What’s your beef with us, Corona?

It is crazy to think that in almost three months, life was so different to how it is now and yet, here we are. This virus has ripped through the world like something out of an action thriller Hollywood film, decimating economies, killing so many people and those who have not fallen prey, are scrambling desperately to survive the catastrophe.

The fall out obviously is not only about physical survival. It is about the survival of our businesses too – big and small, but mainly small enterprises who are the hardest hit.

Here’s the thing though: South Africans are a resilient bunch. We are adaptable, we are tough, we are smart, we are strong, we are focused, we are driven, and we are unrelenting when it comes to fighting our way through the toughest times. We have faced many obstacles before and have come out on top and we will do so again, of that I have no doubt.

The thing with having to face challenges head on though, is that we are forced into an uncomfortable position. The feeling of discomfort often provides the springboard for unimaginable growth and success. Why? Because the feeling of discomfort is well, uncomfortable. In order to find that sweet spot of comfort, we are forced to push our limits, become innovative and dynamic in ways never imagined as we navigate our way through the tough stuff. If we do this, we move from discomfort into comfort once again.

Look, I know it is easy to say this and difficult to act on when things are falling apart like they are. The enormous sense of fear – a dark abyss filled with palpable fear of not knowing what comes next is daunting. This state of fear creates a sense of helplessness, of feeling of being stuck with nowhere to turn. We get it, we also feel vulnerable.

I have hope though.

If anything, this virus has taught us to come together in ways we never have before. The Rat Race has created a sense of “Each Man for Himself” but now we have an opportunity to throw out old ideas and embrace new ones. For businesses to thrive I believe we need to consider:

  • Collaborating with like-minded businesses;
  • Brainstorming with friends and old colleagues;
  • Pooling resources;
  • Unlikely partnerships; and
  • Sharing networks and expertise (including services and products).

Blake’s Fine Foods has had to adapt to the changes the various lockdown levels brought with it too. Unable to supply Wagyu beef to our many clients through the normal supply chain route meant we had to restructure our business. Though our hand was forced a little too early, thankfully, we had a plan to fall back on when Corona hit. We had been working behind the scenes creating a sister brand called Sophia’s that was always meant to work alongside Blake’s Fine Foods. Now, Sophia’s is helping us to keep afloat.

Sophia’s is an online deli that supplies high-end quality deli foods including Wagyu beef. This means that while we are unable to supply to our clients through our usual route, we are able to supply our products via this channel to all our clients.

To ensure your safety and the safety of my staff, we have put in place all the rigorous protocols:

  • Social distancing;
  • Temperature control of staff;
  • Hand washing;
  • Continuous sanitisation of hands and surfaces; and
  • Masks – the newest fashion accessory even the most astute fashionista didn’t foresee as the trend for 2020!

Jokes aside, it is early days and circumstances can change in an instant. So we have to take each day at a time and see how we can better ourselves as we go about it. I personally am heartbroken that many of my clients who have become friends over the years have had to close their doors. It’s cruel, and it’s unfair. But if there is anything we can do – share contacts, spread the word, help by being a soundboard, by all means, reach out and let’s see what we can achieve together.

Don’t allow Corona to destroy what we have all worked so hard to build.