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Innovation On-the-fly: COVID-19 Survival Lessons for a Small Business Owner

It’s so true. Starting a small business is never for the faint of hearts. But starting a small business in the middle of the pandemic can be even more challenging. Already, a lot of small businesses are feeling the pinch, given a punch right in the middle of the gut. The numbers should be telling. As reported, about 100,000 small businesses all over America – from salons to daycare centers – have shuttered in the springtime of 2020. And that’s just for starters.

The good news is if you’re wanting to start your own small business despite the pandemic, there could be a treasure trove of lessons to learn here. While small businesses that have perished can give you a lesson or two, looking at how those who survived adjusted should be spot on.

Indeed, this could be a glorious opportunity for you. It certainly is easy to be disoriented in all the chaos. But when many entrepreneurs are throwing the towel, you can be poised to succeed better than ever. You just have to do your due diligence and take a lesson or two from those who made it all happen. Small businesses that have adapted well on the fly.

Escaping Oblivion

COVID-19 is definitely a game-changer. Needless to say, it has stunted the growth of a business. With the ability to infect via a simple sneeze or by touching an infected inanimate object, traditional business transactions have been negatively impacted. The usual over-the-counter payment method is becoming a thing in the past. And perhaps for good.

This means if you’re to start a small business these days, you won’t have the traditional means of capturing clients at your disposal. That’s classic pivoting. And this is no easy task for small businesses that have relied on their brick-and-mortar stores to generate customers for years now, decades even. In fact, many of those who were unable to pivot their sales and marketing perished in the cold.

You can call it the passing of the baton. As traditional stores weaken, doing business online has thrived, and is predicted to play a huge role in the years to come.

One fine example is Moriarty’s Gem Art. Located on Crown Point, Indiana, the retail store of the family-owned jewelry business had to close starting March 2020 in response to city orders requiring nonessential businesses to temporarily close non-essential business.

It was devastating, to say the least. The retail store was their bread earner. But unwilling to succumb to the challenges of the virus, Jeff Moriarty, the company’s marketing manager had to innovate on-the-fly. Quite simply, they can’t afford to wait when authorities would allow brick-and-mortar stores to open once again.

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Innovating to Survive

Moriarty’s Gem Art knew the power behind online marketing. For one, they have been thinking of launching live-streamed shows since 2019. But they’ve been sitting on the fence on it. Now, they face no other option.

And so finally, they did livestream gem shows. In the process, they met success after success. In their July 8 show alone, they netted $12,000 in revenue. In one of their show, one customer buying online from Singapore swooped in $20,000 worth of jewelry. Livestreaming has become a significant cash cow. As many jewelry stores closed down, Moriarty was able to get a lion’s share of the market.

Even better, the internet has not only become a go-to marketing tool but also has been instrumental in the actual delivery of businesses. A classic example is an urgent care center.

As the pandemic raged on, the services of an urgent care clinic have caught on. This is only logical. Unless the medical condition is life-threatening, an urgent care center can handle medical emergencies best as they can provide immediate assistance. But what makes urgent care really a lifesaver now are their telehealth services. With medical experts on board, they can help a patient on the part to recovery even from afar via phone conversation, online chat, or even via apps.

And Then Some

For your part, there is a slew of adjustments you can make when you open your business in spite of the pandemic. ; Many small businesses have learned their lessons the hard way. Some of those that have been proven to work are:

  • Seeking products that are in demand for the times (e.g., hand sanitizers)
  • Making the most of contactless deliveries
  • Training employees to be able to function best in your adjusted business model
  • Installing needed safety measures for your workers
  • videoconferencing

Moriarty’s gem retail store is back in business since July. Their example shows just how things are very much possible even in the face of big challenges.

What’s more, they are still doing live streaming even today. That’s telling you challenges are actually opportunities to do better. And rise above the occasion.

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