Focus on the Creative

Laura Rich
Wednesday, June 3, 2020

The Coronavirus is impacting more than just the lives of Americans, it is effecting our economy and our jobs. More people than ever are filing for unemployment, while small businesses everywhere are forced to close their doors due to social restrictions. But instead of focusing on the stress, now is the time to focus on the creative.

New ideas are born from times of crisis. After the stock market crash of 2008, companies like Groupon and Uber were created to give people a service in tight economic times. This pandemic too is an opportunity to be creative, to think outside the box, and possibly change the way you do business in the future.

Because of the quarantine, business owners have looked to the internet for sales opportunities. This means buying and selling online, of course. But it also might mean a live stream or a webcast to ask your clients for help. Try asking for donations, selling gift cards for later use, or finding new ways to sell your current stock. Some businesses are getting creative and offering a small gift card for future use with a delivery or pick-up order now. Incentives and marketing for the future could help your business long-term.

Another way to connect with customers is to teach them about your business. With more time on our hands, people are learning new skills. We are jumping into new recipes and craft projects with gusto. Try offering your customers a chance to learn a new skill from your specialty. Teach a design or arranging class. Now that spring flowers are in full bloom, offer a creative way for people to use their flowers in their house. Host these events at a specific time online, or just post a video to YouTube so that it is available to them anytime.

And remember, businesses will most likely want to help other businesses. Try talking to your vendors about your specific situation. Will they give you a good deal if you stock up on supplies now? You are helping them, and in return, they can help you. Open conversation with your business partners may garner more opportunities than normal.

Depending on your state’s restrictions, you may be able to take and manage orders from home. If you have room, set up a workspace and keep as much supply on-hand that you can. This will be a great way to promote the products you DO have, by running special prices for your local community. A lot of people want to buy local and support their businesses. So, make it easy for them! Promote your special online and with word of mouth. You might be surprised at how many future loyal customers you will make.

We will get through this extraordinary time together. But instead of things going back to “normal”, maybe this is the perfect opportunity to get things better than normal. Be creative, ask for help, and maybe have a little fun in the process of trying new things.