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Running a Business in Coronavirus Times versus Previous Trying Times

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Dave Lavinsky GrowThink

We talked to Dave Lavinsky of Growthink about business plans and he had the following to say:-

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times? 

Dave Lavinsky: We’re hanging in there. We live in Bend, Oregon, a ski mountain and outdoorsy town with not a ton of people and lots of outdoor activities, so we’re still able to do a lot of our normal activities.

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Growthink.

Dave Lavinsky: I started Growthink 20 years ago after graduating from business school at UCLA. Growthink focuses on developing business plans for entrepreneurs and businesses. I had written many business plans in business school and in my prior career, so we launched the company to offer this service.

How does Growthink innovate? 

Dave Lavinsky: We have regular brainstorming sessions to discuss new ideas. Since we have many employees talking with clients and others, it’s hard for just one person to innovate. That’s why we get together (mostly virtually) to discuss ideas and innovate.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?

Dave Lavinsky: The coronavirus has caused an uptick in the number of entrepreneurs starting new businesses, so business demand is strong.

But we’ve had to make changes in how we operate to serve our clients. Fortunately, we started using tools like Slack and others years ago, so moving to a fully virtual work environment wasn’t too difficult.

Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?

Dave Lavinsky: Fortunately, we haven’t had to make many difficult choices like laying off employees, etc.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Growthink in the future?

Dave Lavinsky: I exercise a lot. I run, mountain bike, ski, hike, lift at the gym, etc. I do at least one of these activities every day. I think this helps me deal with stress and anxiety pretty well.

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Dave Lavinsky: Our competitors are other business plan consulting firms and business plan software companies. We plan to stay in the game by continuing to offer a high-quality service at a reasonable price.

Your final thoughts?

Dave Lavinsky: Having run Growthink for 20 years, we’ve been through a lot of trying times: the dot com bust, 9/11, the credit crisis, etc. Each of those periods presented great challenges, but fortunately, they ended quickly. The current pandemic is lasting a long time and is much more challenging. But hopefully, it will end soon. In the meantime, entrepreneurs and business owners need to keep their heads down and push through.

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