COVID-19 hit us out of nowhere and is causing havoc across the globe, and businesses are struggling to say the least.
The great thing about America is if we have a challenge we rise to the occasion and find new ways to succeed. Restaurants, medical offices and retail establishments are adapting and creating new ways so they can continue to serve their customers in these extreme times. We thought we’d share a few with you in hopes you get some ideas or turn on the light bulb for your business.
1. If you have a waiting room keep it clear and open to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Consider getting a waiting room app or management system like Docpace to help convert your parking lot into a waiting room using text messages or push notifications.
2. If you’re a doctor in a small practice consider moving to telehealth for the time being to minimize patient interactions with doctors and nurses while providing care. eVisit is helping to virtually consult with new and current patients. Some practices have already converted up to 50% of all appointments to telemedicine in less than a week. Also consider collecting payments with billing schedules for on-going visits.
3. Membership services can simply ask their current customers if they can financially continue their memberships to please do so and many have responded positively paying it forward.
4. If your business has in-studio classes you can switch to on-demand with regularly scheduled classes using Facebook Live. This keeps instructors and teachers employed at their normal pay rate and delivers high quality instruction to members.
5. Many Gyms across the country have already been ordered to close by their Mayors or Governors in an attempt to stop the virus from spreading in their communities. Most members are willing to pay during the closure and help their local Gym through online payments. If you’re looking to cut expenses somewhere now is the perfect time to change your merchant provider to an interchange plus model. We recommend Dharma Merchant Services.
6. Personal trainers can set up a gated PDF workout plan and even include a meal plan delivered directly to customers email inboxes. Generate a subscription plan that is new, recurring consistent stream of income.
It’s clear that people really care about their local small business and owners and they’re will to pay in advance or adjust to the way they receive services. Owners and clients alike are finding the new switch is an enjoyable benefit and may become new revenue streams after COVID-19 is done.
Whether you provide home cleaning, tree services, plumbing, landscaping, or window washing, these preventative measures have several goals: to protect yourself, your business, and your employees within the larger goal of slowing or stopping the advancement of COVID-19. These measures can help keep your employees and the customers they serve safe and healthy. When your employees are healthy and your customers have confidence in your service, making adjustments in the way you work can also steady your business foundation and provide a greater measure of ongoing security. The flow of appointments has been steadily decreasing for Home Service companies as COVID-19 spreads across the globe. Here are a couple of examples of changes that are currently happening.
1. Cleaning Services are adapting their model to include daily or weekly cleaning with COVID-19 decontamination services.
2. Most home repair and service companies are relying on their customers to keep their employees safe, but we all know that repairs must continue. In-home repairs that require technicians have increased sanitation procedures and cleaning along with self-contamination prevention as they complete each task making it safer for both the customer and the employees.
Food Services and Restaurants
Everyone has been hearing about the devastating effect COVID-19 has on restaurants and food services. The industry is made up of small restaurants with local employees that are paid hourly wages plus tips. Like many businesses restaurants have had to change the way they do business. Here are some examples that are weathering the storm and feeding the people.
1. Many restaurants after mandatory closures have adapted to takeout and delivery only for the safety of both customers and their employees. Some have converted their restaurant into a pop-up grocery store so their customers could avoid the supermarkets. Another great idea was to sell family meal kits. You have to love American ingenuity.
2. In addition to meal kits, another option would be to prepare meal kits and grocery hard to find items such as eggs, pasta, and yes even toilet paper and paper towels.
3. If you own a wine store or local brewery you can tell your customers to call ahead and explain the type of wine or brew you like along with the price point and they’ll bring it right to your car in the parking lot.
4. One of the best ideas yet we heard about a company called Nantucket Culinary that is actually preparing and cooking pre-ordered meals but here’s the kicker, for every meal you buy they also donate a meal to a family in need. Now that’s America.
5. Farm collaboration could be a big help during these times. Farms across all regions are coming together to coordinate deliveries of fresh produce and we all know how hard it’s becoming to get the ingredients we’ve become accustomed to. If you haven’t heard of any in your local area try reaching out to farms to get the ball rolling and the models we’ve seen so far are up and running in less than a week feeding their wider community.
6. Make a pay-what you-can policy if your area has been hit harder financially. Restaurants can extend the same family meal they offer to their staff (the meal restaurant staff has together before the shift starts) to customers and help feed the community.
7. If your restaurant or food service is set up for baking bread then consider giving away all the bread you can to your community. Ask for support or donations to continue this support for the local customers.
These are just a fraction of ways restaurants are creating to serve their communities and support their employees. We hope it inspires you to serve the greater community where you live and work. We would love to hear your story so we can inspire other restaurants to do something wonderful and stay in business. Please contact us here to let us know your story.
Many retail stores are feeling the impact almost just as hard as the restaurant industry. People are scared and rightly so as they don’t want to get infected or infect their precious family members. Here are a few examples of ways businesses are changing the way they work with customers.
1. Online lessons or appointments. Depending on the reason for appointment some businesses are not charging full price or not charging at all.
2. Ask your local city government to establish a central website for people to purchase gift cards for their local small businesses.
3. Local businesses like Animal Hospitals are taking door-to-door to a whole new level picking up pets from your home and taking them to the vet. If it’s a matter of an examination they can examine your pet right in their car and or they can offer curbside service, bring your pet into the vet and then return to your car once completed.
4. Salons are offering online consultations with stylists and take-home coloring kits to keep those roots fresh. Curbside pickup of hair color and haircare products along with delivery is another option.
Remember it’s a difficult time for everyone right now and when it’s all over the things you do for your community will come back tenfold. Putting customers first along with social distancing and safety precautions will go far and will most likely help you boost those reviews you haven’t been paying attention to. Reputation Authority is now offering free reviews service and platform during the COVID-19 crisis.
Community Based Organizations
Community-based organizations are the foundation of every city and town. These organizations are adapting to the new normal under COVID-19 restrictions.
1. If you’re in an area of high rates of poverty and unemployment, call your city council and ask if they will create a City Asset Map which directs city residents to resources that include food, healthcare and other assistance.
2. In another example of community collaboration from Baltimore, The Food Project is working to bring food to vulnerable and poverty-stricken families, following Johns Hopkins-supervised COVID-19 safety precautions. They are also continuing to offer online classes and collaborations surrounding the pandemic.
3. Churches are taking their service online instead of the usual Sunday service. Churches are setting up online stores so members can make either one-time or recurring donations online to keep the spirit and the church alive. If you know a church that needs help with either of these things contact us here and we’ll direct them to the best possible choice for online payments and or website help.
America Strong – America Together
With only a few exceptions, virtually every industry is touched by COVID-19. If your business needs help navigating the changed brought on by the virus we are here to help. We can help you set up payments online or help you set up an online store or get out your message to your community. We are a combination of the best merchant providers as well as a leading marketing firm covering all fifty states.