INSIDERSColour SortersYes, You Can Stay Safe and Still Build Your Business

Yes, You Can Stay Safe and Still Build Your Business


For many of us, the pandemic really started when the NHL paused back in March. That week, my daughter was planning to swim in an interprovincial meet, where kids from across the Prairies were coming to town. It was a big deal to her and it was crushing when the meet was cancelled two hours before it was to begin.

Soon after, I was stuck at home for what felt like a year (but was more like eight weeks) with my family, watching the curve, hoping for it to flatten, and feeling less confident about the future than I can ever remember. For a few weeks, nothing felt like a given. I was frozen, pretty much working on autopilot just to get through it all.

Last year, I worked on a deal to buy some real estate for Nexeed to move into. We are approaching the point where we need more space. That particular deal didn’t work out, and the next opportunity had not yet emerged. While at home in lockdown, I was absolutely relieved the deal had fallen thorough.   The idea of having that addition would have been frightening.

Over time, the curve flattened and then started going back up again. I think we all started to understand more about how the pandemic impacts us. I watched our customers experience the usual demand for their seed and food ingredient products. They had to adjust quickly, with no “luxury” of being able to work from home.

“The pandemic is far from over, but I no longer see it as an impediment to our future.”

I’m sure they, too, were just trying to get through it all. But they kept open, stayed fairly busy — in some cases unusually busy — and everyone is still in business despite the chaos. We now appreciate much better the fact we work not just in the seed industry, but in the food industry — the one industry that the world absolutely needs.

My own attitude toward that real estate deal has come back around, too. The pandemic is far from over, but I no longer see it as an impediment to our future. We will be OK, although there might be some ground to make up after the pause we all had to take this year.

Our industry is truly essential, so it’s only a matter of when we choose to make the leap and begin our next phase of recovery. For me, I am getting ready to do it right now as you read this, even though a second wave of COVID-19 has begun.

We take this seriously and are implementing every single health precaution we can, but we now know we can keep everyone safe and still work to build our business and help our clients.

Mark Metcalfe
Mark Metcalfe
President, Nexeed - Mark is a farm boy from Treherne, Man., and went to the University of Manitoba where he obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. He’s served as Nexeed president for 11 years, during which time he’s marvelled at the pace of technological change in seed processing equipment.
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