Pivoting and Language Matters
By Veronica Cool
President/CEO of Cool & Associates LLC
Masks, toilet paper shortages, distance learning, Zoom meetings (in your PJs!) – in a short span of days the world as we knew it has evolved to a self-contained microcosm of digital interactions. Everything has changed, but here are some best practices we’re executing to weather this storm.
MONEY AND FINANCES – In 2014, I established my consulting firm, and after a 20-year career in banking, I can’t take the banker out of the Latina. Meaning, we’ve avoided debt and managed our operations in a fiscally conservative fashion. But we’ve already lost revenues, projects have been delayed and realistically, some clients will be slow in paying our invoices. And the long-term impact may be worse. Therefore, I’m actively applying for any available small business grants and economic relief programs, from local, state and federal programs and even foundations. Also, looking at streamlining operations and partnering with other businesses to increase revenues, while containing costs.
PIVOTING – One of the strengths of being an entrepreneur, is the ability to be nimble when needed. Ideally, we want to pivot and innovate because of great business opportunities, not a global pandemic. We specialize in Hispanic Engagement which includes Spanish-language communication and outreach plans which the Cool team both develops and executes on behalf of our clients – in essence, we serve as their Spanish Voice. Today, due to COVID-19, most of our work is providing emergency translations for various government agencies, along with creating Spanish content for social media and digital outreach like newsletters. Since we know our Latino community over-indexes on social platforms, like Facebook, we actively posts resources on our FB Groups – Yo Quiero Trabajo and Emprendedores Latinos. Also, we are now hosting and facilitating virtual trainings on “Leveraging Influencers and Digital Community Outreach and Engagement,” especially focused on Hispanics, and Spanish-speaking Latinos.
CARING FOR OUR GENTE – We are aware of groups of Latinos and immigrants living in close quarters, unable to abide by social distancing rules or not fully aware of all the rapidly changing mandates. Enfermandose and exacerbating the crisis, simply because our Spanish-speaking Latinos are not in the loop… A ridiculous problem that we are tackling and encouraging our clients and partners to prioritize through the use of Spanish content. Also, advocating with our legislative partners to ensure policies/resources are inclusive. Providing information in Spanish so ALL of our friends, families, neighbors, students, volunteers and front-line essential workers are in the know.
These are tough times, but I’m opting to see the silver lining: quality time with our kids before they head off into college; less commuting; working with dear friends to support immigrants and small businesses. And more meditation and reflection. Y como dice Maluma, Lo malo se irá, todo pasará, La vida es una y es un carnaval. Hermanos, cuídense.
Veronica Cool, Dominican-American, is President/CEO of Cool & Associates LLC, a management consultancy in Maryland specializing in connecting organizations, small businesses and nonprofits to the Hispanic market. From translations, marketing, media & PR to events, community outreach and trainings, COOL delivers effective initiatives that help you penetrate a largely untapped market: U.S Hispanics. She may be reached via Twitter @VeroCool, Facebook @VeronicaACool or LinkedIn.
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