Many business owners have made swift changes to their operations or business recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While those changes were intended to be temporary and address the challenging environment, many entrepreneurs will inevitably decide those changes are good for their business well into the future.
We asked business owners what changes they’ve made in recent months that they expect to keep long term. Here’s how they responded:
Incorporating New Services
As a private childcare provider, we have added several new services during the COVID-19 crisis that we expect to continue long term. For example, we now offer virtual babysitting where we’ll match families with virtual babysitters for everything from yoga and dance lessons to virtual field trips and music and art sessions. We also now offer screening services where families can present their own candidate and we assist with interviewing and screening them. We never would have come up with these services had it not been for COVID-19, but these have quickly become an essential part of our business.
—Rachel Charlupski, founder and owner, The Babysitting Company, Miami
Holding virtual client meetings
Since we have all become adept at Zoom video meetings and virtual demonstrations, I see it becoming a normal part of my business and an accepted way of communicating with my clients. I’m hearing from our clients that they would like to save time in their day by jumping on a virtual meeting instead of scheduling an onsite meeting. And I won’t have to jump in the car for every appointment and meeting.
—Tony Baumer, founder and CEO, Old Grey Tiger Consulting, Lacey, New Jersey
Continuing remote work
Our team of 23 went remote in early March 2020, and we have extended our remote work indefinitely at this time, despite our 7,000-square-foot office sitting empty. We’ve found working remotely has been extremely productive for our team. Deadlines are still met, production has increased, and the team morale, despite external stressors, is up. Due to these positive effects, we are already planning not to renew our building lease in July 2021. We are planning to instead purchase a smaller building (in case lockdown needs occur again in the future, so we are paying a mortgage instead of rent) and will be significantly increasing the work-from-home flexibility our team has.
—Lauren Davenport, CEO, The Symphony Agency, St. Petersburg, Florida
Live streaming on social media
Because of the COVID-19 crisis, we had to close our brick-and-mortar store but couldn’t rely solely on website sales. We had to find a way to engage more with our customers who were at home. About two weeks into the crisis, we started doing live streams through YouTube and Facebook that showcase our gems and provide information. This is something we had never done before. We advertised our live streams beforehand through emails, our website and social media. We are now getting about 150 to 200 customers watching our show each week. Not only has it helped to stay connected with our customers, it has generated a ton of sales ($12,000 from our last show) for our business. It has been so successful that we plan on continuing with it even after the pandemic is over.
—Steve Moriarty, co-owner, Moriarty’s Gem Art, Crown Point, Indiana
The past few months have really emphasized how fragile our supply chain can be. We’ve seen many businesses that were reliant on a single supplier face very hard times when that supplier was shut down or overworked. We’ve been making a strong effort to identify any vulnerabilities and expand the number of suppliers we use to ensure we can continue to operate even when things get tough.
—Adam Sanders, director, Successful Release, Philadelphia
Offering clients remote authorization tools
As a title services company serving the real estate industry, we recently partnered with a leading provider of remote notarization tools to provide our clients with the ability to close deals in minutes from any location, including from the comfort of home. We intend to keep using these remote tools as we expect this will become the “new normal” after this pandemic.
—Esther Leavitt-Azulay, CEO, Florida Title Center, Davie, Florida
What practices did your business adopt recently that you expect to continue doing long term? Share your insights in the comments section belowPrint this article