Finding Opportunities in Hard Times

By Michael Lerner
Friday, April 17th 2020
Desperate times call for desperate measures. During our current national and world health crisis, it is easy to fold and give up. Restaurants, retail establishments and virtuall all non-essential businesses have been shuttered by government mandate until the curve of COVID-19 disease starts to deline. And until a vaccine or treatment is found, life may be similar to it is now for periods of time for the foreseeable future.

What are we to do to continue in business, assuming we can? How do we come back when the all clear sign is proclaimed? How do health care systems go back to doing what they did before they had to deal with a pandemic? How do schools get students and teachers who have been kept at home motivated to resume their educations and teaching? Well, the answer or answers all contain changes that are new to everyone.

The new normal will consist of continued social distancing, possibly more stay-at-home orders, use of face masks and constant cleaning of hands. It also means many of the workforce will have to adopt to working at home more if they can and it means essential workers will have to practice extra caution in order to prevent exposure to Coronavirus as well as flu and other communicable germs that make us all sick.

For us in the promotional products industry, the challenges are there, too. There may not be many in-person conferences, trade shows, sporting events and other gatherings that lend opportunities for imprinted pens, mugs and tote bags. Paper face masks have become the depression era's pencils and apples that you so often see in photos from the 1930's economic collapse.

But, there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. And while things may not be exactly the same as they were, there will still be business, education, leisure and all of the things we expect in life. Just a little different.

So as the curve flattens and talk begins of recovery and coming back outside, now is the perfect time to make a plan to rebuild business, motivate employees, wake up students and get the economy going. Promotional products may be even more valuable than ever as the element of personal contact and a hand shake take a vacation. A personalized tech gift may be just the thing to let your at-home workforce know they are valued. Maybe a new lunch bag or tote bag for teachers may bring a smile as they adjust from online back to the classroom. And for those who have been working through this crisis like first responders, food service cooks and delivery personnel, postal workers, police and fire departments, a token of thank you may just be the thing to let them know the community is so appreciative.

It is important to not lose a step, even though the economy has been off its feet for a while. Start making plans today to reach clients, motivate employees and let our younger generation believe in a strong future.