We’ve all heard about what restaurants are having to do in order to maintain social distancing, while keeping their businesses afloat. Experts have said that the restaurant industry could lose up to $200 billion during the pandemic, depending on how long people are social distancing and avoiding eating out. Many restaurant owners have taken matters into their own hands in order to avoid this, and have moved to online ordering with curbside pickup and delivery as their only options. This seems to be the safest way for diners to still enjoy the food they love during the pandemic, while ensuring that restaurants aren’t having to shut their doors permanently.
Businesses around the world are having to get really creative in order to stay alive with the quarantine we’re all experiencing. Bakeries have started selling their flour, yeast and other supplies in order to make some money during these trying times.
Some businesses have started selling gift cards that can be redeemed later by the recipient. Gift cards are a great way for small businesses in the home services industry to make some money while people are avoiding having guests in their home. We all need plumbing, HVAC, cleaning and pest control services at some point, and consumers are trying hard to support local businesses, so it’s a win-win. If your business doesn’t already offer gift cards as a purchase option, now is the best possible time for you to start.
The good news is that there seems to be certain adjustments businesses in almost any industry can make in order to bring in, at least some, of the revenue they need to maintain. We found some other examples of businesses showing their creativity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we want to share them in hopes that it will strike inspiration for any small businesses who are still struggling to find their way during the temporary closures:
- A local movie theater in Utah was forced to close their doors due to the social distancing recommendations. They decided to turn their lemons into lemonade and shift gears so people could still go to the movies without risk of spreading or contracting germs. They turned their indoor movie theater into a drive-in, making it possible for people to enjoy movies and snacks from the safety of their own cars.
- A family-owned hardware store in Georgia has opted to continue serving their customers, but limiting the amount of people who are allowed in the store at one time. The cool thing is, they’re using the extra space in the parking lot to support other local businesses. They invite different food trucks to come park and sell to shoppers everyday.
Not all businesses have the flexibility to change their service options enough to meet the needs of their customers, while maintaining social distancing. However, finding creative ways to continue connecting with customers is something that any and all businesses can do.
And just to put a smile on your face during all the gloomy news in the world, we found out that several local communities had to cancel their city-wide Easter egg hunts, but that didn’t stop the fun from happening. It’s a new trend for the Easter bunny to go to homes and leave eggs around each individual house for their children to find. It’s nice to see communities coming together and helping each other during such a somber and hard time.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!