Shopkeepers, and probably many small business owners, are feeling lonely. Trying to run a small business during a pandemic is no joke! I want all shopkeepers to know that they are not alone in their feelings about this difficult year.
Recently, I asked members of Master Shopkeepers what they missed in 2020. Some of what they shared was funny, other ideas were nostalgic or poignant. Here are the things they missed, longed for, and wished would go away in 2020.
Shopkeeper Parents Missed Their Alone Time & Their Kids’ Activities
If you’re a shopkeeper with young children, please give yourself a pat on the back. In the Savvy Shopkeeper community, we saw shopkeeper parents setting up desks at their stores and juggling their store hours and homeschooling schedules. Missing out on the private time to work on your store and knowing your kids were getting a great education was challenging.
Other shopkeepers missed watching their kids play sports. I experienced this firsthand as my bonus son, Logan, wasn’t able to participate in all of the activities that he normally enjoys. Some shopkeepers had seniors in high school and it was their last year playing a sport before they went off to college. Others missed the pure enjoyment of watching their kids play and win and be active.
Shopkeepers Wished Politics Weren’t So Heavy This Year
One member said “In general, I miss people being nice. Everybody is so divided on many issues. And there’s no respect anymore for other people’s opinions.”
I’m sure many of us agree with this in 2020. I think most of us felt really frustrated, especially in November around the presidential election. It definitely felt divided.
Shopkeepers Missed Business As Usual
Many, many shopkeepers responded with business events and activities that they missed in 2020. Here are just a few things shopkeepers missed:
- Traveling for business to buy in person
- Going to vendor markets for buying trips and inspiration
- Serving customers face to face
- In-store events to connect with customers
- Not worrying about doing enough—cleaning enough, distancing enough, sleeping enough
- Being open on more than just the weekends
- Sales goals and knowing there are a variety of things you can do to reach them
Shopkeepers Missed Everday Life Without COVID
The pandemic not only affected our businesses, but it also affected our daily lives. Here are some of the daily activities that members of the Savvy Shopkeeper community missed:
- Leaving the house without worrying about having a mask
- Traveling for fun
- Taking your laptop to a local coffee shop to work uninterrupted
- Hugging family and friends
- Sitting across from a loved one without concern
- Being fancy-free with your social schedule
- Having freedom and flexibility
- Saying “hey, how are you?” without the weight of worry
- Going out to eat
- Snuggling friends, kids, and newborn babies
- Not worrying about if coworkers will infect you
- Getting drinks with family and friends
- Seeing peoples’ whole faces
- Hugs and handshakes
- Having a cough, ache, or off day without thinking the worst
- Going to the movie theaters
- Life without masks
- Seeing a full smile
- Festivals and concerts
- The energy of people
Shopkeepers Wished For Less Decision Fatigue
The last thing that I want to mention is that shopkeepers wish there was less decision making. They miss the time where there weren’t so many decisions that had to be made.
The decision fatigue in 2020 has been real. It’s been heavy. It’s been constant. It feels never-ending. There are hundreds of decisions a day—big decisions, small decisions, medium sized decisions, team member decisions, store promotion decisions, creative decisions. It has truly been exhausting.
I want you to know that most of us probably feel the same way. I understand if you’re tired. And I genuinely hope that 2021 becomes a little bit easier.
As small business owners, we have all adapted pivoted, shifted, scrambled panicked, right. We’ve done all of those things this year. But we’ve also done that in our personal lives too.
Remember That You’ve Done Your Best This Year
Don’t forget that we’re human first: we’re moms, dads, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, and friends. And we all really care, and we’re scared, and we have emotions and feelings, and that this year has been hard.
Even with all of that, I am looking forward to 2021, and I hope you are too. I recently told a customer that even though 2020 has been challenging, I am going to try my best to enjoy the rest of it, no matter what it looks like.
I have slowed down in some areas of my life in 2020, and I’ve been able to focus on myself and my personal growth. I’ve been able to make improvements in my home and declutter like I never have before. In some ways, I’ve been able to breathe a bit. And although I miss my extended family and my girlfriends, I’ve definitely spent more time with my own family. For that, I am truly, truly grateful.
- [03:15] Shopkeeper parents missed their alone time and their kids’ activities
- [06:29] Shopkeepers wished politics weren’t so heavy this year
- [08:49] Shopkeepers missed business as usual
- [18:14] Shopkeepers missed everyday life without COVID
- [21:45] Shopkeepers wished for less decision fatigue
- [23:13] Remember that you’ve done your best this year