If you’re one of many entrepreneurs, you know that most of 2020 have forced you to adapt in many ways. You have to think about how you can adapt to the continuing changes to what’s now considered normal. And you’ve had to make decisions you probably didn’t want to. Other ones left you wondering if the new policy or guidelines will work.
There are moments when business owners wonder how you can handle this ever-changing world. This applies to the health of customers or clients and also changes in society. Sometimes you might feel alone. Other times you might know the right direction to take. All businesses have been forced to change in a crazy 2020, and entrepreneurs are no different. We broke down how entrepreneurs have been forced to adapt in the crazy year 2020 has been with partial data via USA TODAY below.
25. Adapting Bookstores
Bookstores used to be one of the most popular places to hope if you want some reading material. There is something special about buying a new book (also if it is used). For many people, it’s the excitement of bringing the new reading material to your bookcase. After all, you can never have too many books.
While some people still feel this way, many other people have stopped going to bookstores in 2020 and the people who run them feel it. Even chains such as Barnes and Noble have noticed a decrease in foot traffic in 2020. Of course, this was only made worse a couple of months into 2020. While some have chosen to sell online, others have looked to set up appointments. They also include hand sanitizer for when people come in and before they leave.
Many entrepreneurs will tell you one of the best steps in 2020 is to think of innovation. You want to analyze your process and how everything is working. Ask yourself, what you could do better in 2020? What can you change from the process? How can you make your products or services more available to everyone?
Now is the perfect time to look more at a direct to customer approach. Doing this will help improve your workflow and can also help small businesses stay financially afloat.
DeCicco & Sons is considered a necessity during the current crisis because it’s a grocery store. Many people believe that because it’s located in New York and a chain that they don’t have much to worry about. While they tend to have less to worry about than many small businesses, there are still struggles they need to work through.
They adapted in 2020 by making the first 30 minutes of their day dedicated to senior citizens and others who are immunocompromised. They also changed hours so employees can focus on restocking shelves and cleaning every day.
One of the biggest problems hospitals and clinics saw in 2020 was a boost of patients in their waiting rooms. Of course, this was expected. But because it hit quickly, they had to find new ways to adjust to help keep social distancing practices and serve people as fast as possible as the 2020 crisis unfolded.
One source that came to their rescue is an app called DocPace. This app is a waiting room management system that helps minimize risk and keeps waiting rooms clear so they can focus on social distancing. It also helps turn the parking lot into a waiting room.
Social media has been popular with entrepreneurs for a while, but it’s seen a boom in the last several months of 2020. Many businesses and entrepreneurs took to their social media accounts to start making money.
The platforms help people by putting in a system where their followers can donate to them, but they also focus on sponsored content. They have also begun making videos and selling products through their account.
One of the ways entrepreneurs have been forced to adapt in 2020 is by not only thinking about the current situation but also ahead. They need to start planning now about the new way the world will work after 2020 and what changes they can make now to easier the transition easier for customers and employees later.
They need to think of new policies, such as wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer. But they also need to think about how they can keep things going to make more income in the end.
No business is exempt from making changes in 2020, but it seems to be more important for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Advertising agency, Familiar Creatures in Richmond, Virginia, quickly turned to the internet.
The first step they took was to create a bright website to guide people to local eateries and bars that are struggling during 2020. To help manage their funding with this project, they turned to social media advertising and digital billboards.
During the beginning, people quickly learned that the current crisis would get worse before it gets better. Many health clinics, whether they serve people or animals, need to adjust and find different ways to reach their clients.
One of the biggest ways that health clinics achieved this goal was to create telehealth sessions. These are done either through video chat or text messaging. They’re similar to a visit but you might need to send your veterinarian pictures of your pet’s conditions so they can help with the problem.
Not the movie of the same name, this School of Rock is an online multi-location music school that’s inspired children to practice their musical instruments (or pick one up) during the current crisis of 2020. It’s a performance-based educational program that became popular when schools were forced to close their doors.
One of these schools was the School of Rock. They quickly adapted by bringing their educational program to an online basis and now teach over 40,000 students around the world.
Another way that entrepreneurs have adapted is by learning other ways to preserve their cash. Many of them are doing more than saving money and focusing on ways to keep more cash on hand and in their businesses.
They’re looking into ways on how they can stretch their pennies and save as much as possible, including buying products that are still quality but cheaper. They also learn to read their records better to analyze their weaknesses and build on them in terms of their finances.
This company in New York City and was forced to close its doors altogether. Because they couldn’t even allow individuals to come in one at the time, they quickly had to find a way to keep their fitness business going.
One of the most significant changes they made was to offer virtual classes for its members. This process went so well for them that they added dozens of members, but they also started making fitness videos for children. Each video is 45 minutes long and is considered a class, so it only allows for eight slots per session.
Some places were unable to quickly adapt through videos, and many other conventional means because they didn’t have everything available to them. Plus, it takes people to help put a project on quickly, and some entrepreneurs are running a business on their own.
One Yoga studio in Colorado ran into the problem of being unable to do online classes immediately, so they took it in another direction. They asked their members to pay their yearly dues if they could. Members responded to ensure that the doors could open later and also set up a “pay it forward” method so the teachers could continue to work.
With weddings and other events canceled for an unknown period, DJs needed to get creative so that they could continue their work. One DJ got creative with his Facebook page and decided that he would try to liven things up for everyone by having a Facebook Live party.
Yamil Torres, better known as DJ Yamil, recreated a busy club environment in part of his home and hosted his first virtual party on March 19th. With over 21 million views and thousands of comments, he quickly set up several other parties. Others have followed this process.
One of the biggest problems many entrepreneurs have noticed in 2020 is that it’s easy to forget some of your values in a time of crisis. You tend to worry more about making money than the right way to do it, especially under current conditions.
Many entrepreneurs are posting on their social media platforms to encourage people not to forget about their values. They say you need to incorporate them into this change and your new ways to work, as this will only help you improve your work.
Some people have lost their jobs due to the current crisis. Others have seen business boom because of it. Horderly is one company that was struggling and needed to change their system because of the situation. Once they realized they couldn’t help people in their homes, they had to cancel over 300 hours over a few days and found their finances decreasing rapidly.
Instead of going to people’s homes to physically show them how to organize, they decided to start a virtual organizing service. They created it within three days and are now billing more hours in 2020 than ever before, allowing them to stay afloat.
Knowing that this isn’t the first time in history businesses have had to close their doors due to a social crisis, you wonder how they made it before the internet and computer software.
Some personal trainers have decided to keep their classes going through PDF versions of working and meal plans. All of these are delivered right to their customers’ emails to help them stay healthy. This action also allowed the trainers to set up a subscription to help pay their bills so they can open up for their customers when they’re allowed to.
Where would you be without technology? You probably don’t even want to think about this after the first half of 2020. Social clubs were working on how they would continue to pay staff and open their doors when they were given the okay. Plus, these clubs wanted to keep their environment going as this is a place where entrepreneurs and freelancers go to mingle with like-minded people.
One step they took was to go digital. The clubs have created a virtual space and started a digital membership for anyone to join. With Ethel’s Club, you can view daily streamed content through Vimeo and Zoom three times a day.
Because the world is several months into the current crisis, many entrepreneurs are now sharing their advice to help other people. One of the most important statements that they make is that you can never forget about communication between your team and customers.
When you need to adapt to changes quickly, it’s easy just to find yourself doing something without informing your team members. This notion can create frustration, especially when people are already on high alert. One of the best steps to take in 2020 is to create a new communication system through social media, Skype, Zoom, or Slack that allows you to work with each other while in your separate locations. You can communicate with customers or clients through daily or weekly email messages or social media announcements.
Once the current crisis started, each state set up its own restrictions, and their cities did the same. Many cities enacted different laws than their state, especially if they saw a massive spike. One of these areas was New York City, which has some of the nation’s most stringent restrictions.
This concept left many entrepreneurs in the area struggling to find the best way to keep their business going and pay for their staff in 2020. James Corbett Studio was one of the companies needed to find a way to make money after closing their hair salon doors. They started by creating customized color kits that they delivered to homes and video call consultations. Now, they are doing in-home house calls and have opened their doors again, but only to five people at once to ensure social distancing.
You no longer need to drive how many miles and wait in long lines to get your favorite cup of Joe. If this sounded like a dream you’ve had, it’s become a reality in 2020 because eateries and coffee shops moved to takeout or delivery to keep their businesses afloat.
Some people set up a drive-up in their parking lot to run their order out to your car. Other companies decided they would drive your drink and food to you, so you didn’t have to worry about walking out your doors, especially for people in a high-risk group. Another benefit is that many entrepreneurs state that they’ve found this new system so helpful for their business in 2020 that they will continue it for the foreseeable future.
When the current crisis started and people began buying all the hand sanitize, stores quickly ran out and left nothing for many people, including those in the high-risk group. Fortunately, many small businesses came to the aid of millions and decided to use their resources to make hand sanitizer. One of the most notable is Moonrise Distillery in Georgia.
Not only did Moonrise start making the product, but they also gave it away for free because they simply wanted to help communities. However, they still needed to think about how they would offset the cost of this product. Without bothering people who couldn’t afford to give them money due to losing a job or another reason, the company decided to ask for donations. Of course, communities came together so Moonrise could continue their process.
Teambuilding is a fully remote small company that jumped into action when companies were forced to close and have their employees to work remotely in 2020. Because this was new to thousands of people, they needed all the help they could get to include video meetings so they didn’t lose communication or need to close for good.
Teambuilding was one of these companies that had to start working from home and needed to adjust their way of working quickly. Traditionally, they hosted in-person events to help bring employees together and learn to work with each other. But they quickly changed to doing the same thing virtually in 2020 so they could continue to help customers worldwide, especially during this troubling time. They also came up with a virtual “campfire” event that included telling ghost stories, small competitions, and s’mores in their own homes.
Piroshky Piroshky is a bakery based in Seattle, one of the hardest-hit areas of the current situation. Because of this, most people needed to stay in their homes. Nearly all businesses that were not essential, including bakeries, were forced to stop allowing customers into their buildings. This company, along with many others in the area, couldn’t afford to stop servicing their customers for all of 2020, so they quickly worked together to find the best plan.
The baker, along with Pike Place Chowder, started a home delivery service together so they could help each other stay afloat and make sure people continued to get their food. They also began to live stream from their business to get customers involved in their baking process.
If you would instead go through a drive-thru but your favorite restaurant didn’t have one, you were probably happy to learn about one of the new features many decided to adapt to once the current crisis started – carside service. This idea meant you didn’t need to step out of your car to get your food. Instead, you called them or came at a specific time and they ran the food out to you.
One of the services entrepreneurs in the food industry started to offer when they didn’t have the option for cars to drive up to a window. They usually told people to park in a designated area in their parking lot and pay with a credit card over the phone.
Another of the most common options that thousands of stores adopted in 2020 was ordering online. Some small businesses had already started the process and quickly finished it. Others turned to software to help them quickly create a website that allowed customers to sort through their items and purchase what they want directly online.
Then the customer would wait for it in the mail or they would go at a designated time to pick it up from the store. The plus side is that they never had to go in because employees would gather items and bring them out to the vehicle.
“Necessity and inventions: How these entrepreneurs are adapting to a pandemic.” Josh Rivera, Brett Molina, Coral Murphy, Mike Snider, Jefferson Graham, Jazmin Goodwin, USA TODAY. March 2020.
“9 Creative Ways Small Businesses Are Adapting to Coronavirus.” Sean Ludwig, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. March 2020.
“From The Front Lines: 30+ Ways Small Businesses Are Adapting To COVID-19.” PaySimple.
“5 Ways Family Businesses Can Adapt To Covid-19.” Kerry Hannon, Forbes. June 2020.