Businesses that are able to succeed and grow through hard times must be flexible and be able to adapt to change. Recognizing times of change and crisis and pivoting your business will give you an advantage over those that resist change. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, businesses were forced to make changes or risk being shut down. Some ways that businesses have had to change due to the pandemic include:
1. Adapting to Social Distancing and Cleaning Guidelines
- Any business currently operating in-person has had to make major changes in order to adapt to social distancing and cleaning guidelines put forth by the CDC. Some ways that businesses had to adapt include:
- Limiting number of customers present inside a business – Social distancing guidelines may limit the number of customers that can be inside of a building at a time. Businesses may now require setting appointments to regulate the number of customers at time or they may require customers to wait in a line outside before they may enter.
- Rearranging furniture and seating for social distancing – Businesses have had to adapt their seating arrangements and furniture layouts to allow for social distancing. Some restaurants have removed or blocked off tables while some gyms have rearranged equipment to create more space.
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting – Every business must add regular cleaning and disinfecting to their routine. Some retail stores disinfect check-outs between each customer. All businesses need to be cleaning common spaces frequently to stop the spread of germs.
- Blocking middle seats- Airlines have made major changes to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. One way that airlines have promoted social distancing is by blocking middle seats on flights.
- Requiring the use of masks – Most indoor public spaces now require masks for all customers and employees. Many businesses are refusing service to customers without masks.
- Regulating traffic flow with floor markers – Many businesses are regulating traffic flow of customers with floor signs. Some stores have arrows that require customers to only walk one way throughout the store. Many businesses have floor markers that indicate 6 foot spacing as recommended by social distancing guidelines.
2. Moving to Online & Contactless Services
- Zoom classes and meetings – Many businesses have switched to meeting over Zoom rather than in person. Business meetings, fitness classes, educational classes, piano lessons and even doctors’ appointments have been conducted over Zoom.
- Curbside pick up – Instead of in-person shopping and dining, many retailers and restaurants have started offering curbside pick-up to customers who want to limit their exposure to the virus.
- Contactless services – Service providers such as internet providers, HVAC companies and many others are offering contactless services where a technician can perform work on homes or business without ever coming in contact with the occupants.
3. Offering a New Product or Service to Customers
- Switching to the production of hand sanitizer and masks – There are some companies that have switched to the production of items that are now in high demand due to the pandemic. For example, a T-shirt company stopped producing t-shirts and started making masks to meet the new demands of customers. Some other businesses have changed their production to meet the growing need for hand sanitizer.
- Providing new COVID safety services – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there is increased demand for safety services including temperature screenings, safety plans and safety inspections. A Florida company recently shifted their focus from construction services to focus more on providing these health and safety services more heavily to customers who need it.