Given the enormous impact which this pandemic has had on the world of business it is astounding to watch small businesses which have survived the year. I mean this in the best possible way of course and it has been the actions of those small business owners which have showed true business acumen. It will be quite insightful to read and know about such businesses, and the steps can be been highly inspiring to many.
So what exactly have businesses been doing in order to survive? Let’s take a look.
One of the most radical and community-spirited steps which we have seen businesses take is to use the equipment and their production line, to produce products which are completely different from what they would usually make. I was listening to the business analyst William West Seegmiller who was discussing some case studies of businesses that have taken certain measures to survive this year.
For example we have seen micro-breweries that began to make alcohol gel, we have seen textile workshops which stopped making clothes to focus on face masks. These have been brilliant pivoting moves which the businesses have made which have helped them to survive.
If small business owners didn’t previously understand how important it was to have an online presence they most certainly do now. When the high street shut down and owners no longer had customers coming through the doors, they raced online. From social media accounts to selling goods on WhatsApp, this has been a year which has seen more small businesses get online than ever before, and they have survived as a result of it.
There of-course has been some very difficult decisions for many small businesses to make this year. For the good of the business, there have been many which were forced to get rid of staff or to cut ties with long term clients. This unfortunately is the harder side of the business but when the chips are down, these are the calls that have had to be made. The hope is of course that when things pick up again, these employees can be rehired and those relationships can be rebuilt. This is an important lesson to learn because, in a situation like this, a touch of too much empathy can force the business to close.
Focusing on What Sells
This may sound like something which every business owner should already know but not all are able to take swift action. No matter what kind of business you had this year, there was a clear point, just as the quarantine began, when you should have been focusing on the kind of products which were going to sell, and push them hard. Clothing shops should have switched to loungewear and slippers, toy stores should have doubled down on board games and fitness stores should have been putting together home-fitness packs. Successful businesses react to market conditions, those who have survived this year were the businesses which did this the best.