COVID-19 One Year Later


COVID-19 – One Year Later


Just over one year ago, we had to make drastic changes to the way we did business to accommodate what was then the “novel” coronavirus or covid-19. These days, mask wearing and temperature checks are simply part of the day to day routine. As I think back to what it was like to run a business when we didn’t know what the next few days or weeks would bring, and it certainly highlights the unique challenges of being an entrepreneur.

As we navigated the uncertainty, we shared a lot on our blog. And today, as I reflect on the past year, I want to share some thoughts on themes and ideas that have emerged as a result of the pandemic that will remain going forward.

No business is an island

According to John Donne, “no man is an island,” and that idea can be applied to businesses as well. Trying to operate on our own without any inside input creates a vacuum.  As an entrepreneur, it can be difficult for those on the payroll to give honest feedback, and the result, whether intentional or not, means that you can end up surrounded by a bunch of “yes men.” Being a part of a professional organization such as an industry association or entrepreneur group, means that you will receive honest feedback and advice when faced with extreme circumstances as we were last year. I am a past president of I-SIGMA, the international industry association, and we had members throughout Europe, including Italy, who were about 10 days ahead of us with COVID-19. We were able to hear directly from like industries how they were navigating the pandemic, giving us insights on how to better prepare. Throughout the year, we held virtual meetings and seminars giving our members real-time feedback on best practices and navigating through the crisis. In addition to being a valuable information share for our thousands of members, it also created a safe space for entrepreneurs to express how they were dealing with the crisis.

Don’t use band-aids for bullet wounds

As I’ve been said many times before, many companies do not have a paper problem, they have a management problem. Instead of taking on a full-scale document management problem and truly dealing with the issue, companies would instead schedule a one-time purge to get rid of the obvious problem while kicking the can – processes and lack of digitization – down the road. Once things shut down and many people moved to remote operations, the true problem manifested itself in big ways for many companies. It reminded me of a quote from Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet: “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” As businesses had to quickly shift, many companies were left scrambling for fig leaves. In fact, this led to more document management engagements during the second and third quarters than the previous year! Companies that had previously declined full scale document management services were suddenly in desperate need of digitization. And because we were prepared and had adapted to operate safely during COVID, we were able to create solutions for clients that would not only help them navigate the pandemic but create efficiencies that would benefit long after the return to normal.

Examine your core values

Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still very much a part of our lives, things are slowly getting ack to ‘normal.’ The vaccine is here and now widely available in many states, including Georgia, and in our town of Thomasville, schools have been in session since September. While we all weathered the same storm over the past year, we were not all in the same boat.  Some businesses and industries – airline, travel, hospitality in particular, were extremely hard hit and will therefore take longer to recover. Others thrived. Some experienced personal loss; some longer-term health impacts may still be felt. Regardless of which boat you were in, the response is worth a moment of reflection. British theologian Brooke Foss said, “Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to our eyes,” and I think this certainly applies to the past 12 months. It’s important to reflect on how you handled the situation both as a person and as a business owner. A good gauge of this is to examine your mission and values. Did you live up to those words or phrases shared in the employee handbook? Or are they mostly empty and need revisiting?

We as a company invested a lot of time and energy into crafting a new mission statement in 2019: To create value for our clients through creative thinking and innovative document management solutions. And as I reflect on the past year, I am very proud to say that the entire SRS team lived up to this mission.

If you look back on the last year and see areas of improvement, don’t despair. Use this as a chance to improve. Take the lessons of 2020 and apply them to a better and brighter future for you, your company and your employees.

Christopher P. Jones


Our Latest Consulting Insights

Retention policies

Are You Ready to Become an Expert on Retention Policies?

Retention. For many, just the word itself induces a slight feeling of panic. Retention policies are complex, standards are unclear, and breaches come with serious costs. Whether you’re creating, implementing, or enforcing a retention policy, it’s a big job.   Thus, the reason for this series. […]

Read More

Document shredding

How Scheduled Shredding Helps Tifton Area Businesses Stay Compliant

No matter the industry, all business owners know that their records management practices must adhere to compliance requirements specific to their industry. Compliance requirements dictate how records are stored and for how long, making them an important factor in all records management plans. Partnering with […]

Read More

Earth day, long leaf pines, invest in our earth

Secure Records Solutions Commitment to Sustainability

At Secure Records Solutions, we understand our clients care about the sustainability of the solutions we provide. For us, sustainability is not a catch phrase. It’s an expression of who we are. Every day we work to improve the lives of others, while providing sustainable […]

Read More

Outsourcing Document Management Keeps Car Retailers FTC Compliant

How Outsourcing Document Management Keeps Car Retailers FTC Compliant

Automotive industry retailers know that staying in compliance with Federal Trade Commission Guidelines is a key feature of doing business. One of the most important steps to ensuring constant compliance with FTC guidelines is employing an effective document management system.   Automotive industry retailers, whether in […]

Read More

Puzzles and problem solving

Puzzles and First Principles

As originally published by Partner & COO Christopher Powell Jones: Since I was young, I’ve always loved solving problems. I prefer attempting the impossible, addressing the unanswerable, and slaying dragons to eating dessert. When I was little, my mother asked me what I wanted to […]

Read More

The papers stacked waiting to be scanned. Desktop scanner. In-house scanner. Document scanning.

Are You Still Using a Desktop Scanner?

Desktop scanners are like most pieces of everyday office equipment: If you’re thinking about them at all, it’s probably because you’re dissatisfied with their performance. While it’s true that desktop scanners can be useful and even thrive in the right applications, a growing business can […]

Read More

Fortune 500 company employees walking

Do Fortune 500 Companies Outsource Their Document Management?

For businesses everywhere, a tried-and-true strategy for inciting growth is by emulating the greats. Companies like those who make up the Forbes 500 set the standards in the industry for best practices, and we can all learn something from their successful habits.   When it comes […]

Read More

Happy Holidays From Secure Records Solutions

Happy Holidays from Secure Records Solutions

Dear Friends, There is a consistent crisp in the air, and I’m starting to see holiday window displays go up. I have more excuses than usual to gather with friends. These signals bring to mind warm memories of the past, while ushering in a busy […]

Read More