By Jamie Ihms

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to make you really think through things.

I was already in the midst of a re-evaluation of my business when the Stay Home order was given in Arizona. I think it’s important, especially for small, new businesses to continually go back to the basics and keep an eye on the heart of that business. Are we serving who we thought we would serve? Are we serving people the way they want to be served? How can we do it better? Does the way we’re running our business align with our values and our goals?

It’s imperative to continue to ask these questions and use the answers as guides for adjustments when needed. It’s too easy to get lost in the day-to-day.

So I was already asking myself these questions. But when a fundamental piece of your business model (like providing meeting space for workers and play space for kids) is stripped away, new questions come into play. Is coworking just a set of walls, a printer, and free coffee?

Or is it more?

Maybe my business offers more than just a desk and a chair (I’ll give you a hint…it absolutely does!). Maybe we facilitate networking moments, support small businesses and entrepreneurs. Maybe we connect people in Arizona with vital resources that allow them to feed their children (text “FOOD” to 877877 to get SMS alerts on the nearest free meal sites while your kids are in school), understand the funding programs that could save their careers (did you catch our webinar on the CARES Act with Amy Hoeye?), or print their kids’ homework assignments when they run out of ink (all our members get Curbside services during our temporary closure).

It has been incredible to hear how the businesses who normally call our space their headquarters have pivoted with the times. Offering new services they’d never dreamed of offering before, and some even saying that they might continue their new services after the pandemic is under control. Finding new ways to work that are more conducive to nurturing relationships and family time. Developing a new appreciation for what their spouse experiences in normal times.

Sometimes being forced to think differently about things makes you do things differently.

Sometimes that’s a good thing.