Why would working on political business issues or forming a community in my industry help stabilise my business?
This is a very leading question, but, some businesses faced many problems that had been solved before Corona - may have mitigated the devastating impact faced by business owners. The issue is it is often a community effort to firstly identify problems, but also to implement and develop solutions. There are situations that could have been mitigated significantly with political intervention. There are some industries where there are no initiatives to promote the needs and rights of the industry on a larger scale. The measures currently taken are not fast enough for the local gastronomy. Who should be able to take out more loans? Because many freelancers and self employed people can't.
Commercial tenants in Berlin for example, face very different rental conditions to private tenants. In this case we talk about a small fashion design house who had a showroom and workroom. They had a rent increase imposed on them with one months (which is legal) then a month later were asked to vacate the premise (also legal) - and we only saved by the Corona crisis - but have a very obviously drought relationship with the greedy landlord and therefore have issues paying the rents.
Commercial rentals, as one example of a broader public problem that impacts your business, can cause the downfall of freelance business. From the rent, which is sometimes increased three to four times, the active recruitment of new tenants who can pay more, and the termination of contracts after only three or six months while maintaining the rent payment. In the current crisis, some of these tenant-landlord relationships, which were previously tense, face an uncertain future with no obligations or protection for tenants.
It is very clear what difference rental security makes for small businesses. . Although many in Berlin face such consequences, there doesn't seem to be any political protection. Reach out to other businesses and your local government representatives - how can the community come together to solve these problems? Because when you solve these problems in the business community you solve and mitigate your own future problems.
Is there help available to assist stabilising the business or realising expansion/survival ideas?
The government recently announced a € 4,000 corona grant for small businesses to hire consultants (and even without their own contribution). This is a great opportunity for business owners to access professional support to help with strategy development and implementation of these changes. Some small businesses in Germany have already tackled these changes and demonstrate ingenuity, creativity and community but there are professionals who can help and assist you moving forward.
When we choose to work for ourselves, we choose to take on the responsibility of our survival, our adaptability, our decisions during a sudden and unexpected crisis and change over which we have no control. This is a choice for like and many of us do not want to go back to working for someone else, so we hope any discomfort and concern you have experienced can be pivoted to the positive, your time maximised and the sustainability of your business is being considered.
Make sure whatever challenges you, you use the time advantage if it has been afforded to you, to examine expanding and stabilizing your business - and we wish you luck!