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Small business responds to Covid crisis

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So, now what?

Their stores closed. The offices are vacant. Their income limited.

Small businesses had to answer the question of what they can do right now.

And, for the most part, they did.

About 92 percent of small business owners reinvented themselves, according to Small Biz Trends.

Digital technology was the answer to many small businesses.

– 58% created new online delivery channels.

– 40% created a new virtual service.

– 36% made a new offline delivery channel.

– 31% created a new product.

– 19% worked for a new customer group.

Small restaurateurs and stores selling unique goods all could have had a website presence, but many owners were too busy to make it happen before the coronavirus crisis. When lockdowns happened, they had to set those up.

Virtual services are not just for schools. Trainers, chefs, music teachers all have tried to involve local customers in virtual classes. While they might find new customers, the same services also find they compete with existing businesses online.

For some, new products have helped. Some small manufacturers began making the things most in demand: masks and sanitizers, for example. Breweries made sanitizer. Pillow companies made masks and medical scrubs.

For some, it has worked. Fifty-one percent of businesses that did a pivot say they have increased business against forecasts. But small businesses are still facing issues with skills and staffing for new skills, as well as a lack of money.

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Business

3 types of winter jobs

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Whether you’re looking for a full-time job or a part-time gig, winter brings with it a number of employment opportunities. Here are three to consider pursuing.

1. Delivery driver
Over the holidays, a dizzying number of gifts are sent by mail and courier. As a result, people willing to deliver packages or lend a hand in a warehouse can find seasonal employment in winter.

2. Retail employee

The holidays are the busiest time of the year for the retail industry. Seasonal opportunities include working a cash register, providing customer service, merchandising, stocking shelves, and gift wrapping.

3. Resort worker
In winter, ski hills are abuzz, and working at a resort can be a great option for people who want to get out of town and earn a few extra bucks. At the typical ski resort, there are seasonal positions available on the slopes as well as within the resort’s hospitality, housekeeping, retail, customer service, marketing, and food and beverage teams.

Finally, if you want to earn a bit of extra pocket money, you could offer to shovel driveways in your community.

Volunteering
The holiday season is the perfect time of year to lend a hand in your community while bolstering the credentials on your resume. You can look for opportunities to volunteer at food banks, hospitals, seniors’ residences, animal shelters, and non-profit organizations in your region.

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Would you make a good care attendant?

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Thanks to North America’s aging population, care attendants are in high demand. Here’s what this rewarding line of work involves and what type of person is best suited for it.

What care attendants do
Care attendants assist older adults with their daily activities, both in nursing homes and in private residences. Responsibilities of a care attendant generally include:

• Personal care. This involves bathing and dressing the care recipient, assisting them with personal grooming, and helping them go to the bathroom.

• General health care. Administering medication, following a care plan, and reporting health changes are common tasks.

• Food preparation. Cooking simple meals and going grocery shopping is often required.

• Mobility assistance. Attendants help care recipients get in and out of wheelchairs, cars, and showers. They also help them perform simple exercises.

Qualities care attendants should possess
A care attendant should be reliable, a good listener, and possess the following skills and qualities:

• Compassion and a desire to seek a genuine sense of connection.

• Patience and an understanding that older adults may take longer to complete daily tasks.

• Interpersonal skills and an ability to effectively communicate with care recipients and their families.

• Initiative and a capacity to work by yourself and make proactive, informed decisions when faced with challenging situations.

If you want to be a care attendant and have what it takes, you may be able to enter into this line of work right away. A post-secondary degree generally isn’t required and some employers provide on-the-job training.

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Business

Resilience: An important quality in the age of pandemic

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In the era of pandemics and lockdowns, resilience is the key to coping with the changing demands of business and the office.

The Workforce Institute recommends that employees cultivate resilience by learning certain skills.

1. Regulate emotion. Facing difficult customers and coping with customer satisfaction demand that employees learn to stay calm.

2. Control your impulses. Learn to moderate behavior when you face challenges. Don’t press ‘send’ impulsively. Learn not to burn bridges with inappropriately emotional reactions.

3. Learn to look carefully for the root causes of problems. Work out what you can change or control and what you can’t. Put your energy into the things you can control.

4. Believe in yourself. Address setbacks–or major work changes–by seeing yourself as competent to succeed.

5. Practice balanced optimism–the ability to realistically assess what can go wrong or deter success while remaining optimistic.

6. Understand what others think and feel.

7. Adaptability. Willingness to change in the face of adversity or circumstance.

From a psychological perspective, resilience also means adopting positive emotions, according to Psychology Today. That may mean you have to seek out the things and situations that have made you feel positive, happy, engaged, or grateful. Even old movies or sitcoms might put you in that mood. Exercising or dancing could help you feel joy. Completing a home project might help stir a sense of competence.

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How to avoid hiring the wrong candidate

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Poor recruitment practices can cost a business a lot of money. Here are some tips for weeding out unsuitable candidates and finding the best person for the job.

Be clear about your expectations
Your job posting should be as precise as possible. Include the qualifications and experience you require from the candidate, the tasks the job entails, and, if applicable, the duration of the employment contract. This will help to limit the number of applicants and attract the talent that truly meets your company’s needs.

Verify candidates’ qualifications

Ask technical questions and administer aptitude tests to ensure that candidates have the skills and qualities they profess to possess. In addition, be sure to check up on their references in order to form a better idea of their past job performance and personality. If they have no references, that’s a big red flag!

Watch out for “job hoppers”
Hiring and training new staff is costly, so be on the lookout for people who switch from one job to another on a regular basis. Frequent job changes and gaps in candidates’ resumes are possible indicators of a lack of commitment.

Once you find the person you want to hire, consider instituting a trial period before you fully bring them on board. At the end of this interlude, both you and the new hire will be free to continue or terminate the collaboration.

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Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?

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Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs from November 16 to 22, consists of a collection of events hosted around the world to inspire people to launch or grow their own business. If you want to be an entrepreneur, here are some indicators you might have what it takes.

• You’re always eager to learn. If you want your company to grow, you must be willing to constantly learn more about the industry and how your business can adapt. This means listening to your customers, seeking mentors you can learn from, and networking with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

• You’re passionate about the work. It could be years before your startup makes a profit, and you’ll have to work long hours in the meantime. You need to truly care about the product or service your company offers in order to maintain your motivation. A love for the work you do will also help you deal with challenges, stress, and setbacks.

• You’re willing to take risks. Even if low startup costs allow you to launch a business with few risks, eventually you’ll need to take a few leaps. This might involve purchasing an expensive patent or piece of equipment, investing your personal savings to grow the business, or leaving a stable job to become a full-time entrepreneur.

• You’re not discouraged by failure. Few companies find success on the first try, and it might take several attempts to get your business off the ground. Setbacks are inevitable, so you need the tenacity and resilience to bounce back. If you want to grow your business, you must be willing to learn from your mistakes, embrace changes, and seize new opportunities.

To find out how you can participate in Global Entrepreneurship Week or plan your own event, visit genglobal.org/gew.

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4 tips for rebuilding your business after the pandemic

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Nearly all small businesses have suffered in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, but many are capable of recovery. Here are four tips to help businesses re-emerge following the pandemic.

1. Determine the damage
In order to recover, you’ll first need to assess the impact that COVID-19 has had on your business. Update your financial statements and compare them to last year’s figures. Remember to factor in other types of loss such as employee layoffs and a reduced marketing budget.

2. Revisit your business plan

You need to figure out how your business model fits in with the new normal. For many small companies, this is a good time to expand your digital store as more people are shopping online. You should also adapt your business growth goals to better reflect the current reality.

3. Look into available funding
Now more than ever, you need to spend money to make money. As you create a recovery budget, find out whether your business qualifies for government funding that will help you bounce back. Financial institutions may also offer more lenient loans to help struggling entrepreneurs.

4. Create a realistic timeline
It’s important to keep in mind that your business won’t recover overnight, and you won’t be able to implement all your rebuilding strategies at once. Establish your priorities and track your progress to ensure you’re investing in the right areas.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Dec
5
Sat
all-day Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Dec 5 all-day
Small Business Saturday @ Front Royal, Virginia
Why should Small Business Saturday just be celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? Buy Local – Shop Local – Eat Local – Support Front Royal’s Small Business Community and stay local! Small Business Saturdays –[...]
7:00 am 64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
Dec 5 @ 7:00 am – 1:00 pm
64th Annual Pancake Day @ Warren County High School
The Kiwanis Club of Front Royal is celebrating its 75 anniversary this year and are committed to holding the annual Pancake Day fundraising event. This event raises significant funds which are put back directly into[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 5 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
7:00 pm Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
Dec 5 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Rotary Club Cash Fair @ Online Event
It’s that time of year for Rotary Club of Front Royal’s annual Cash Fair, and we are going virtual this year due to COVID. This is one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and[...]
Dec
6
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 6 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 6 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
13
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 13 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 13 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
19
Sat
11:00 am Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 19 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Holiday House Tours @ Sky Meadows State Park
Enjoy special tours of our Historic Mount Bleak house during this festive season. Visit each of the rooms in this stone manor and discover how the people who called Sky Meadows “home” celebrated the holidays[...]
Dec
20
Sun
all-day 2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Gr... @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Dec 20 all-day
2021 Dare to Dream Enrichment Grant Application @ Front Royal Women’s Resource Center
Front Royal Women’s Resource Center (FRWRC) Beginning on November 1, 2020, to accept Applications for 2021 DARE TO DREAM GRANTS (Take classes, start a business, purchase a computer, learn a new skill, train for a[...]