“If you make it through this, you ask, you learn, you adapt, and I think it only makes you stronger,” says the head of the National Association for the Self-Employed.
A lot of business owners are feeling that way. The pandemic led to a great deal of upheaval, but necessity is the mother of invention. There was a lot of necessity during the pandemic, and that led to adaptation. What adaptations will remain useful?
Here are four possibilities identified by NerdWallet:
Pivoting quickly to a new business model
A lot of businesses were forced to jump online so they could continue to serve their customers. That meant online ordering, e-commerce, shipping, curbside pickup and more. In some cases, it meant taking what was an in-person business and moving it to a teleconference-based business.
Now, many businesses are finding that they can make more money online than they could in the old brick-and-mortar model.
Investing in a digital toolkit
In order to make the transition to online business work, people had to find the right technology. Companies that once relied on a handshake and a smile to draw in customers found that they needed software to manage their relationships with their clients, for example.
A lot of those innovations improved the customer experience over the pre-pandemic model. Having a more usable phone tree, a cloud-based data management system and chatbots for customer service are all things that are likely to stick around.
Connecting up with the community during times of stress
Ideally, your small business would be an integral part of your community. In reality, businesses may not have that advantage unless they step up first. Some small companies really did step up to help their communities, and they often found their communities ready and willing to reciprocate when the time came.
Integration into your community isn’t limited to public service organizations. When you are willing to help, many people are willing to help you when your turn comes.
Chaos really was opportunity
We probably won’t know for some time how many small businesses closed due to the pandemic. What we do know is that 4.3 million new businesses opened up, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s up 24% over 2019.
Some people found a brand new shift in the opportunities available. Indeed, some new businesses were created to support the needs of other new businesses. For example, some self-employed people connected with other self-employed people to take on their back-office work, according to NerdWallet.
Whatever you have done to adapt over the past year or so has probably taught you some important lessons. One is that investing in a good business attorney can help at lot.