The Coronavirus has spread and impacted the world beyond what anyone could imagine. It has caused significant loss, heartbreak, and fear of what is to come. A primary concern has been how businesses will survive and thrive during a time so unprecedented. Businesses of all shapes and sizes met the harsh reality of having to close their doors indefinitely and figure out a way to not go under.
Fortunately, the business community is resourceful. These times has created new opportunities and ideas, making businesses become more innovative and bring in new clientele. Take a look at some top business trends that have come up locally and how how they may fit into your business strategy.
1. Openness to Change
Great and sudden adversity, like the Coronavirus, often comes with changes to your business as well. We have gone beyond operating through the norm and into an experience more different than ever. That is why businesses need to embrace the changes to come and figure out ways to overcome them.
The goal is to implement creative solutions to keep your business running without losing your clients; and maybe even gain some new clients at the end of the day. Some local pizzerias have added Make-Your-Own Pizza kits to their menu so that individuals can take pizza supplies home and cure the boredom of isolation by making their own. Other businesses have implemented ideas that they wouldn’t normally venture into but are still relevant to their mission. For example, some sports media outlets have been covering Electronic Sports (eSports) to fill the sports-cancelation void.
How to Implement:
The whole idea is agility and figuring out how to fit customer needs in ways that brings attention to your business. This is the perfect time to experiment with new and past ideas to see what works with your clients. Especially in the current climate, people want to feel valued and that the business they are interacting with is human. Show your audience that you are striving to help them with your creative solutions, not just trying to make a quick buck.
2. Creative Technological Solutions
Speaking of using technology and being creative, businesses have dived even deeper into utilizing technology to meet their business goals. This has been done in a variety of ways dependent on the specific industries they serve. Businesses that rely on events and seminars have embraced video conferencing software, like Zoom, to hold live webinars on a variety of topics. Businesses selling products have embraced e-commerce even more if they haven’t already, improving their website or even using social media to sell their products.
An interesting trend shaping from this is the idea of home services. Businesses like clothing stores and bridal boutiques have created ways to deliver a product to the customer’s home so they could try it out, and they could simply ship back the item if they decide not to buy it; like an at-home fitting room or product test.
How to implement:
First, figure out how relevant your business is in the online world. If you mostly do business in person, this is the best time to shift your dollars to technological capabilities and provide your services through e-commerce, telecommunication, and maybe some strong social media work. If you are already familiar with taking your business online, think beyond what you are already doing. Are there ways you can be more interactive with your audience and make people think “wow, that’s new!” Think interactive classes. If you are considering doing online webinars, some topics may even be worth charging for entry. This can easily be done through money exchange apps, such as Venmo.
Everybody is struggling to keep up with the Coronavirus and provide aid for those in need. That is why businesses have begun putting their hard-earned money into causes that can help the fight and also help companies get back to work. Big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and JP Morgan Chase have made significant contributions towards helping those effected and slowing down the Coronavirus spread. Although philanthropy may seem like a task that is only possible for big corporations, businesses of all shapes and sizes can help out in the fight against COVID-19; any donation amount is greatly beneficial and appreciated.
How to Implement:
There are many charities and organizations out there trying to help that are actively looking for donations, such as Island Harvest and the Guide Dog Foundation; to have a greater impact in your community, aim for local charities. If money is tight for your business right now, consider making and donating supplies instead. Some product manufacturers have been creating facemasks to distribute to local hospitals. There are even local restaurants that are donating food for people affected by the Coronavirus, as well as healthcare workers and their families.
Written by Carissa Scanlon, CPA. If you would like to learn more about this topic, please contact:
Edward McWilliams, CPA
Ed is a Partner in the firm’s tax and business advisory practice focusing on providing services to middle market private companies across different industries as well as to early stage startups. Ed has over a decade of experience providing tax and business consulting services to these companies of different sizes and across different industries, bringing a broad and diverse knowledge base and strategic solutions to the many complex issues that businesses face.