Reacting as a company
Sumy is a logistics and urban transport company whose clientele is mainly businesses located in urban areas. The experience was like a cataclysm for Sumy. Hiroshima or Chernobyl, in terms of sales decrease. Mainly sales decrease, drop in orders, of 97%. At Sumy, we were ready from March 7th. The Covid safety plan was in place. So we had a sort of… solicitation effect, with service demands and a shift to home deliveries, then total stoppage even of home deliveries since retailers were unable to produce more orders to be delivered. It felt like a cataclysm. We needed a transformation, to come up with a new business model, we needed working capital, cash-flow was negative. Decisions had to be made and Sumy’s transformation is now underway. When business came to a halt in late June, we had to rethink our model, talk to investors and professionals to develop a new solution for 2021 in hopes too, that the world pandemic situation will level out.

Reacting as an entrepreneur
My advice to entrepreneurs who are facing this crisis is to get lots of exercise every day to get out all that wonderful creative energy you have but cannot express. But more importantly to maintain a healthy mental and physical balance. You need to be ready when it’s time to get back.

A lesson to take away
Devote all your time to your customers and investors. I devoted a lot of time to customers and neglected my investors. Why? Because my customers were my best investors. I’m still convinced of that. But I didn’t spend enough time on my own improvement and learning to fit a learning curve that would take 2 years into a time when I didn’t need funds. So I could be ready in terms of financial knowledge when test-time rolled around, with the first contracts being signed and a need for capital. I should have been ready to raise funds at that time.