GRAPHICS PRO

June '21

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9 6 G R A P H I C S P R O J U N E 2 0 2 1 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M that I have been vaccinated, I am reassess- ing what direction I want to take." De a ling w it h t he pa ndem ic a lso helped a lot of business owners focus on restructuring their business or their lives to make things less stressful. Katie Wubben, who owns the brick-and-mortar store Marketplace on Mill Street in Lake Mills, Iowa, learned to use a combo of au- tomation and prioritizing to help reduce her stress level while also providing good customer service. "I have made my hours more convenient for me, and customers have respected that easier than ever be- fore." She utilized automated inventory and online invoices to let customers know what the store had without her having to be there. Wubben also notes, "I am currently working on getting more online shop- ping for my website to make it easier for local people to pre-order and shop any- time with curbside pickup." Another effect of the pandemic was an increase in corporate social responsibil- ity. Companies began to look for ways to support each other and the communities they were in. Many garment decoration companies participated in fundraising ini- tiatives that supported businesses in their communities and helped bring additional, and much needed, revenue to those who were suffering. Companies retooled pro- duction floors and switched from making garments to making and donating masks or PPE to help frontline workers. As the pandemic caused shutdowns and lockdowns and changed how people were employed, there was an increase in companies looking after the health and welfare of their staff and working with employees to try and keep the paychecks coming and the doors open. The focus went from making a profit to making a difference. ONLY THE FUTURE KNOWS Since the pandemic has not officially been declared to be over, it remains to be seen exactly what good impacts of the experi- ence will remain and which will fade as time goes on. Some garment decoration and promo product companies may nev- er choose to or want to do things in the same way again. Others may go back to the "same old-same old" and count them- selves lucky to be able to make that choice. The pandemic has illustrated both the good and the bad aspects of society and offered opportunities for change and growth. Like most life changing expe- riences, some of what has occurred has been painful and some of it has opened new possibilities and new ways of work- ing, creating, and growing a business. GP KRISTINE SHREVE is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting, which offers writing, marketing, and business development services. The company can be found at www.kristineshreve.com. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast and is also the Director of Marketing and Outreach for Ap- plique Getaway. Kristine was the Director of Marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006 to April 2020.

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