Together we can! How businesses can support each other in troubled times

this image shows a hand extended to another to help in a time of need

It’s safe to say that no one in the world is having an easy time of it at the moment. Between a pandemic that has ripped through companies and communities, uncertainty created by political factors such as Brexit and the US elections last year, and political instability all over the world – including in South Africa, where our head office is – life is challenging, and businesses have been hard hit.

Many of these factors have been beyond our control. But in difficult times, all we can do is focus on the things we can control – and support each other wherever possible. That way, we will all be able to move forward, and move into a better space.

There are four ways we can do this.


1) Keep the faith

All of those clichés you read about resilience have become clichés precisely because they hold true. Even if life is looking a little bleak, you have survived 100% of your difficult days so far – you’re still here, aren’t you?

Maintaining a positive mindset is crucial if you’re looking to survive tough times – and even thrive through them. Negative thinking doesn’t give rise to the kinds of creativity and resourcefulness we all need to make the best of the bad situations we find ourselves in, and develop the resilience we need to keep going.

Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, and resilient people are good at harnessing their inner strengths and resources so they can bounce back quickly and fully from setbacks.

The good news is that resilience isn’t something you inherently have or don’t have – it’s something you can develop by focusing on building a positive attitude, cultivating optimism, regulating your emotions, and learning to see failure as helpful feedback.

2) Pay it forward

None of us build our businesses alone – we’ve all had help. And now’s the time to pay that forward by helping others, especially other businesses.

Here are some ideas:

  • Mentor other entrepreneurs;
  • Sponsor local non-profit organizations;
  • Donate to charities – in cash and in kind, by donating your time and skills;
  • Support local small businesses and startups;
  • Speak or run free training sessions and masterclasses; and
  • Be generous with your network and connect people who could work together.

Have a helping mindset, and if you see an opportunity where you could make a difference – offer help. Just ensure you’re not barging in where help isn’t wanted: ask if you can help, and whether the help you want to offer is what is required.

3) Keep it simple

Don’t overthink your act(s) of kindness. Perfection isn’t what is required – action is. Not helping because you can’t offer the perfect solution is worse than doing something imperfectly. Even imperfect help can move someone else a step or two in the right direction.

Focus on action above everything else, and look for opportunities to collaborate with others who have complementary skills and resources.

4) Throw the first stone

No, not in the sense of stoning someone – but into the pond, to create a ripple effect. Even the smallest act of kindness can ripple out, even if we only help one person, or one business, and encourage them to pay it forward.

If enough people are prepared to thrown their pebble into the greater pond, we can create a whole wave of kindness, generosity and support when times are tough.

And remember the starfish principle – even if you only help one person, and feel your actions haven’t had sufficient impact – they’ve had enormous impact for the person you helped.

Walking the talk

In recent weeks South Africa has been rocked by violent protests that escalated into the looting and destruction of both large and small businesses across our country. Many were directly affected through damage and loss of property, and many more were indirectly affected thanks to supply chain disruption and certain areas being too dangerous to venture into.

We watched the looting and destruction with dismay, and we wanted to help.

So we reached out to the Skynamo community to partner with us in helping businesses affected by the unrest, and proposed that if any of our customers’ products could somehow help other Skynamo customers to rebuild or repair, we would connect them – and offer a once-off 10% discount on one month’s subscription to every Skynamo customer able to help another.

We have had a great response so far and with customers offering special discounts on:

  • Paint and related goods
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Cleaning chemicals, paper products, and industrial consumable supplies
  • Hand sanitizer (70% liquid)
  • 3-ply disposable masks
  • IR thermometers
  • Flooring
  • Brooms
  • Stationery and office-related products

It’s been heartening to see businesses rallying to help each other and has confirmed to us that if we work together, we can not only survive the tough times, but thrive through them!