Fears of the spread of the Coronavirus are taking hold and it is very important for entrepreneurs to keep up to date on what is happening, but not for the reasons you may think.
While the Coronavirus is slowly evolving from an epidemic to a pandemic, the real worry for entrepreneurs should not so much be the virus itself. In fact, to put things in perspective, the common flu in the just the U.S. this year will kill more people than the trend that the Coronvirus is currently on. While any loss of life or sickness is not to be taken lightly or discounted, it is important to understand the Coronavirus is not as deadly as the common flu - at least not yet.
The bigger worry for entrepreneurs is the impact the virus will have on commerce and the ability run a business. China is the world's factory and it is currently shut down. Companies are very quickly running of inventory and the ability to produce their products because of it. In fact, companies like Land Rover are a week away from shutting down and are forced to have to go to China and bring parts back in suit cases.
The longer the virus goes and grows in China, the bigger impact it will have on commerce. Companies will begin to sell less and/or have to shut down - not because there isn't any demand for their products, but simply because there are no products to sell.
This is why you see the stock market pulling back. Investors are positioning for lower earnings in the future for companies because companies are not going to be able to sell as much product and thus have lower earnings.
But, there is an opportunity for entrepreneurs. As the fear grips the world, level-headed entrepreneurs can grow. Now isn't the time to pull-back in your business, it is a time to push forward. If you manufacture everything in China, you are going to be hurt, but you can also learn from this experience and set up back-up manufacturing facilities in other areas of the world. This is NOT easy by any means, but for those willing to persevere and work through it, the benefits long-term will help them and make them stronger. During this period, it is also the time to double down on marketing and sales. While you competition may be pulling back, you can gain market share and grow. Many of the great companies that exist today, started during the Great Depression. Companies like Proctor and Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, and Allstate, all started during the roughest economic time in U.S. history.
The Coronavirus, is going to impact business over the next year; there is no doubt - but this period of time offers great opportunity for entrepreneurs and for them to use their success to do good and maybe help people affected by the virus. Make the most of it!
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