Flexibility is paramount for small businesses and nowhere is this more true than during the last 18 months with the the pandemic. Many businesses had plans, forecasts, and investor meetings before COVID turned their business (or even their industry) upside down. With the pandemic, we’ve seen the travel industry struggle, restaurants attempt to adapt, sporting events and concerts alter dates and venues, and even some businesses shift to completely remote. And while many suffered losses, others are pivoting in this era and are able to survive for any one of the following reasons:
1. Deliveries and Takeout
Businesses like restaurants were forced to shut down because of social distancing. It soon became illegal for people being crowded in the same room due to how quickly the virus spread (and how little we knew about it). Of course, even those that wanted to uphold a mask policy and no contact service, early on still needed to comply with the law and under no circumstances were able to open up for dine in service.
On the other hand, people also needed to eat. Therefore, many restaurants that had never offered delivery or takeout before pivoted to provide takeout and deliveries. Customers would place an order they would send someone to deliver the food. Compromising the dine in component and shifting to delivery/take-out helped numerous restaurants stay afloat… what’s more, even with less restrictions many are continuing the contact-less service.
2. Having Fewer People Inside
As mentioned before, social distancing was one of the COVID-19 restrictions. Therefore, retail businesses and grocery stores had to develop new rules to keep their businesses moving. This actually cut down on window shoppers and encouraged people to call ahead to ensure what they wanted was in stock.
While retail was growing before the pandemic hit, COVID pushed more people online, increasing sales by a monumental amount.
3. Selling Trending Items
One of the methods to get your business booming is being creative with the situation. Some companies changed what they were selling to what will be needed in the market. For instance, costume companies started selling actual clothes since they couldn’t count on birthdays or “in-person” events.
Additionally, since schools closed, uniform companies started making masks and protective gloves, so they could maintain income.
4. The Use of Online
Technology has always found a way to create a solution no matter the situation. Therefore, businesses continued their operations online. Schools started teaching online, software companies started offering video calling, etc.
Other businesses started selling their products online using social media platforms while service-based companies started selling remote products (such as AirBnB offering cooking classes). Additionally, movie studios have largely fast-tracked streaming services to ensure they can still recoup some expenses — Disney+‘s simultaneous releases as an example. Transforming your business to suit the modern world is what helps numerous companies survive the pandemic.
To say the coronavirus upended the economy is an understatement. Those that couldn’t adapt quickly enough — or were operating at-cost — have been forced to shut down. As this pandemic continues, more and more businesses will adapt or start out of this crisis. Moreover, with vaccines becoming more effective, the future looks less grim and more hopeful.