Persevering Pre, Pending. and Post-Pandemic: How Small Businesses Succeeded
For many companies, especially smaller ones, prospering amidst the dismal 2020 seemed like an impossible task. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns on businesses was huge, between temporary closures, altered operations, disrupted supply chains, and mass lay offs.
The companies that survived were forced to rethink how business could work around social distancing parameters, with many small businesses adapting to new technology, delivery services, and automated tasks. Of course, some businesses were better fit for the task than others – a “prime” example of which being Amazon, with sales soaring as the platform became an emergency delivery source for household goods, entertainment, electronics, and more.
But what about small businesses? How did they survive? Here’s how small businesses are preserving pre, pending, and post-pandemic:
They got creative.
For retail stores, the lockdowns hit huge. For many small businesses operating in retail, it was difficult to navigate how they could maintain operations especially when there was no telling when the lockdowns would end. With many small businesses being deemed “non-essential” there had to be innovation and creativity to continue business. As a result, many small business owners changed their operating models. Part of this was introducing delivery services, but also engaging with clients over social media, creating workshops and livestreams, virtual contests, and so much more.
Of course, aiming for a more “creative” spin on things comes with risks. Small business insurance can help many businesses to protect their bottom line, but there always has to be a careful balance between innovation and pursuing quality service and manufacturing up-to-snuff products.
Many small businesses reported the following adjustments to keep themselves going:
- Installing safety measures per protocol, like Plexiglas barriers to protect staff and imposing a capacity in stores.
- Training employees in new skills to adapt to new operating models.
- Utilizing contactless deliveries – many businesses sought out Uber, Skip the Dishes, etc.
- Retail businesses began manufacturing masks, hand sanitizer, soaps.
- Switching some services over to digital, i.e counsellors, medical practitioners, so on.
Technology is vital.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed many businesses forever. Some small businesses, which may have only been utilizing technology for some social media presence, banking, etc, but have now swapped over or sped up the adoption of digital technologies. Many of these new technologies may now be here for the long haul.
Digital initiatives included a range of different measures for many businesses, depending on the product or service that they provided. This has also provided the opportunity for many digitally-inclined workers to take up new roles, and has increased the amount of orientation and training for existing employees. Digital adoption has included taking up social media platforms, offering services through virtual consultations, increased data security, migrated integral assets to the cloud, and offering online purchasing services for physical products.
But even post-pandemic, what are many small businesses doing with these changes in technology? Interestingly, many businesses are choosing to stand by their digital shift. Although now concerts and shows can take place in-person, retail businesses continue to offer delivery services, keep up with social media interaction and contests, and consults are offered virtually for clients who may not be physically able to attend in-person or live in another location.
All in all, the latest changes made for many small businesses has enabled them to thrive during and even after a global pandemic. It looks like many of these shifts will remain after the crisis, to expand upon existing business measures and increase business’ capacity to meet customer expectations.