The Covid-19 pandemic has negatively impacted small business in small town America. Larger businesses may have an out in the form of extra resources, more money, and more friends.
Small businesses, on the other hand, have been utterly devastated by the virus. These businesses don’t have many resources. Their customer base is small and fragile. That means any shake up of the market could be detrimental to them. A representative survey by Wallet Hub suggested that 87% of small businesses are struggling as a result of the pandemic. Even if the $2 trillion dollar stimulus bill seeps into the economy in time to prop these businesses up, it may be too late.
That’s why these small businesses must react to the changes brought about by the situation. Notably, there is one thing they can do for themselves to survive, and even come out of the situation with more customers, more business, and stronger community ties.
These business must listen to their customers.
Listening to Customers Amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic
Customer’s needs don’t diminish just because a virus sweeps across the nation. People still have to survive. They still have needs and requirements. They still want to buy things. Some of them even want to support their favorite small businesses and help the community recover.
The worst thing a small business owner can do is throw up their hands and call it quits. Yes, the situation is frustrating. Yes, the bottom line will suffer. But if business owners decide to listen to their customers, they will likely learn that the market is not dead. For instance, in Abilene, Texas…a Facebook group called Support Small Business of Abilene emerged. The group already has nearly 6 thousand followers, which is great, considering Abilene is a medium to small sized town.
If business owners truly react to Covid-19 by listening to their clientele, they may yet survive. Groups like the one in Abilene are emerging on Facebook everywhere. The people in these groups are actively seeking out products, looking for new business, and trying to sustain some semblance of economic activity. If small business owners seek out groups like these, they would quickly get to hear from their customers, who still desire their business. The market only slows; it never comes to a complete stop.
Pivoting and Changing
Nonetheless, some businesses may have to pivot or change their business model. As a result of Covid-19, many businesses have had to close or cease their operations entirely. It’s a scary thing to happen, but it’s survivable. The situation just demands that business owners get creative.
For instance, if a business was in the beauty industry, they likely had to stop doing business altogether. They can’t work with their clients, because of the nature of the business. As a result, some in the beauty industry have pivoted to focus on selling products. In Abilene Texas, Illumina Day Spa, started to focus on selling clean beauty products via the internet.
At the end of the day, all pivoting or changing means is a business owner must listen to their customers and follow the market. Their customers still need them. Even during economic downturns and pandemics, markets still live, and not everyone in business keels over.