Tough calls — Entrepreneurs share lessons learned during the pandemic

BY , Philip B. Taub

On December 17, we spoke for an hour with four entrepreneurs and business leaders regarding their businesses pre-COVID-19, how the pandemic affected operations and their teams, what 2021 looks like for them, and what were the management lessons learned through this period.

The conversation was recorded and a link to it appears below. Our panelists for this conversation are:

  • Paul McKeon, CEO of B2W Software.
  • Tom BoucherCEO of Great NH Restaurants.
  • Eric SpoffordCEO of Granite Recovery Centers.
  • Dan Burke, the chief enterprise strategy officer and general counsel at Pacific Dental Services.

Management lessons learned:

Effectively communicate with your team. Set a positive tone on where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Make certain you have an infrastructure to support and manage your business. Use technology to communicate quickly and clearly.

Financial liquidity is a key component to survival. Make certain there is money on hand—cash is king.

Be agile and quick to change and recreate.

Know your numbers. Understanding costs and contribution margins can help you decide whether your responses to ever-changing regulations are profitable or not. Just because your competitors pivot to a new model doesn’t mean they are losing more money than they are earning.

Transparency and positivity are key. Stay mission-focused on clients.

Isolate the positives and keep them. Clients have accepted new services like telehealth and digital menus.

Empower your teams to contribute ideas and solutions. In the crucible of 2020, good ideas came from everyone—line cooks, dentists, and heavy equipment operators stepped up with ideas to move forward.

Advocate tirelessly for your clients and staff. Not all stories in the media are accurate or consistent with the facts.

This too shall pass. Believe in a better year to come.


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Christopher P. Keefe


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Philip B. Taub


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