Many businesses have suffered or failed during the pandemic. This is not news to the countless people who have lost their job. To put this in perspective, US job losses due to Covid are the highest since the Great Depression. Very few people have figured out how to keep their business going during this time of crisis.
There is no single answer that will serve as a solution to the problem. Rather, there is some combination of many answers that will help keep the OPEN light turned on. No two businesses are the same. And no two sets of answers will be the same. Here are a few you can try that have proven successful for others:
1. Fix Your Car
There are lots of business opportunities in the Great Northwest. Besides a couple of high-density populations, the people are spread out. If you are in outside sales, you will need a car to cover most territories. The relatively mild weather is quite conducive for getting out and knocking on doors.
If you want a small advantage in a competitive space, you need to take care of the little things. Take your car to a Washington auto body shop before you take it to Spokane to sell that water purification system. You are not going to make that $5,000 sale if the customer does not take you seriously. Drive up with that busted tail light and huge dent in your door and they will very likely not bother to answer their door when you knock. Make a better first impression and end with a better result.
2. Improve Your Education
There is always something you can improve through ongoing education. In an effort to save money, some people discontinued their formal education when things went sideways. They thought they would have plenty of time to pick back up after the crisis. Unfortunately, it seldom works out that way. After a crisis is over, people are busy scrambling to try to make ends meet. Education gets put on the back burner. You can increase your odds of success by continuing your education when others have chosen to opt out. Make the most of this opportunity by investing in yourself.
3. Take Your Business Online
Not every business is going to benefit greatly from an online campaign due to the nature of their business. But most can achieve some gains by expanding their presence. If you are a local business, you can improve by appealing to a local SEO marketing campaign. You might not be able to ship your home improvement service to customers around the world. But you can get the word out to more people in surrounding areas. They are far more likely to ask their digital assistant for a recommendation than they are to look you up in a print directory.
4. Stay Open During Regular Hours
One of the biggest customer frustrations in the Covid era is trying to figure out when businesses are open. It used to be from 9 – 9. Now, we are lucky if that same business opens by 11. Compounding the problem is that hours seem to be different from one day to the nest. And punctual opening is a thing of the past. You can improve your business just by being open for consistent, advertised hours. If people travel to your store only to find you closed, they are unlikely to do it again.
5. Add a Delivery Option
We are fast becoming a delivery culture. It is not just pizza and Chinese food anymore. Pharmacists, grocery stores, and restaurants, are just the tip of the iceberg. There is no good reason why other businesses like auto parts, pet supplies, and electronics retailers shouldn’t also be in the delivery game. Figure out how to deliver and your business will gain an advantage that will last beyond the pandemic.
Coronavirus has sidelined a lot of businesses. but business is all about the ability to adapt to change. Adapt by fixing your car, increasing your education, going online, opening for regular hours, and finding a way to deliver.