Updated: Mar 24
Breaking Past the Covid-19 Pandemic as a Business by Trying Something New.
By Jonathan Lord
By now over o Americans have been asked to stay home. Countries such as Italy are on full lock down. Borders have been closed and passengers have stopped traveling. Bars, restaurants, Gyms, Salons, and most non-essential retail stores have closed. Groceries store’s shelves are empty, toilet paper has mysteriously and surprisingly become a hot commodity.
This is the reality that we are currently living. Two things come to mind when we think of right now and the Covid-19 pandemic, Fear and Uncertainty. Both really go hand-in-hand as the fear of today creates the fear of uncertainty when we think of the future.
It’s okay to be afraid of the current time we’re in, it’s okay to drift off for a quick moment in what will come tomorrow, next week, even next month. But don’t spiral. Push that fear and uncertainty aside and focus on bettering yourself. For businesses that were forced to shut down due to their countries restrictions, find the silver lining. Where might that be? Bettering your business.
Let’s get into it. I had a former client that reached out to me when he was told that his restaurant would have to shut down. His restaurant sat on the northern shoes of Fort Lauderdale Beach which in if you haven’t seen the news about Spring Breakers defying the laws of Social Distancing, is probably his most busiest month. From early March to late April his restaurant is filled with Spring Breakers seeking good eats and strong beverages for a good price. Make no mistake, this isn’t some cheap dive place. As a matter of fact, if you were to visit his restaurant via Google (Reviews) or Yelp , you would see 4.2 stars about 247 reviews and three dollar signs ($$$) with an average price-per-plate at $45 per person.
“So Jonny”, as my former client so likes to call me, “how do we fix this problem?” he asked me. That question in itself is why he has been so successful in most of his business ventures. He identifies the problem and tries to find the solution. He’s also not afraid to ask. I told him the same thing I told him when we first began working together, “try something new”. While he started as a mid-scale fine dining restaurant, he wanted more. His restaurant was large enough to double as a venue for rental opportunities and the location allowed him to capitalize on various markets, i.e. Spring Breakers your more “high-end ones” , as he categorizes them. He tried it, and it worked. I told him to reach out to companies like Door Dash and Uber Eats to see what promotions they may be running for businesses in your area. I also told him to put together some food specials. Finally I told him to offer free delivery just in case Door Dash and Uber Eats are flustered with delivery requests.
Now of course not every business has a product that is essential such as food and that can be delivered. For Salons, Retail Stores, Liquor Stores, and any other business that may fall into the category, there is still a way to try something new. For Salons, reach out to that customer database and offer discounted monthly memberships. This is how you’ll get a jump on the customer when all is clear and we can resume our normal lives. For Gyms and Fitness centers, send an email blast to all your customers providing in-home video workouts. Take it a step further and put a small price tag on it for “Premium” workouts. Not only are you potentially gaining some type of lost revenue back, but you’re in the minds of the people. Of course for retail stores that already had to battle this seemingly one-sided fight against Amazon, get innovative. Nike released a campaign where they said “The world is watching”. According to a statistic from a leading marketing research firm, “since the Coronavirus Pandemic, social media usage has increased over 50% compared to this same time last year” .
Now is the time for businesses, especially retail outlets, to focus on your Social Media platforms. Get engaged with your current customers. Let your current customers know that you are there for them. Do not push your products with no message, that will come off as insensitive. But let them that you are there.
We have a lot of time on our hands now. But that time doesn’t have to all be bad. Use this time to reflect on your business. Run through those numbers and see where you can do better. Think about how you can be able to sustain your business if something like this was to ever happen again.
If you’ve ever been afraid to try something new when it comes to your business, now is the time to push that fear of trying something new to the side and replace it with the NEED to try something new.