COVID-19 and Business Owners

By March 17, 2020 No Comments

Let’s talk about the impact of COVID-19 on small to medium-sized businesses.

What can we do to survive this global pandemic?

The impacts we are seeing are widespread, and affecting different industries in different ways.

The Impact

While the travel industry has taken some knocks, some grocery stores are dealing with an increase in foot traffic temporarily.

This is projected to decline as people are moving into self-isolation.

Industries that are being affected are (but aren’t limited to):

  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Restaurants
  • Health Facilities
  • Events
  • Travel & Tourism

Considering that the impact of the virus can lead well into the 3rd and 4th quarter of the year, business owners in the industries will have to innovate the way they offer and market their services. 

Many small businesses have started getting creative on how they can connect with their customers online.

Online orders, delivery and shipping seem to be a great solution for many in the B2C space. 

The Upside:

While many businesses in the above sectors have halted with marketing and ad spend, digital media consumption has increased drastically during this time.

Social media networks are actually benefiting big-time, as people are turning to these social platforms to connect with family, friends and colleagues at a distance.

This is also where people go to access the latest news content.

This leaves a huge opportunity for business owners in other sectors as higher online usage and fewer competition will potentially lead to lower CPCs, Lead Costs as well as Conversions Costs for business owners in other sectors.

Industries That Can Soften The Blow or Take Advantage Are (But aren’t limited to):

  • Online platform businesses
  • Online coaches & tutors
  • eCommerce stores
  • Service based business in the digital space
  • Traditional professionals like lawyers, financial advertisers, etc can innovate and offer online consultations
  • Shipping and delivery services, etc.

Every business owner that is long-term focussed can capitalise on this underpriced attention!

You see, it’s not that people have less money, it’s a matter of they can’t go to where they want to go to spend it.

As a business owner, you just need to figure out how to offer value to these potential customers.

It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

  • Woolworths introduced special shopping hours exclusive to those most vulnerable, including the elderly and people with disabilities. Starting on Tuesday, stores across the country will be open from 7am exclusively for the elderly and vulnerable to do their shopping before opening to everyone else at 8am.
  • LVMH, the luxury label that makes Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, are stopping making  perfumes and are now using their operations to make hand sanitizer, giving it away for free.
  • In the U.S., the Small Business Association is offering loans at lower interest rates.
  • NBA stars like Steph Curry & Kevin Love are sharing parts of their salary with hourly workers.
  • At We Chic Boutique, customers can shop via FaceTime with sales associates who are still counting on Easter Day sales.
  • Stonemill Bakery has started doing free deliveries within a 5 mile radius. Employees who would otherwise be washing dishes in the back are now executing the deliveries.
  • Threads owner, Anna Purcell has launched in Instagram challenge explaining the financial challenges that business owners are facing and suggesting that customers support local businesses by purchasing gift cards.
  • Yoga instructors have started live-streaming classes for clients to follow along to at home.
  • Amazon is doing what they can to ban bad actors attempting to artificially raise the price of basic need products during this global crisis.

Above all else, keep in mind the situation is improving in China and factories and large coorporations are opening their doors again for business!

“When all of this is over, may we never again take for granted a handshake with a stranger, full shelves at the store, conversations with neighbours, Friday night out, the school rush each morning, coffee with a friend, a stadium roaring.

When this ends, may we find that we have become more like the people we wanted to brand may we stay that way- better for each other because of the worst.” – Laura Fanucci

This too shall pass- hang in there!

Jandre de Beer

Author Jandre de Beer

In a nutshell... I'm an online marketing expert with an appetite for #entrepreneurship! I'm the Managing Director of Version Eight and a contributing author to Entrepreneurs Mag SA and SME.

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