It’s no big secret that small businesses struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many shuttered their doors forever, leaving business owners strapped with debt and unpaid bills, and resulting in countless unemployed persons suddenly reliant on the government for financial assistance just to pay the rent.
However, according to a new article, while lots of businesses, big and small, got pounded during the pandemic, others somehow managed not only to survive but to thrive. Whether it be increasing communication between management and personnel, making the switch to more efficient work-at-home capabilities, or even keeping employees motivated during tough times by establishing a weekly or monthly achievement awards program along with the distribution of fun business gifts, these are some of the other common workplace attributes that helped small businesses shrug off the pandemic.
Ability To Be Flexible
As the pandemic rapidly progressed, businesses that were able to quickly adjust to the changes were often the ones that were able to keep their doors open to customers. For instance, restaurants who provided contact-free options for food pick-up and supermarkets that established home delivery and curb-side pickup did the best.
Some operations adjusted their staffing schedules so that employees worked alternating shifts in order to reduce as much exposure to one another as possible. They also established a maximum amount of workers who could be present in a single space at any one time. All this took flexibility on the part of management and personnel, but it also tookcome careful planning.
Businesses that improved their communications with both employees and customers were likely to be survivors and thrivers. Open talks about new personal hygiene protocols, contact tracing, and other types of training proved paramount not only in keeping people safe, but properly motivated.
Letting customers know about new operating hours at “brick-and-mortar” operations via social media or even the printing of new menus and pamphlets gave customers a sense of relief and even hope, since they could now rely on some of their favorite venues remaining open.
Being Socially Responsible
Those businesses that adjusted their work schedules and health protocols with the entiresociety in mind also thrived. Under normal circumstances, being socially responsible meant giving your time and/or donating cash to worthy environmental and charitable causes. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, social responsibility meant going out of your way to establish new cleaning and hygiene protocols for customers and workers.
If your city or town had a mask mandate in place, it was imperative that businesses not serve those who refused to wear one. This prevented the possible spread of the virus. Following CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines, meant appropriate social distancing, convenient sanitizing stations for frequent hand washing, and more. This not only protected customers and employees, it helped them feel more secure with their surroundings.
Ability To Be Resourceful
Some business owners added new sources of income in order to weather the pandemic storm. Rather than panic and make bad short-term decisions that would hurt the operation in the long- term, some owners were able to take a step back, inhale a deep breath and think carefully about how to leverage their financial resources while adjusting their work and production capabilities.
This meant applying for PPP loans, while taking advantage of rent protection/forgiveness, student loan forgiveness, and more.
Ability to be Creative
Let’s face it, business owners and workers needed to get creative to search for solutions to giving customers what they wanted, when they wanted it. Businesses that were run by entrepreneurial minded owners and managers survived and thrived.
Small business owners who “thought outside the box” were able to reinvent the way their operations were run and able to make a profit, no matter how humble compared to normal, non-pandemic times. For instance, operations that took advantage of in-person online meetings via Zoom where able to personally engage with stay-at-home employees and potential new customers.
Ability To Be Empathetic
Aside from causing physical sickness and untold deaths, COVID-19 also caused great anxiety among workers, managers, and business owners. People were constantly concerned about losing their job and/or their income, and also about contracting the disease and/or having a loved one contract it.
Business owners and managers who understood the unsure feelings of their employees were able to help motivate them with inventive ideas like issuing monthly awards for the most socially conscious employee, the most health conscious employee, the most successful stay-at-home worker of the month, and other awards.