No one could have predicted how much our lives would change in 2020.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside-down. Sporting events have been cancelled. Stores are locked down. Entertainment venues are shuttered. Schools are closed. Our world has been drastically changed (at least temporarily).
We’re now struggling to support public health measures, while jobs, livelihoods and our economy, even basic day-to-day living is put on hold.
It’s a very different world we live in today, and as a business you’re likely looking for your place in it.
What Does the World Look Like Today?
Beyond just the impact of the virus on families and our health, the virus has taken a toll in other areas.
Many businesses are now closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Employees have lost their jobs and livelihood. Macy’s recently reported that they will furlough most of their 125,000 employees during the pandemic and will be closing many of their stores.
As fewer are socializing outside, traffic on the internet has grown. In Britain, internet broadband usage has nearly doubled, and companies like Disney+ and Netflix are streaming in lower definition to help compensate. In the US, internet data usage has surged more than 18% in just a few days, with experts predicting even higher traffic in the future. Google estimates search queries increased from 3.5 billion to nearly 6 billion queries a day as more and more people spend time online.
The Coronavirus Impact on Business
The pandemic hasn’t touched all businesses the same way. Yelp recently released a Coronavirus Economic Impact Report that reveals the economic niches that have seen a drastic decrease in online and search interest. These include:
- Travel agencies
- Bridal stores
- Retail locations
- Consignment and thrift stores
- Roofing services
Other industries have seen an increase in interest and business. Many of these companies have a strong digital component, providing comfort and accessibility during a time of social distancing and quarantines. These include:
- Community-supported agriculture
- Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
- Hunting and Fishing supplies
A look at the search traffic also reveals shifting interest among consumers. Search terms related to working at home are very popular – collaboration, webinar, audio-conferencing and video conferencing are common searches. Other industries that are seeing a spike in search interest include health and wellness, online dating, and online puzzles. Nostalgia from old TV shows, hobbies, and comfort foods like candy and baking are also increasingly popular.
This shift in consumer interest may reveal opportunities for your business.
How to Find your Business Niche in COVID-19
Let’s look at a few of the strategies other businesses are taking.
Find the Products and Services People Need
Your family and your business aren’t the only ones forced to adapt to fight against the Coronavirus. Many businesses are implementing new processes or reworking procedures to address COVID-19 concerns. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and manufacturing are all demonstrating social responsibility. As employees work, the company needs to clearly communicate social distancing, policy and awareness. Communicating these procedures is critical and could be an opportunity for your business.
- GO2 Partners is one of the nation’s leading suppliers of labels, retail and manufacturing signage, and marketing communication for manufacturing and other businesses. As some Essential businesses look at options to continue providing service, they are implementing “safe distance” procedures to protect associates and customers. GO2 is supplying floor decals and graphics to communicate the new procedures. We’re looking at other products and services to protect customers and associates.
Be a Part of the Solution
The virus has put a strain not only on families, jobs, the supply chain and our economy, but also other critical services including health care. The call has gone out for businesses to help in providing resources to help fight the Coronavirus. While this isn’t necessarily an opportunity for profit, it is a way to keep employees paid and provide support, as well as building goodwill in the public. Look at how your business can help, either by volunteering or providing resources to those in need.
- Under Armour, a clothing company based in Baltimore, Maryland, is switching production to deliver more than 500,000 fabric face masks and 50,000 packs for the more than 28,000 healthcare providers in the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).
- International fashion companies like Burberry, Armani and Dior are temporarily ceasing production on clothing to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. This means instead of coats and shirts; the companies are producing masks and gowns and then delivering them using their supply chain.
Adapt your Business
Many businesses have been particularly hard hit by the restrictions and stay-at-home orders imposed by the Coronavirus. Some have even closed. Others have found a way to adapt and continue to service customers in a time of need. Changing and adapting may mean delivering a service a little differently than you are used to, but it can mean dividends for a public hungry for help and looking for solutions.
- Like restaurants in many states across the country, restaurants in Ohio are now closed to sit-down meals. They can still serve take-out, but that isn’t easy for many of the high-end restaurants. A restaurant in Cincinnati has found a way to not only continuing providing meals to their customers, but also deliver comfort, convenience and fun. Crown Republic Gastropub not only has an all-day take out menu, it is also offering DIY meal-kits for families and convenient family-style meals for a quick grab-and-go.
Focus on Solutions
During a crisis like we are facing now, it’s important to work with speed, accuracy and efficiency. That means the health care workers on the front line need to focus on their core competencies and delivering the best care possible. Anything business or partner companies can do to improve efficiency and accuracy for health care workers is critical.
- GO2 Lab Media offers premium ExpressReqsTM program, which provides flexible, just-in-time service for custom requisition forms. A custom requisition form makes lab testing faster, with fewer record errors. With ExpressReqs, a lab can place an order for on-demand custom req forms and the orders ships within 48 hours.
As more and more of us are confined under stay-at-home restrictions, businesses are looking for new ways to engage and support their customers. You may not have an open store front, but that doesn’t mean you can’t reach your customers. This requires new models for delivering service and new methods for providing content.
- The USASF is a leading organization serving cheer and dance athletes. They are focused on providing a safe environment for cheer and dance athletes to train and compete. While gyms and clubs may be closed, the USASF is providing short training and inspirational videos for their athletes, helping provide a connection and vital service during this time of need.
The pandemic has created a world of uncertainty for many businesses. They are relying on their suppliers and vendors to eliminate uncertainty and provide support. This means open communication, honesty, and a plan to address risk. Businesses that can reduce the uncertainty and provide their customers answers are poised to succeed during these times.
- GO2 Partners is a supplier and managed services provider for businesses in many industries, including manufacturing, construction, restaurants, technology and more. Customers rely on GO2 for mission-critical products and supplies. To ensure open communication with customers, GO2 launched a COVID-19 Readiness page with up to date information from suppliers on the supply chain, and the steps GO2 is taking to ensure access to critical supplies.
Thinking of the Future for your Business
There’s no denying that 2020 has not been the year that any of us expected.
We’re all working together to combat the COVID-19 virus, and GO2 Partners is here to help. We’re working with many businesses who are adapting to the situation and finding success in these difficult times. We’re partnering with these companies to look to the future and prepare for what comes next.
Contact GO2 Partners today to learn more about how we help businesses like yours. Ask about the managed services we can provide that let companies focus on their core competencies. With GO2, you can reduce costs and expenses while improving services and results.