This is how I would prepare my family and my business for a pandemic

I woke up to the situation of new coronavirus late, only last day of the Chinese year we started to realize this was going to be serious. Still we thought it’s just going to be one month and things can get back to normal.

Now more than two months later China is slowly getting back to normal, when rest of the world are struggling or beginning to struggle with the pandemic.

Now if I was living in Finland where we still have less than 100 cases (or could go back in time 2 months), this is how I would prepare my self, my family and especially my business.

Home and family

  • I would prepare my home with a few bottles of hand sanitazers to keep in my bag, car and at the work place. (In China would have also bought masks as they are compulsory here, but in many other places it’s best to leave the masks for the hospitals as there aren’t enough resources)
  • I would keep some extra food at home, but not start hoarding items. In Guangzhou supermarkets only ran out of some food items for a day or few days maximum.
  • I wouldn’t allow visitors to my home, no mattter friends or relatives. Trying my best to keep home virus free. In China this was regulated by the local government, but in Finland it’s not as likely and I would make the decision my self.
  • I would keep extra care of not getting sick with even a common cold, getting sick with anything would mean staying at home or even worse, being a burden to the health care system.
  • I would discuss with my husband what to do if our daughter can’t go to the kindergarten for a long time. At the time of writing this our daughter has been on a “holiday” at home for almost 8 weeks.
  • I would start cutting costs and saving money, in case the epidemic would affect my earnings.

Work and business

  • I would cut costs on my business as soon as possible and start saving for the business. I would consider temporarily cutting from two offices to one office, even if it means losing rent deposit (especially in my case of working from a co-working office).
  • I would create more online services and improve our current online platforms. Most of our students physically come to us for classes and courses, which they couldn’t do for a long time. And still can’t if they are stuck in quarantine.
  • For any business I would make a plan for what to do in case your current customers can’t come to you, if they have loss of salary/earnings and can’t afford your services.
  • I would also make a plan what to do with my business in case me or my family member gets sick or quarantined.
  • I would make sure that my home office has all the necessary items, same as my main office. This way can be prepared to work from home as well.
  • If I didn’t have any ways of earning a living online, I would start working on that. We luckily had some online courses as well and could teach online, helping a little bit in this difficult situation.

How the virus is affecting us

  • Our 4 year old daughter has been at home for 8 weeks, and will continue to stay home at least until end of March. There is no news on when kindergartens will open again. This means either me or my husband needs to be at home to care for her.
  • My husband is co-owner of a gym in our area, which had to be closed for business for 1.5 months, now that gyms are allowed to open, not too many people want to visit them or they don’t have money to buy a membership. We have wanted to sell our gym shared for a while now, but this outbreak has been the last straw, we hope we can sell soon.
  • In my teaching business, we lost most of the profits in February, and a big part of the profits for March. It’s looking like the outbreak will affect us during the whole Spring due to our semester system. (While doing our best to adjust our business model to cope in this situation.)
  • On a positive side, the epidemic (now pandemic) is making us more creative in coming up with new ways to support our family. We have spent more time together than we had since our daughter was born. Relationship wise spending a lot of time home can lead to certain tension and arguments, according to friends I’m not the only one experiencing this ;)
  • (Everyone please do know that I realize health is more important than making a profit, but in a family of two entrepreneuers the profit means we can put bread on the table.)

To all friends living somewhere like Finland, where you still have time to prepare your self, I would say now is the time to do it.

And if you still feel it’s unlikely to affect you, then in any case by being ready you can save money and create new ways to support your self and your family. That’s a positive no matter what happens!