Happy Halloween from COSE: Enjoy These Tricks and Treats from our Members
We asked our COSE members to share their tricks to dealing with the global pandemic, as well as some special treats for you from their small businesses.
‘Tis the season for tricks and treats—and they aren’t just for kids anymore. In this Halloween article our COSE experts share their secrets to handling the COVID crisis, as well as special deals and offerings from their small businesses to you.
Nicole Ponstingle, COO/Partner at Pandata
TRICK: At Pandata, we were able to immediately pivot to a remote work environment, which allowed for business continuity. We put an emphasis on the mental and physical well-being of our team through an initiative we call PandataCares. Alongside that, we have put an even greater focus on learning for our team, giving them access to courses and certifications that help us grow as a company, but also help them to hone their professional craft.
TREAT: If you would like to learn about how to use AI for competitive advantage, Pandata is offering $100 off the course AI & Data for Beginners with code: aldhubaib100. Register here.
Nevin Bansal, President/CEO of Outreach Promotional Solutions
TRICK: We have expanded our product and service offerings and focused on selling those solutions that are still in high demand, and have sought out partnerships with reputable organizations to get in front of more businesses. We also established more creative ways to work virtually, using Zoom, Monday.com, and other tools to make sure our team stays connected. The biggest thing is that—while we had to make some expense reductions—we actually increased our investment in sales and marketing to make sure we can capture new business and replace lost revenue.
TREAT: At Outreach Promotional Solutions, we are offering 25% off our Website Design & Digital Marketing Services—including a free consultation/assessment. Contact us today.
Monika Moss-Gransberry, President/CEO of MKM Management Consulting
TRICK: Applying for everything I was eligible for such as PPP, EIDL and grants was my trick for surviving the pandemic. While some of my fellow business owners felt like they didn’t really need it, my approach was to get anything we were eligible for because we just don’t know how long this is going to last. That has allowed me to give free strategy sessions to my current and past clients to support them while they figure out how to survive in the short term.
TREAT: We are offering a free strategy session to COSE members in support of their next level pivot in 2021—especially now that we know this pandemic will be here for a while and the recovery will be even longer. Schedule your free strategy session.
Raymond Graves, Lead Lender Relations Specialist at U.S. Small Business Administration, Cleveland District Office
TRICK: The CARES Act provided generous funding to local Small Business Development Centers to hire expert consultants to help small businesses survive during this uncertain time. This expertise could include things like human resources, accounting and finance, international trade, digital marketing, and cyber security. Look it up, check it out, and see how they can help you grow.
TREAT: SBA Paycheck Protection Program borrowers may be able to eliminate reductions to their forgiveness—caused by laying off employees or reducing payrates—by taking advantage of certain exceptions and safe harbors. Small dollar PPP borrowers (loans $50,000 and under) don’t even have to do that much—they only have to demonstrate eligible uses of funds, and apply for forgiveness specifically on SBA Form 3508S.
Also, don’t forget to visit the SBA website to review upcoming training programs including New Lender Orientations and SBA Basics webinars, offered monthly.
Timothy Dimoff, President of SACS Consulting and Security Services, Inc.
TRICK: We are focusing on offering our services and products that will help our clients to deal with the COVID situation. We are in the security business, so we have focused on expanding and offering our security services and our expertise to help clients stay safe and to keep their employees and their customers safe.
We are also offering more of our training products via technology such as webinars, etc. instead of in-person training.
TREAT: We have joined forces with a medical entity and are offering a Rapid COVID Antibody Test that is very cost effective and offers results in 10 minutes. It can be conducted at our location or at the employer’s location. The advantage to the employer is that it may help to enable employees to return to work safely. Contact us today.
Jim Smith, Global Executive Coach and Some-Times Troublemaker
TRICK: I have three tricks that I've been using to cope during this global pandemic:
1. CoachWalks. I crave human connection, but cannot meet clients in their offices or mine. As a break from endless Zoom calls, I occasionally meet local clients in the Metroparks where we can walk (the paths are six feet wide) and talk in the fresh air.
2. Social Hours. I’ve said yes to many unstructured social gatherings where we all show up with coffee (AM) or another beverage (PM) and just chat! Sometimes we move through a series of group breakouts, just as at a real network event. It’s a reminder that Zoom is a wonderful tool for remaining in touch.
3. Reduce Zoom Fatigue. Studies have shown that “looking at yourself” all the time is a huge distraction and stressful for many. Once a meeting has started and I’m certain others can see me properly, I right click on my own image and choose Hide Self View. Especially when I’m talking only to one other person, it suddenly feels more like a normal 1:1 conversation across a table.
TREAT: Download these 13 Principles of Happiness as a reminder that you can shift your world view.