The COVID-19 pandemic did not only affect public health; it also created a permanent shift in the business world. Numerous businesses were forced to go into lockdown, from which many didn’t recover.
Meanwhile, others not only managed to survive but thrived despite the devastating effects of the virus. Their success was mainly due to key changes they were willing to make to adapt to the changing environment.
Let us take a look at the business lessons these entrepreneurs learned so that you can pivot your business strategy increasing your chances of success.
What Business Lessons Have Entrepreneurs Learned from the Pandemic
One of the first to suffer from the pandemic and lockdowns were industries that had previously heavily relied on in-person interactions. Gyms, yoga studios, and the fitness industry, in general, were among the most affected.
As a result, many embraced technology as means of continuing to provide services and secure income. Fitness and yoga studios started offering Zoom and subscription-style online classes, allowing their customers to pursue their wellness habits from home.
Experts believe that even despite reopening, the fitness industry will remain hybrid. As more fitness enthusiasts have discovered the variety and flexibility, online platforms like Peloton and Alo Moves offer, a large percentage of them are expected to keep practicing online.
Be Compassionate and Caring to Your Employees
Businesses weren’t the only ones that shifted toward a remote environment. So did schools. Due to that, parents who had previously worked in an office found themselves parenting and working simultaneously.
Even more, employees discovered the perks of working from home. Having to spend less on commuting, meals, and workplace attire while determining the working hours themselves resulted in a growing number of employees willing to keep working from home.
Employers had to evolve with the new normal of employee culture to succeed in this environment and retain talented staff. Countless businesses have implemented online meetings via Zoom and collaboration through Asana, Slack, Google Drive, and more. Document signing through DocuSign also became a norm.
Some businesses have gone even further. Microsoft and Deloitte are among those offering employees to partially work from home, whereas Square allows workers to work from home permanently.
Unsurprisingly, these are also some of the companies that have profited throughout the pandemic.
Meet Your Customers’ Changing Needs
Commerce and hospitality were some of the industries that suffered immensely yet also experienced a huge demand. Customers were willing to shop and eat out despite the lockdowns, mask mandates, and social distancing guidelines. Businesses unable to support these needs perished.
Meanwhile, e-commerce businesses like Amazon and brick-and-mortar stores offering the ability to shop online were able to keep satisfying their buyers.
Restaurants that started offering takeout and delivery options were able to remain in business, too. Larger corporations like Applebee’s, Pizza Hut, and Jimmy John’s went even further by offering curbside pickup and drive-through services.
While it has required them to invest in technology that facilitates these options, their investment has paid off.
Innovate or Perish
The pandemic forced us to become more conscious of germs while adopting better hand and face hygiene.
Various companies started producing products their potential or existing customers required. This led to distilleries making hand sanitizer, while apparel and upholstery companies fabricated masks.
E-commerce stores started offering UV light cleaning products with prices ranging from $20 to over $100. This presented customers with a wide range of options. The problem was that many had no idea how UV actually works. And most UV product companies knew that, flooding the market with fake, ineffective, or improperly advertised products.
Wolven Industries, a small engineering startup with a handful of remote employees, took a different approach. The team, led by a physicist and marketing strategist named Mike Norton, developed the uRay, a powerful UV cleansing device equipped with unique safety features that are able to disinfect surfaces in seconds rather than minutes, which most UV wands are designed to do.
The innovative approach combined with the CEO’s open and caring social media presence has helped him secure dedicated investors and amass thousands of loyal social media followers willing to become early adopters of the uRay the moment it hit the market.
Build Strong Relationships Based on Trust
Getting customers in the pandemic era has become harder. Since many were forced to stay at home, customer behavior evolved, resulting in them spending more time online.
To meet their audience where it is, companies had to become more active online – on their websites and social media. Yet, the pandemic also catalyzed increased competition, urging businesses and entrepreneurs to take better care of their existing and potential customers.
Since trust is crucial to making sales, building trust-based relationships became imperative. From consistently showing up on social media and supporting relevant causes to offering freebies and stellar customer support, businesses saw a growing need to demonstrate their trustworthiness and authenticity.
Those unable to keep up saw a decline in their exposure and, as a result, online traffic and profits.
While the pandemic has disrupted the way we do business, it’s also provided entrepreneurs with a wide range of new opportunities.
Pivoting business strategies, innovating offerings, focusing on building genuine relationships with their customers, embracing technology, and taking care of their employees are some of the most valuable business lessons that have helped entrepreneurs and businesses to make a profit.
Which of them will you implement next?