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10 Things that Keep Business Alive During Covid

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Keep Business Alive During Covid

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, most of the world came to a standstill. Businesses were forced to shut their doors, with some not reopening for months. While not all businesses were able to survive the worst of the pandemic, many of them did ultimately reopen. But getting through a difficult time, financially and otherwise, took its toll on many business owners and their ventures.

10 Things that Kept Businesses Alive During Covid

There were several key things that were able to lift many companies out of financial trouble and help them get through the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s look at some of the things that kept businesses alive during Covid. 

Online sales

Companies that were no longer allowed to have customers in their physical stores were forced to quickly change tack. Those who hadn’t yet set up functions for online selling had to invest time and effort in getting a new system. 

Web developers and marketing executives were brought in across all sectors to help small and medium-sized businesses navigate the challenging time.  For many companies, online sales kept them going throughout the pandemic. While some businesses had the funds to enlist professional help, others asked friends and family to help or explored how to set it up themselves. 

Some businesses even took the decision to close their physical stores completely after a year. For some, they shut down in even less time. The financial implications of not welcoming customers into the stores had hit some too hard. But for others, it was the realization that online sales were doing better than physical sales that resulted in their decision not to reopen. 

Adapting to new rules

Businesses that failed to quickly adapt to new rules around coronavirus soon found it difficult to stay afloat. Not only did they face action from local authorities carrying out inspections in some areas, but customers were less likely to visit their shop if they didn’t feel safe. 

One business in New York said they had to completely transform their strategy for sales inside the shop and had introduced new measures such as contactless payments. This was crucial in helping to keep the business open and surviving during Covid.

Self-isolation rules have been a key problem for many businesses. When staff are isolated, it creates a backlog of work for the remaining workers and results in staff shortages, which have a knock-on effect in other areas.

Hiring additional capacity, or putting additional social distancing measures in place were two of the main ways businesses dealt with this challenge. 

Community spirit

In challenging times, community spirit is one of the things that can lift us up. Small businesses across the country have managed to survive in large part due to the generosity and spirit of their local communities. 

When businesses were on the brink of shutting down, local people rallied around to buy products, raise money, and promote the brand. This happened across towns, cities, and villages, with success stories of saved businesses popping up on our news feeds everywhere. 

Not only was this testament to what can happen when people come together, but it had a direct impact on those running the business. Some went viral online, while others became more well-known than ever within their local towns and regions. 

Utilizing government schemes

Making the most out of funding and job retention schemes offered by local authorities and governments was a key part of survival for many businesses. 

With so many crucial sectors taking a massive hit from the effects of the pandemic, governments stepped in to offer financial support. The money offered was not enough to save all businesses, although it did help a substantial number to remain open. 

Among the most popular schemes were those offering to pay a percentage of workers’ wages or waive taxes and business fees to keep costs lower.

Some of the sectors hit the hardest during the pandemic included performing arts, hospitality, taxi services, and retail. In some places, they were offered specific grants and funding options to keep them stable until they could generate their own income again. 

Social media

No matter what your opinion about social media, there is no denying it played a massive part in helping many businesses stay open during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In an attempt to put a smile on their customers’ faces, keep themselves busy, and continue marketing their businesses, shop owners all over the USA started to experiment with social media. 

It has already been a huge part of many companies for years, but it prompted those less familiar with social media to try it out. Facebook Live streams, musical concerts, fashion shows, and family quizzes were just a few of the things people got involved in on social media. 

In Indiana, a jeweler who had to shut his shop temporarily switched to hosting live streamed gem shows on YouTube. He would show his audience how he cut gems and sold his jewelry during the shows. During some of his two-hour shoes, the event would attract more than a thousand viewers from Indiana and beyond.

Seeing the opportunities

Some entrepreneurs were able to adopt a positive outlook on their new circumstances and look for the opportunities it brought. The saying, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, had never been truer for some of the entrepreneurs who emerged strong and successful from the pandemic. 

UK entrepreneur Johnny Boufarhat created online conferencing platform Hopin months before the Covid-19 pandemic first broke out. But when virtual working became the new normal, demand for the service catapulted Boufarhat’s new company to success. 

Thousands of businesses were lined up waiting to use Hopin, which made its founder a multi-millionaire within its first year. 

Expert advice and assistance 

Despite the pandemic, people were still studying and qualifying in subjects such as business management and sales marketing. Experts in these areas were still ready to help companies succeed, and quickly became in high demand. 

For those who needed help in the area of business intelligence, Covid didn’t stop expert MBA graduates from Suffolk University Boston and other institutions from offering their services.

The difficulty for a lot of businesses was the initial cost of hiring an expert to help with their sales. It was a challenging cycle since expertise was needed to increase income.

For the companies who enlisted professional business experts to help revise their strategy or implement changes, they generally saw an increase in sales.

The long-term nature of the coronavirus pandemic also enabled businesses to implement new strategies for the mid to longer term, rather than worrying about quickly reverting back to original sales methods.

Customer research 

Finding out more about what their customers wanted helped many businesses to stay afloat during the pandemic. 

Even those who had to shift their focus to online sales were able to reach a wider range of customers and potential buyers. Using social media features such as online polling, questions, posts, videos, and quizzes, companies were able to find out more about what people wanted. 

By conducting primary research into their customer base, many small businesses could expand during the pandemic, using this new opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of their target audience.

And this wasn’t a complicated addition for a lot of businesses. Some of the methods used involved phoning up regular customers to ask their opinion on new products, creating a general poll across social media networks, or including a feedback mechanism with every order. 

Networking and sharing lessons

Many business owners who reported on their experience of the pandemic said it wouldn’t have been the same without peer-to-peer support groups. These groups, often online, offered a chance for small and medium-sized businesses to share lessons learned and ideas that worked for them. 

Getting together for virtual social events with like-minded people also enabled entrepreneurs and businesses owners to maintain a social life. Since so many business owners were accustomed to speaking to customers and staff on a daily basis, life changed drastically when the pandemic began. 

Business experts were able to share their insights on developing an adapted strategy better suited to a pandemic, while newer business owners could talk about the challenges they faced in building a brand during a difficult time.

Good preparation

Businesses that had a plan in place for something like a pandemic were generally able to survive better than those that didn’t. While many large businesses will almost certainly have continuity plans, smaller businesses are less likely to. 

It’s important to have a continuity plan for any business so that you know how best to respond to a pandemic or other crisis that puts your company at risk. It should consider the business operations, staff, cash flow, and assets, and look at how best to mitigate any risks to them. 

Even companies who did not have a plan specific to pandemics are now considering including this element in any future continuity plans. It can help keep risks as low as possible and give a business the best chance of success.