Operating a small business comes with its fair share of stress and difficulty, and the pandemic has only made it more challenging.
Between statewide shutdowns and curfews, social distancing, and rising COVID cases, many small businesses have been forced to temporarily and even permanently close their doors.
But out of the ashes, the phoenix rises.
Some businesses not only survived, but thrived, as others were tumbling beneath the weight of COVID. The lucky ones were able to pounce on fresh opportunities, taking full advantage of new trends and demands. Others were forced to pivot their business models with as little friction as possible.
As Ross from Friends would say… Pivot! Pivot! Pivot!
Pivoting to meet the drastic shift in consumer behavior was and continues to be essential for small business survival. With sit-down dining being limited, many restaurants have been forced to shift to only takeout and delivery orders.
The restaurants that have succeeded are the ones who embraced technology.
Some implemented a self-serving ordering kiosk and pickup model, others offered free delivery for customers that ordered via mobile app.
This helped businesses not only stay afloat, but actually increase sales and revenue. Those that quickly turned to technology and digital interactions had better outcomes.
Along with embracing technology, all the businesses that survived last year had one thing in common:
They were resourceful.
Especially those that relied on suppliers, retailers, and consumers to conduct business–they had no other option.
Take Pastene for example, the 146-year-old Italian foods and ingredients importer.
Pastene had to ensure store shelves were always carrying their products as their competitors were quickly running out of stock. This, along with launching a new ecommerce website to capitalize on home cooking, helped increase their sales by 25%.
Pouncing on New Opportunities
The small businesses that succeeded last year had to move fast and take advantage of technology to fulfill ever-changing consumer needs. Some were able to overcome the lockdown by switching to a remote workforce, others were forced to hire more employees to meet the demand.
Seizing new opportunities is key to surviving this pandemic. For example, when a worldwide travel ban caused a devastating drop in passengers, commercial airlines began offering cargo flights to generate revenue.
Airlines like United and American started using their empty planes to transport vital supplies like grocery items and healthcare provisions.
Certain restaurants also began to pivot their services. American staples like Panera and Subway entered the grocery market and have begun selling fresh groceries to their customers.
In the end though, it was their willingness to step out of the comfortability and away from what used to work that enabled these companies to be successful.
Flexibility became their friend. They took calculated risks and embraced change. Their resilience not only kept their doors open, but they experienced growth during the past year. At Bizzuka, we’re learning as we go just like everyone else. To keep up with the latest information on marketing during COVID-19, check out our blog.