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  • Volatility Can Give You A Business Advantage

    It's no secret that our local businesses are struggling, but that doesn't mean your business has to suffer, too. Throughout history, many great business stories have begun in an economic downturn. You're probably as tired of "the pivot" as we are, but these adjustments can make your business more resilient.

    Explore Emerging Opportunities

    The pandemic has ushered in massive changes and lost revenue for most small businesses in our community. However, within the disruptions and changing market lies opportunities that can help you stay afloat. It takes comprehensive analysis and review of the business to identify and explore viable opportunities, which exist in all industries.

    Digital sales soared as governments advised people to stay home to prevent new infections. However, a significant percentage of the sales were discretionary and non-essential items. As time went by, people became comfortable with ordering groceries and other day-to-day supplies online. If you were yet to explore the online market, there couldn't be a better time to evaluate your opportunities.

    For instance, if your business only served walk-in customers, migrating part or all of your operations to the online delivery model can help you maintain sales and customer engagement. Whitespaces are bound to emerge in any business model, although not all are worth exploring. We recommend a comprehensive evaluation of your business to identify the best opportunities arising out of the economic chaos.

    Consider Hybrid Models

    Many businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores, that depended on walk-in customers for their revenue were dealt big blows following social distancing restrictions. A significant number closed their doors after losing more than 60% of their income. However, some took the chance to diversify the business and explore other sources of revenue.

    For instance, restaurants and hotels rely on guests coming to the facility and while some still cater to their walk-in guests, the turnover has dropped significantly. Some restaurant owners have expanded their model to accommodate ghost kitchens, online dishes and food trucks to compensate for the revenue loss.

    Hybrid business models can work in any industry but require drastic changes and investment. You will need various third-party software applications, security solutions, service delivery frameworks and shipping. Nonetheless, with digital sales soaring, you can expect to recover your investment sooner. The business will also serve its primary customers while garnering new ones that are looking for safer shopping experiences.

    Make Long-Term Strategies

    The effects of the pandemic will remain for several months, so it is vital to think long-term. Consumer behavior has changed drastically, but there are many positives to take from the new opportunities and experiences. Businesses should develop strategies and roadmaps that extend beyond six months to guarantee smooth transition and continuity.

    It is a new world for entrepreneurs who now must rely heavily on digital engagements to spark sales. In the past, finding the perfect physical location was essential to success. However, with less traffic in the streets, businesses are shifting focus to develop a strong online presence. This might imply redirecting funds meant for facility expansion to digital platform optimization. Ultimately, the goal is to understand what changes will last and how you can adapt to guarantee business continuity.

    Thinking long-term is vital even in the absence of a pandemic. Although things will eventually return to normal, many of the changes are poised to stick around. The new normal is something all entrepreneurs must adapt to if they are to stay in business. Fortunately, there are many tools companies can use to predict the future and implement long-term plans that will outlast the pandemic.