By Eliana Barriga
Publisher and Managing Editor for The Retail Observer
Independent retailers and small business owners juggle the challenges, as well as the benefits, of working with family and friends day in and day out. It’s these close knit relationships and the level of trust and loyalty formed throughout the years that impact the state of the business at any given time.
I have worked from home 90% of my adult life and know all too well the struggles of juggling both family life alongside running/keeping a business healthy and strong. It’s a huge challenge to say the least!
And if that wasn’t challenging enough... enter 2020 — the year that our entire world changed. Every business, family and person on the planet has been deeply impacted, turning many lives upside down.
It was sudden and immediate. Problem. Reaction. Solution. Businesses were shuttered. Assembly lines stopped production. Corporate closed their offices, requiring many employees to implement a work-from-home model. Solution strategies were implemented virtually overnight, with minimal time for businesses to efficiently plan for a smooth transition. Communications broke down in the transition to home offices due to security and privacy concerns. Frustration is high even to this day as many businesses are still limping along with broken and inefficient systems. The way we have had to do everything over the last year has changed not only how we do business, but how we do life.
As stressful as it has been, there is a silver lining many of us are discovering on this journey. For many, this has been a time of soul searching during this transition period. We’re discovering the ability to get more work done in far less time without the water cooler distractions, allowing us more time for life’s little pleasures. Th sire to go back to the old way of working is losing its allure for some, as we find a greater sense of balance and quality of life.
Running a family-owned business reminds us each and every day that relationships are what matters most. The need and desire to connect by coming together with both family and friends, as well as our customers and clients is more important now than ever. Honoring humanness is the key to success. It not only makes us better in business, ultimately it makes us better as people.
So, yes, sometimes our businesses may temporarily suffer because of how closely our relationships are interwoven with them. But most of the time, these relationships are the foundation — the very reason why we flourish.
To a balanced life,