How different local businesses need to quickly adjust to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives. It will continue to change our lives for the foreseeable future. However, it will be different than when the pandemic first began. For the first 2-3 months of the pandemic, nobody went anywhere, toilet paper was difficult to come by no matter where you shopped in Los Angeles, and consumers began to rely on delivery for the products they needed and wanted. Plumbers were run all over LA dealing with toilets clogged by people with too much time at home and an abundance of time to, well, you know.
It’s going to take time to find a vaccine. Researchers say it will take between 12 and 18 months. This doesn’t mean everyone will be stuck in their homes all the time. We will learn how to live with COVID-19 because we have no other choice. If we don’t learn to live with it, the economy will collapse because very few people will have enough income to pay their bills. There are very few trades that are exceptions.
For the next year or so, you should expect the economy to open up at a slow pace, especially with the riots now also playing a role. The riots are likely to fade faster than COVID-19. When you’re out and about, you’re likely to see masks, temperature checks, social distancing, and more things that you hadn’t seen prior to 2020.
All of this leads to a difficult challenge for local businesses in the LA area. That said, there are ways to adapt. For instance, video conferencing has become a popular way to do business. It’s always better to see someone face to face. That’s going to be the most effective because you will pick up on body language. This isn’t possible with video conferencing–only to a minor degree with facial expressions. But video conferencing is still a much better option than no communication at all.
For those who are a little more daring, they will use home visits. This pertains to business associates meeting up in very small groups to solve problems and come up with new ideas for growth.
It can also apply to the home services industry. For example, with many people staying home, it has led to increased demand for plumbing needs. Of course, a plumber always comes to your home to fix a problem whether there is a pandemic or not. The difference is that you might actually appreciate a plumber like Ritz coming to your home right now because you haven’t been in close quarters with many human beings due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements.
Let’s focus on the business side going forward, and let’s use something fun. We’ll pretend you’re a writer of books in the chess industry and you need to build your brand. Prior to COVID-19, you were going to chess tournaments all around the country. In some cases, you were invited to these chess tournaments and offered a free room and free buy-ins because your promoting on social media helped drive more players to the event. This, in turn, helped the tournament series earn more money. Now, without any live chess tournaments, you can’t drive any foot traffic to a live chess room. Not only were you driving traffic to the chess room, but to the restaurants, bars, gift shop, and hotel. So, what do you do when everything is shut down?
While you can’t make the same impact as you could with live chess, you can still build your brand for when everything opens back up and you can hit the chess rooms in Los Angeles. You can do so by launching a chess radio show. Let your followers know about the show, invite popular names in the chess industry as guests, run a free chess tournament online for bragging rights during the show, and build your audience. This is one innovative example on how to build for the future.
If this was your situation, you wouldn’t be earning anything now, but by building your audience through a radio show, your presence might be in more demand when live chess opens up again. Plus, think about this: Everyone in the chess industry who is trying to promote something is going to want to get on that radio show. Now you hold all the cards.
The above is just a fun example on how to use technology to your advantage when live events of any kind are shut down due to COVID-19. While most people are sitting on their couch eating chips and binge-watching Netflix, you have an amazing opportunity to get ahead of the crowd. Think of it like you’re on a hiking race across the country. When everyone else falls asleep, you walk an extra three miles each night. You will end up winning the race.
This might be a difficult time, but difficult times are when the real winners make their moves. Make your move.