Doing Business Among Pandemic Challenges
Many industries are doing brisk business amid the pandemic, including cleaning and meal preparation services, grocery stores, fitness equipment and landscaping businesses, and telehealth services. These businesses, and others, are taking advantage of the situation to attract customers and boost sales. This is especially true for minority-owned businesses, which are often unable to find other sources of revenue. In fact, some have started expanding their business to accommodate the increased demand.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought a host of challenges to business leaders, including the need for innovation and rapid response. In addition to the COVID-19 outbreak, international entrepreneurs were already facing headwinds such as trade wars and anti-government movements. This new situation made those problems even worse. In China, for example, many factories closed down during the epidemic, resulting in a shortage of supplies. This also stunted response efforts as the government focused on the care of its citizens.
The coronavirus crisis has disrupted life in many parts of the world and has affected businesses everywhere. Even small businesses may suffer financial setbacks or reduced hours. This has a major impact on a community’s economy because jobs are essential for local businesses and organizations. The biggest post-pandemic challenge for business owners is generating sufficient revenue to support operations.
As the world continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are being forced to adapt and innovate in order to meet consumer demands. While this change could not be predicted, it has been an illuminating experience for entrepreneurs. The pandemic has forced traditional in-person businesses to be more innovative and creative to remain profitable. This evolution has also opened new avenues for innovative companies to create new products and services.
Most entrepreneurs across the globe are experiencing some uncertainty in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The level of uncertainty varies depending on where they operate, whether they have a physical location, and how much in-person interaction they have with customers. Established businesses may experience more negative effects of the pandemic than those in the early stages of growth. However, early-stage entrepreneurs are more likely to see opportunities in the crisis and will be less pessimistic about their future growth.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect people around the world, businesses are considering how they can adapt. While no one has all the answers, the CDC has made a commitment to assist businesses as they navigate the uncertainty. In order to help you prepare for this type of situation, you can use the following strategies to make your business more resilient.
One important strategy for small and medium businesses is to keep up open communication with customers. Customers expect to have direct and frequent interaction with companies, and they want to know what to expect from them moving forward. In order to do this, your company should provide direct messaging, reassure customers that they are open and accessible, and provide easy ways for customers to engage with you.
Impact on minority-owned businesses
The pandemic has created a new set of challenges for minority-owned businesses. While pandemic vaccines have been widely distributed across the United States, many black business owners are still struggling. A number of them have shuttered their operations. The impact of the pandemic has been disproportionately severe on minority-owned businesses, according to the Washington Post. In fact, many minority-owned firms experienced an average of 41% fewer active owners in their first two months, compared to only a 17% decline for white entrepreneurs.
While the early-stage impacts of the pandemic may be minimal, long-term effects can be devastating. The closing of minority-owned businesses may cause local economies to deteriorate and contribute to wealth inequity. According to a recent poll from the Main Street Alliance, only 40% of Black business owners surveyed expected their businesses to remain open over the next six months. This number drops to 46% for Latinx and Asian business owners and 55% for white business owners.
Strategies for surviving
One of the first strategies companies should implement during a pandemic is to reduce their costs. By implementing cost-cutting strategies, companies can make their operations more resilient. For example, many companies have started offering home-based work and have seen their sales increase. However, this is not always the case. In some cases, companies will have to cut employees to survive, or close operations altogether.
In such situations, businesses must think beyond short-term strategies and find new ways to thrive. For example, they can reduce prices to attract lower-income consumers. They can also offer free versions of their products or services to attract paying customers later.