“If you make it through this, you ask, you learn, you adapt, and I think it only makes you stronger,” says Keith Hall, president, and CEO of the National Association for the Self-Employed.
Here are four ways small businesses adapted in response to the pandemic that may have long-lasting effects on future operations, according to industry experts and business owners themselves.
1. CREATIVE BUSINESS MODELS
The pandemic forced businesses to find new ways to serve their customers — and quickly, says Meghan Cruz, director of grassroots advocacy at the National Retail Federation.
Now, that small-business owners have built out new infrastructure, like curbside pickup and e-commerce operations, they can continue using the hybrid business models they adopted during the pandemic, she says.
Within a few weeks of the pandemic shutdowns, Keith Wallace, founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, was facing possible bankruptcy. Unable to open the doors of his business’s in-person-only classrooms, Wallace had to cancel wine classes for thousands of people.
“The only way to survive was to pivot,” he said via email. “I realized this was the time to try something audacious.”
Wallace repurposed his office into a recording studio, turned the main classroom into a video studio, and taught himself how to produce and edit videos. By September 2020, the school launched its first online-only Level One Sommelier Course, an eight-week program.
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