- Gokhan Aktas
New Year, New Hope
It was the year of Covid 19 without a doubt. It affected the whole world without any discrimination. Younger, older, healthier, ill, big businesses, small businesses, developed countries, developing countries … It didn’t matter. Probably this was one of the biggest crises the world had seen in a very long time. Even though we know much more about it now than before, it looks like it will still be in focus in 2021.
When I have first heard about it in January of 2020, I thought it was just a new disease discovered in China. It was too far from us to worry. I even took a trip to Germany in February and wondered why many people at the airport were wearing face masks. If only I knew I would be wearing it myself daily soon. Panic started shortly after. Masks, hand sanitizers, layout changes, lockdowns, different working hours, etc. We were getting new recommendations weekly and we were trying to apply them religiously. Do you know how hard that is when you are trying to run a production line?
Covid 19 is still here but I feel like the dust is starting to settle. What we have been doing and what we learned through this experience will surely help us against new outbreaks in the future. Personally, the biggest lesson I learned is not to panic. Panic is the worst reaction you can have. It is not only contagious but also puts you in a spin. Staying calm, listening to authorities, coming up with a plan and applying is the best thing you can do.
The second thing I learned is being creative and flexible. There is a way you are used to doing business. You might need to change that if you still want to stay in business. We have seen great examples of this in the restaurant business such as curbside pickups, deliveries, and meal kits. As a metal packaging company, we are a crucial business for other businesses. They use our tins to pack their goods. In a way, we must adapt and stay in business. It isn’t optional and we feel a responsibility to do our part.
That is what we did. We created a realistic plan and made some changes to the way we ran our business. Not only we managed to succeed and even hit our goals for the year but that feeling of being in control gave us more confidence in our path. We will be doing more of the same this year.
There is one more thing I want to mention which is probably the most important outcome of all of this. And that is how everything becomes irrelevant without health. So first pay attention to mask, distance, and hygiene, protect yourself and others, and worry about everything else afterward.
Have a great year.