COVID-19’s exponential trajectory has forced Americans to “shelter in place” and many businesses to shut their doors. The stock market has also taken a substantial hit, leaving people wondering what the short and long-term impacts of this pandemic will be.
The thought we must hold on to is that not all of this news is doom and gloom. From the heart-warming videos of people singing on their balconies to the hundreds of people sewing protective masks from home, the world is experiencing an unprecedented time of creativity. In this sequestered, isolated time, businesses are reinventing their value propositions and how they reach their consumer. Below are a few different ways we’ve seen businesses take the steps to serve their customers while still upholding the safety guidelines put in place.
A growing number of restaurants are offering new ways for people to enjoy their cuisine. Some are taking to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to present live cooking classes. Others are offering ingredients and recipes for pickup/delivery to DIY your favorite meals at home. Consider using social media to host live cooking/mixology classes. Advertise the classes and provide ingredients for delivery or takeout so your audience can follow along. Another model we’ve seen gain traction (and success) is changing your restaurant to a market model—offering local residents food, beverages, and other amenities (such as coveted commercial-size toilet paper rolls). For example, a local Portland, Oregon, restaurant was bringing in $500 per day offering takeout and delivery. When they opened up as a marketplace, their sales went up to $1,300 per day, enabling them to bring back some of their hourly staff.
With the inordinate amount of time people have on their hands, gyms are in a great position to continue offering services. People don’t need Olympic weight sets to enjoy a home workout. Gym owners are offering workout classes on Facebook , YouTube, or email, enabling their clients to stay connected and workout at their leisure. Trainers can also easily use Zoom, UberConference, and other teleconference services to provide personal training sessions or to record and distribute routines. One of our clients, a personal training franchise in the Northeast, started using Facebook and Instagram live to broadcast daily mini-workouts while also advertising their virtual one-on-one training. This enabled them to continue serving their existing clients while providing free resources for prospective clients during quarantine.
This is a perfect time to plant a vegetable garden, learn how to make a terrarium, or pick up a crafting hobby. By providing activity kits and supplementing them with online tutorials, stores can help their customers transition their boredom into a new project. I recently purchased a seed starter kit from one of our local garden store clients. They sent seeds for our zone and time of year, as well as the materials needed to start them inside. A local bookstore was also offering art kits and tutorial books. I haven’t picked up a paintbrush since 2008, but there’s no better time than today to take up a former hobby. Further, craft stores are providing curbside pickup for individuals sewing masks to provide to healthcare workers. Interior designers, home improvement companies, and other home-based industries have a great opportunity to entertain, educate, and maintain a connection with their audiences.
Opportunities for the Future
We know that this unprecedented disease will forever change the business landscape. Yet, while some establishments will close permanently, those exploring new ways to serve their customers will come out stronger and more resilient. For businesses determining how to advertise the ways they can tell people about how they’re adjusting their practices according to the times, we encourage you to reach out to us. We’re happy to offer a free review of your account and answer any questions you may have. By standing together through this, we can use this time as an opportunity to forge a new path for business operations.