Many of us as entrepreneurs and small business owners are scrambling to adjust, adapt and remain relevant to a changing landscape fueled by the pandemic called COVID-19. As restrictions start to ease moving forward, some businesses may return to normal. For other businesses, it will not be business as usual. Some will continue to have hardship due to the economy. At this point, we don’t know how much social distancing will remain in effect and for how long, which then creates more challenges for some businesses that need to be close to their customers to do the job. These include nail salons, hairdressers, spas, restaurants, bars and other service-based industries. How long will social distancing guidelines remain in effect? Will we see a resurgence down the road? These are all things that as business owners, we need to be prepared for. Business is partly about handling the now and partly about planning for the future and any uncertainties.

The world we live might be turned upside down for a while. What will you do to remain relevant in business? Relevant is defined by being “appropriate to the current time, period or circumstances of contemporary interest”. For example, as a restaurant, we may see half capacity for a while so will that be enough to pay the overhead that goes with running it or is there a way to increase the takeout business to sustain sales? With a hair salon, how quickly will some areas allow businesses like hair salons to fully reopen and stand next to their client? Will the stylists and clients need masks on? Will clients be comfortable to come in? If they aren’t, is there a way to provide virtual assistance for color in order to sustain the business? Given the pending recession, some businesses and/or consumers may need to spend less in the near future so that in turn may impact revenues for businesses.

Review your existing company and answer these three questions.

  • Will your current business model sustain itself if social distancing restrictions aren’t lifted 100%?
  • Will your current business model sustain itself if your potential clientele can’t afford your services?
  • Will your current business model sustain itself if we see a resurgence of COVID-19 now or down the road?

If you answered no or a partial no to any of these three items, then what steps will you take to remain relevant to a new or changing clientele?

I will use one of our divisions as an example. As an internet marketing company, you would think that many businesses would be looking to move online but there are many small businesses getting hit financially so the marketing income is nonexistent because they are simply looking to survive. How have we shifted? We have been able to offer more video to larger companies wanting to do commercials on Comcast by training the client how to shoot the video with the proper lighting and angles and then we are doing all of the editing and formatting. With the lull in business, other clients are able to focus on video marketing, which they weren’t able to do when they were going full swing.

We are also planning for a new business opportunity; many have been laid off and may not have jobs to return to. What might they do? Start a business?  Creating an introductory package for the new business owners will be key to servicing that market.

Whether we are dealing with a worldwide pandemic or a looming recession, we as business owners must be prepared to zig and zag and adapt to changing times so we can stay relevant. If you aren’t looking at the possibilities, then you may be missing opportunities. What are the next steps for your business?

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