There is nothing good about a pandemic. It should not be celebrated. There is no bright side. There are only lemons. And with those, we can make lemonade. For many businesses, it is too early to try and pick up the pieces because the pieces are still falling. The fires still burn. The storms continue to rage.
But every tragedy leaves unexpected opportunities for those nimble enough to pounce. Many companies that manufactured one thing in March were able to shift to manufacturing pandemic supplies by June. Some retail shops were able to switch to ecommerce. Many were able to take advantage of the opportunities that Covid-19 created.
Companies like Patriot Funding were instrumental in leading the charge and opening doors of opportunity left behind by Covid. In addition to opportunities, there were lessons learned. While everyone is waiting for things to get back to normal, some things are better off as they are. Here are a few examples:
Take Debt Seriously
Patriot Funding has been a lifeline for many small business owners. They offer debt consolidation loans to individuals who have high-interest debt balances that are choking off opportunity. By paying off those balances in the form of a consolidation loan, the individual has just one bill to pay at a much lower interest rate. That has the immediate effect of freeing up capital for keeping their business afloat.
Before the pandemic, we were all a little too casual about debt. We carried too many credit cards and used them with reckless abandon instead of with surgical precision. We had good jobs and few worries about whether we could foot the bill at the end of the day. But the day ended sooner than we expected. A consolidation loan reminds us that fewer bills is better. Low interest is meaningful. And debt is to always be used strategically rather than casually. Hopefully, these lessons won’t go away with the pandemic.
Maintain Social Distance
One of the best things to come out of the pandemic is a focus on personal safety through an increase of personal space. Mask-wearing will also emerge as something that will continue among a significant portion of the population.
Before the pandemic, we were far too casual about the risk of catching and spreading disease. The problem of presenteeism is when sick people come to work when they should stay home. Instead of encouraging people to call out when they are sick, managers turn it into a hostile transaction.
Thanks to the coronavirus, employers are beginning to understand that it is better for a sick person to stay home than to come to work and infect half the office. They might also be rethinking those open-plan office spaces. The value of social distance will be experienced long past the pandemic.
You Don’t Have Enough Savings
Millions of people have recently learned the hard way that they don’t have enough savings to get them through a crisis. People with good jobs often rely too heavily on their income. But the money that is incoming quickly transitions into the outgoing. That transition happens before any of it has time to become savings.
That $2,000 in your savings account is not enough. What you need is an emergency fund that you cannot easily touch except to add to the amount. If you don’t have $10,000 in your emergency fund, you should consider that an emergency. Some part of every dollar you make should be held back for a rainy day, or year.
What the pandemic has exposed is the fragility of comfortable employment. Many people who have never lost a job involuntarily and have never missed getting a paycheck in their lives are now painfully aware that employment is fragile. Income is not guaranteed. And one must carefully plan for a season when that income is no longer available.
The pandemic has closed many doors while opening others. And it has been a harsh but valuable teacher. From it, we learn that debt should always be taken seriously. Social distance can keep us healthier. And very few people have enough savings to survive a crisis. A pandemic is a once in a lifetime event. But if it does come around again, we will be ready.