“The bigger the challenge, the bigger the opportunity for growth.” --- Anonymous
We are constantly faced with new challenges as individuals, friends, family members, members of our communities, in our jobs, and in the many other roles we play in life. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our world in significant ways. Although there has been suffering, stress, anxiety, and inconveniences because of the virus, we can still approach this challenge as an opportunity for growth. 2nd Sight is a small business and we have had to adjust during the past few weeks to a changing environment. Here are some ways that Coronavirus has helped us improve as a business as we continue to provide quality, reliable, and innovative products to our customers in the specialty crop industry around the world.
Improving Documentation and Records
In a small organization, every employee is critical to the success of the business and wears multiple hats. Often, smaller companies have fewer formal processes documented and in place and the “know-how” is not stored somewhere but filed away in the mind of someone. Over the last few weeks, many of our engineering and office staff have started working from home. This situation has shed light on some of the processes and systems that need refinement and documentation.
Forcing somebody to do a new task that is typically performed by another can be a painful way to improve but can be an important exercise for any company. It can lead to better records and even a new perspective that could improve how something is accomplished. Whether we are facing pandemic or not, knowing who does what, when, and how while maintaining digital records that can be accessed by others when needed is important whether an employee is out sick, taking personal time off, or on vacation (employees will appreciate not being bothered on their vacations now too).
Let’s Put Some Eggs in Another Basket (Easter is Around the Corner)
Mitigate risk by having alternatives or contingency plans. For example, building a strong line-up of suppliers may make the difference between a successful project or failing to meet an important deadline. Start securing replacements. Keep that contractor or vendor in your back pocket. Continue building and maintaining those relationships and seek more opportunities so you can better absorb a changing environment and be prepared for that rainy April day.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” --- George Bernard Shaw
If you had not heard of Zoom video conferencing a month ago, you probably know what it is now. With many remote workers, keeping in touch daily is more important than ever. However, daily meetings should be a standard even if everyone is working in the same office just a few feet from one another. Ensuring that everybody is aware and understands the daily, weekly, monthly, and bigger picture goals requires constant communication. Keep up the daily check-in's even when you switch back to normal office life.
You are not alone. There are many resources, support networks, and low-interest loans available to keep your business going through this crisis. Reach out (virtually of course) to your neighbors, your Ag network, and your industry leaders to take advantage of the financial and operational assistance programs.
I will leave you with one more quote that I hope will motivate you to not only keep moving forward, but inspire you to improve:
“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change.” --- Paulo Coelho
At 2nd Sight, we are ready to help you grow your farm, greenhouse, or nursery operation through improved hourly and piecework labor tracking, product management systems, and automation as you continue to feed the world.