Letter from the Editor I planned to only cover the Covid-19 Business Recovery for March. The overwhelming feedback that I’ve received from both seasoned and new business owners has changed my mind. Although Collages LLC Mini Mag is being offered as a quarterly business resource in 2021, I think it’s important to cover this topic in some format in the next two issues this year. Many have asked about the plan for 2022, and I am happy to say the plan right now is to go back to the monthly format. More surprises are being developed currently for our readers, sponsors, and participants. This June issue will display new features by two female business owners. “Talking HR with Kimberly” by Kimberly Lundy and “Travel Time with Karen” by Karen Nelson will be staples in the magazine. These business professionals will be sharing their areas of expertise to enhance our growing community of readers. Check out their tips and updates so that you can prepare your business and personal plans properly. Thank you for continuing to support our business vision! Sincerely,
CELEBRATIONS IN JUNE National Best Friend’s Day – 6/8/21 Juneteenth – 6/19/21 Father’s Day – 6/20/21 First Day of Summer – 6/20/21 United Nations Public Service Day – 6/23/21
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Covid-19 Business Recovery Series – How Owners Pivoted? “While COVID-19 shut down large portions of the country, Dr. Davina’s Dots: An empowering podcast and syndicated global radio show was born to help listeners make meaning out of the mundane and connect the dots in life. Business owners seeking an affordable way to build their brand and share their message and mission with the world are invited to sponsor her show and help change the world one dot at a time!” Dr. Davina Smith, “Dr. Davina’s Dots” Syndicated Radio Show “We are a laundry detergent fundraising company offering fundraisers for, mostly youth sports and nonprofits. When Covid-19 hit, this obviously put a grinding halt to any youth sports programs and in-person fundraising. Luckily with a few right decisions - some lucky, some strategic, Sudz was able to pivot to supplying hand sanitizer at a time when sourcing it was nearly impossible. This way, we held over until restrictions lifted and people could get back to semi-normalcy.” Jeremy Kean, Business Coach Sudz Fundraising
Covid-19 Business Recovery Series: Pivoting & Changing By Athelda Ensley
An Interview with Karen Nelson, Owner of TAD Travel Services Everyone agrees that last year was memorable in so many different ways. Families and businesses in every segment of the country were impacted due to Covid-19 and the lockdowns that began in the first quarter of 2020. No field or industry was not affected, whether it was a loss of business activity or physical locations. The ways that people conducted business had to change and pivot quickly. For some, this was a time to re-vamp their models or to sadly close their doors. The travel industry and relevant businesses were not isolated from these challenges last year. According to the US Travel Association, a resource that tracks industry performance, there were many negatives experienced throughout this area. Travel spending last year declined 42%, which equates to approximately a $5B decrease from 2019. Not all business owners are back at their pre-Covid-19 numbers, but some have seen an increase in travel by consumers. Karen Nelson of TAD Travel Services is an example of a travel industry professional, who shared her recovery story, after a year of multiple challenges. Q: What was the primary impact of Covid-19 on your business last year? A: The primary impact, of course, was that every segment of the entire travel industry was shut down. This not only affected current trips that were already in the pipeline and any future travel, as well. During normal times, clients’ travel arrangements were usually booked around 6 – 18 months in advance. I simultaneously had to deal with the halt of travel and not being able to earn commissionable income. This was certainly a devastating experience on the business, and there was no time to pivot at that point. Business owners in my field either gave up altogether they had to find a new direction. I know that some people were able to pivot and change, while many others were afraid to. It was a scary time for everyone. Q: How were you able to adapt to the new operational changes post lockdowns? A: I quickly applied social media platforms to my daily operations during lockdowns and afterward. These platforms allowed me to stay engaged with clients and to answer their
questions. As an industry expert, it was important to assist clients in new and creative ways. The lockdown period was an opportunity for me to complete certifications to enhance my Luxury Travel Concierge services. I used this time to gain additional training/education, and to grow the business overall. I was able to hold on to my entrepreneurial spirit with the motivation to think about the future. At that time, everything was broken and there was not a lot of support. I felt it was my responsibility to protect my clients even during the lockdown. So, I continued providing services and performed cancellations, refunds, and travel credits at no charge. Q: What does Business Recovery mean to you based on the changes you've made? A: I believe it is important to stay up-to-date about the industry and what’s going on to assist clients. With the world opening again, I am monitoring pre-cautions and restrictions as it relates to travel. This is helpful for my business, when it comes to preparing for the future. It’s a good idea to be ready for what comes next, and to provide clients with a high level of service. Q: How would you encourage new business owners? A: If it’s your passion, find your niche and get started. Don’t try to be everything to all clients. That type of plan is a setup for disaster. As a new business owner, do market research to finetune your services. I coach newbies to become known for that niche. Those in my industry need to know that being a Jack-of-all-trades in travel is difficult. It is important to find your expertise (specialty area).
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TIME VALUE OF MONEY By Sean D. Ensley, CEO, Athelda Scotia Investments LLC I consider both time and money very valuable assets. Both are finite and often very limited in availability. Understanding the limitations of our time and money is not insignificant and should never be undervalued or underappreciated. We tend to track and closely monitor everything we deem valuable. These are personal decisions, therefore what one person values may differ greatly from what another person values. In terms of quantity, let’s consider MONEY as an asset. Money is generally defined as anything accepted as payment for goods and services, repayments of debts, etc., in socio-economic structures. It is a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and a store value. Despite not always effectively managing what we have, most people dream about having more and more of the stuff. Now, in terms of quantity, let’s consider TIME as an asset. Time is generally defined as an indefinite, continued, progression of existence and events understood by humans as past, present, and future. Points of time are measured in hours and minutes, in relationship to midnight (am) and noon (pm). Think about that for a moment. Unlike money, time is an ASSET that we all have in equal amounts. Warren Buffett, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and others do not have more of this stuff than anybody else. They only have 7 days in each of their weeks, 24 hours in each of their days, 60 minutes in each of their hours, etc. A person that is more productive, finds more efficient ways to use the same amount of time that is available to everyone else. Illness and gangster activity notwithstanding. Let’s take a minute to relate TIME to MONEY
According to usdebtclock.org the national debt of the United States is 27.93 trillion dollars. It is growing at a rate of 2.4 million dollars per minute, 144 million dollars per hour, 3.46 billion dollars per day, and 104 billion dollars per month. Which will add, at least, another 1.25 trillion dollars by the end of the year. In terms of time, we cannot fully comprehend how much a trillion really is without writing it down. So, here it is, roughly. One million seconds is equal to 11 days, one billion seconds equals 32 years, and one TRILLION seconds equals 32,000 YEARS. Which finally brings me to Time Value of Money.
Time value of money (TVM, also referred to as present discounted value) is the principle that money DECREASES in value as time passes. In other words, the money you have now is worth more than an identical sum in the future. Wait, What? Who cares about complicated math, right? So, let’s look at a simple example. Since I hold gold (physical and equities) as an investment asset, I enjoy comparing it to other assets. In 1934, physical gold was worth $35 per ounce. In 1974, 1984, 1994. 2004, and 2014, gold sold for $184, $308, $384, $436, and $1200, respectively. Today, the spot price of physical gold is almost $1,800 per ounce. Notice how the value of money has consistently decreased as time passed. In other words, in 1934 you could purchase one ounce of gold for only $34. Today, that will barely buy half of a gram. Looking at it another way, far more dollars are required to purchase physical gold today than was required in the past. Why? The value of money has decreased as time passed.
“Every season brings with it joy and challenge. Letting the time pass you by will not limit either. It will limit the growth they could bring you.” ---ARE
The World is Opening to Travel … What You Need to Know By Karen Nelson After more than a year of collecting dust, we can finally brush off our passports and start planning our next adventures. So many travel dreams and vacation plans were canceled in 2020, missed opportunities to celebrate special events and spend time with family and friends. We have all been waiting for the world to once again open to travelers … but what do you need to know about post-COVID travel? Some of the most important things to consider are entry restrictions for the region you want to visit, protocols for your resort/cruise/tour, travel protection requirements, availability/access to activities and excursions, and re-entry protocol (including possible quarantine) upon return home. And many travelers are concerned for their safety while traveling to/from their destination. I have compiled some expert tips for you to consider.
General Travel Tips: Check your passport expiration date. You do not want to get excited about an adventure, only to find your passport is not valid. Check your vaccination requirements. Many countries require travelers to be vaccinated for COVID and Hep-A. Learn about travel advisories, alerts, and other important details that could affect you and your travel plans through the US State Department. Enroll your trip in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service that allows US citizens traveling abroad to be in contact with nearby embassies. Have all required travel documents, tickets, boarding passes, luggage tags printed out (I keep an extra copy in my luggage) as well as easy access on your mobile device. Have your medical card and travel protection documents printed out (I keep an extra copy in my luggage) as well as easy access on your mobile device. Specific Post-COVID Travel Tips: Upgrade airline tickets to Premium Economy (or higher) for more legroom and overall space between yourself and others.
Upgrade cruise cabin to Balcony for immediate access to fresh air and for a private area to relax and enjoy your surroundings. Bring disinfectant wipes onboard airplanes and trains to sanitize tray tables, armrests, and seat buckles as needed. Bring disinfectant wipes into hotel rooms to sanitize handles, phones, faucets, and tv remotes as needed. Bring hand sanitizer for use after touching door handles, railings, elevator buttons, and other items in public areas.
There are many regions safely welcoming travelers at this time, while others are still working on their health protocols. With just a bit more planning and preparation, most travelers will find they can comfortably and safely enjoy vacations once again. When you are ready to begin making plans for your next amazing adventure, I highly suggest you identify an accredited travel advisor, specializing in the vacation you have chosen, to assist you. Now more than ever, you want to have an expert travel advisor assist with your reservation bookings. Not a hobbyist or part-time travel planner, but an accredited and certified travel agent, who has access to the latest updates, protocols, and restrictions. While Google searches, online forums, and even mass booking engines can provide some information and try to answer your questions, an accredited travel advisor has access to additional resources to help ensure you are prepared for your vacation and will act as your advocate. More information about Karen Nelson and TAD Travel Services can be found online at: http://www.tadtravelservices.com. If you have any questions about travel or would like to discuss planning your next amazing vacation experience, schedule a call: bit.ly/TravelChatwithKaren
HR Business Issues during the Pandemic The Coronavirus pandemic impacted virtually every aspect of our lives socially, professionally, and economically. We have had to adjust to change with business being no exception. In 2020, Business leaders faced a myriad of challenges from complying with mandatory lockdowns, occupancy restrictions, implementing safety protocols while strategizing on how to keep businesses operational. For many, this translated into loss of business, reduction of staff, and a decline in revenue. With the rollout of the COVID vaccine in 2021, there is a renewed sense of hope. Lockdowns have been lifted, facility occupancy capacity numbers have risen while many safety protocol requirements like social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment, and sanitation remain. Business leaders continue to face unprecedented Human Resources challenges with staffing being at the top of the list. Many businesses are finding it difficult to secure the talent needed resulting in critical roles going unfilled. The National Federation of Independent Business found in a March survey of its members that 42% had job openings they could not fill.
Recruitment Strategies Pause, didn’t we just say that unemployment has been historically high due to the pandemic? This leads us to ask, why would businesses be finding it hard to hire? Business owners report that the increase in unemployment benefits provided by the Cares Act has resulted in many workers waiting longer to take accept a job. The National Bureau of Economic Research found that a 10% increase in unemployment benefits during the pandemic led to a 3.6% decrease in job applications. Anxiety and fear
produced by the pandemic have left many workers reluctant to transition to new employment. People, who are currently working, fear the uncertainty of change and opt to stay with the security of knowing their current employer.
Transitioning Environments Due to the occupancy capacity limits and shutdowns of 2020, many businesses transitioned in whole, or partly, to virtual work environments. The good news is business operations continued. The challenge is that many workers have become accustomed to working from home. For some this desire is driven by health safety concerns and wanting to limit potential exposure to the virus. For others, it may be childcare and educational concerns. While schools have re-opened, not all schools are offering full-time in-person learning. For the schools that are providing full-time inclass education, many parents fear allowing their children to return to school. Heightening their sense of concern is that many children are not yet eligible to receive vaccination against the coronavirus.
Aligned Staffing Solutions As we can see, the reasons for the decline in staffing are complex. Staffing solutions must be strategically designed to balance the complexities and often competing priorities of the organization and worker’s needs. It is important to select strategic partners that understand your business and are adept with the ever-changing HR/ compliance requirements that impact your organization. Lundy HR Consulting’s clients enjoy the competitive advantage of big business benefits by knowing that their organization is leveraging best practices and is in compliance with the latest standards. We free you up so that you have more time to work on your core business which after all is why you went into business. Contact Lundy HR Consulting at www.LundyHRC.com for a complimentary consultation on how we can help your business succeed.
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