While faced with a coffee shop business temporarily closed except for delivery, coping with anxiety over an uncertain future has become a first priority. Although worried that my working capital has been slowly dwindling, I psyched myself out of depression by thinking of other things for which I should be thankful.
First off, I am grateful that I and the people I care about, including my employees, are in good health. I hope and pray that we will stay that way, even as we venture to keep the business open for a few hours in the morning, during the Covid-19 health crisis.
Appreciation for loyal customers is also in order. The money they bring in allows me to put one or two employees under the business payroll. Although I cannot accommodate all at the same time, the four people I used to hire regularly, have agreed to alternate in taking daily shifts.
Addressing the Risks of Carrying on with the Business while in the Midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic
Carrying on a business while in the midst of a contagion also made me worry, since there is always the risk that one of my customers or staff could get infected. In order to alleviate my anxieties over such a possibility, I made sure that the crew has a clear understanding of why the closing of nonessential businesses, has been deemed necessary in preventing the spread of the infectious disease.
I had someone put up a list of the cleaning protocols for everyone to observe, whether in or out of the coffee shop. There are also reminders about wearing of face masks, using clean gloves, and social distancing measures, especially when making deliveries. Precautionary measures include not needing to report for work when not feeling well, or suffering from any of the flu symptoms like colds, cough or even diarrhea. .
Coping with Anxieties During My Spare Time
During the first week, I dreaded extra hours of spare time I had to pass, after doing business for a few hours. Mainly because those were the moments when feelings of anxiety started creeping in. Although keeping in touch with family and friends via video chats helped in overcoming some of my fears, having lots of time to spare doing nothing except watching the news was not helping.
Thankfully, I was able to divert the focus of my attention into researching financial support that the U.K. government is offering to small businesses. Although disappointed that I might not qualify for business loans, I was relieved to find out that my business qualifies for the business relief exemption for the years 2020 and 2021.
Eventually, I began enjoying the abundance of free time at my disposal. I was able to try recipes for new coffee concoctions to add to my coffee shop menu. In fact, I even found the time to try my hand at redesigning the business menu by experimenting with the templates I discovered at some user-friendly menu maker sites.
Since I often worry that one of my delivery crew might catch cold because of London’s unpredictable weather, I thought of picking up my knitting needles again to make beanies and mittens for my staff. That way they have an extra pair or two to use to allow frequent washing, since such accessories can help keep them warm and protected.
I even started experimenting with knitting coffee sleeves as a possible way of cutting down costs, once it becomes safe to operate the business full time; or perhaps, to offer the sleeves as reward items that customers can claim after earning a number of points. I actually got excited by this idea that I am now researching about the best sock knitting machines that will enable me to produce as many as I can while I still have the time.
At that point, I came to realize that instead of harbouring doubts about the future, I was into making plans on how to improve my small coffee shop business in the future. In fact, I had to restrain myself from having too many plans, lest I don’t get to finish the ones I have already started.