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Chicago Blog

  • A Message From Our President June 3, 2020

    In writing my final newsletter, it’s hard to believe a year has already passed since I was inducted – yet so much has happened in the world, it is hard to believe it has only been one year. 

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  • Trust the Process June 2, 2020

    Our biggest lesson for KDM was to trust the process, no matter where it leads and trust the team you put in place because you chose them for a reason.  My team has been very helpful and responsive to the needs of the KDM staff to help them through this transition. 

    We are reopening in two phases. The first phase will not entail those with children or those that are high risk.  Phase 1 staff will also only be in the office 50% of the time.  Phase 2 will be determined as we see how the pandemic subsides.

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  • A "Brick and Click" Store June 2, 2020

    As an optometrist with an eye care clinic and an eyewear boutique, my biggest lesson during this pandemic was discovering how to quickly shift from a substantial brick and mortar to the newer "brick and click" model. Retail brick and mortar stores like mine are finding ways to change the way they do business. From telemedicine to shipping contact lenses to your door, this pandemic has taught me new and creative ways to do business and find other revenue sources to stay afloat. 

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  • Pivoting Your Business May 6, 2020

    I pivoted my business twice, originally from a staffing/recruiting company to a recruiting/HR company, then to a live events company. 

    Here is how some of this happened:

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  • Seek Opportunities in Times of Crisis May 6, 2020

    I’ve been in business for 30 years and survived the great recession and other financial crises, but this pandemic threw me into a tailspin as I tried to decide if and how to continue. I had to prepare for how this would affect the employees and our clients.  It all seemed overwhelming, especially when my adult children were so concerned about me leaving the house. I had so many decisions to make in so little time and there was no roadmap or guidance.  Everyone needed answers quickly and this truly was a life or death situation. Literally!

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  • Business Steps Taken for COVID-19 May 6, 2020

    Here are some of the recent steps that we took to mitigate the downturn:

    Week of March 30th - reduced employee hours from 40 to 30.

    Week of April 6th - reduced employee hours from 30 to 25.

    We have since kept hours at 25.

    Continue paying for healthcare.

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  • Pearl of Wisdom from a NAWBO Chicago Past President May 6, 2020

    My main “Pearl of Wisdom” is to remind business leaders to Be Courageous; don’t let the fear overwhelm you.  

    During the 2008/2009 downturn, there were several things we did to overcome the challenges and adversity at that time.  I am calmer now because of what we did years ago, and I remember how we became a much stronger and thriving company due to the initiatives we implemented which became standard strategies going forward and propelled our growth.

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  • Lessons from the Great Recession May 6, 2020

    The year that the real estate market fell apart, 80% of my clients were real estate - related and I lost them all. But I was able to reduce staff while I diversified my client mix and I was able to eventually recover.

    This is a different world altogether.

    The only advice I can give is this: reduce expenses and look for ways to offer new services (services that may have not existed before) to those clients who are still operating.

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  • Our Members Are Pivoting Their Businesses During COVID-19 May 5, 2020

    NAWBO Chicago members are more resilient than ever and their businesses are adapting in the same way. Read more to learn how five women business owners have pivoted their companies in response to COVID-19.


    Susan Gotham
    The Synergies Companies, Inc. 

    Be prepared to pivot, if necessary. Evaluate where your business is strongest and focus on that component and those clients while reducing or eliminating services that are hurting the bottom line. 

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  • A Message From Our President May 5, 2020

    Welcome to May – now entering our EIGHTH WEEK of the “shelter in place” mandate.

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