but the light is there regardless. Just as someone who has been fired from their job moves on, so do we. The new world doesn’t mean there isn’t a world to be productive in – it is just new.


Stay safe. Practise physical distancing and social connecting. Looking forward to the incredible build of #Driverseat as we move towards #postcovid19.


Brian Bazely is CEO of Driverseat.