Small businesses have put up quite a fight over these past few months. While the pandemic acted as a major disruptor for every industry, small and local businesses took an especially hard hit.
The pandemic threatened all things ‘business as usual’, making it imperative for small businesses to rethink their operational strategies from top to bottom.
In the midst of these ‘new normals’ for small businesses, the industry has seen some truly ingenious survival tactics take form. Here are some of the most unique ways that we’ve seen businesses stay open during COVID:
From Dining Rooms to Pantry Sales
As indoor dining rooms and lounges closed, many local eateries and bars quickly transitioned their business approach by selling their specialty goods in bulk.
One great example is Wisconsin’s The Ruby Tap, a self-service wine bar, that began selling their wine bottles in bulk online for local curbside pickup. Customers can fill their e-carts with bottles and stop by the shop to get all of their favorites.
Perc Coffee Roasters, a Savannah-based coffee roasting company, took a similar approach. After closing their on-site cafe, they switched up operations to provide their clients and customers with bags of their favorite fresh coffee. They’re posting every update on Instagram and sharing their gourmet cafe recipes across social media so daily visitors can get their fix from home. Shop online and brew on your own – it’s that easy.
Farmer’s Markets Delivered to Your Door
Farmer’s markets are known for their bustling crowds – making them a prime concern during the pandemic. While some markets stayed open by adopting stringent social-distancing measures, others played it safe and went digital.
Farmer’s markets all around the country are offering at-home delivery services. By creating an interface that lists every vendor and all of their goods, shoppers can safely fill their carts online and have them dropped off to their doors. Some, including the Worthington Farmer’s Market and Clintonville Farmer’s Market, turned to open parking lots and car side delivery.
As indoor dining spaces were shut down, restaurants all around the country made do with the new standards by adopting an omnichannel model to serve their customers.
Whether it’s small cafes, pastry shops, or five-star restaurants, ordering online and picking up curbside is the solution for staying strong during the pandemic.
In cases like this, social media plays a huge role in keeping patrons updated on all of the latest operational protocols. Menu changes, specials, and deals are all being broadcasted on IG and FB.
By combining online order systems and physical pick-ups, restaurants took a truly contemporary approach to doing business during the pandemic.
Video Chat Shopping
A local toy store in Connecticut has managed to offer a safe shopping experience even during these unpredictable times by using tech in a brilliant way.
Necker’s Toyland shoppers can schedule a Facetime browsing session to check out the store via live video chat as they’re assisted by a sales associate. This strategy is personalized, exclusive, and modern at it’s finest.
Small businesses are doing all they can to stay open, and it’s pushing the boundaries in some very unexpected ways. What’s next to come out of COVID-inspired small business strategies?