For better or for worse, all small businesses are being affected in some way by COVID-19. To get a sense of the full scope and diverse ways that small businesses have been impacted, we reached out to the fabulous CarolRoth.com contributor network of business owners, experts, advisors and entrepreneurs. They have shared how their own small businesses have been personally affected by coronavirus below, in no particular order.
You may notice some similar stories listed, but I kept them separate, as we wanted to highlight each small business in their own words.
1. My Only Source of Income
With the stay-at-home order, I am unable to go out and take on new portrait and wedding clients. Over the past 6 weeks, I have been using my savings and it feels like I will have to continue doing this to stay afloat. I have started offering online photography training and photoshoots through virtual meetings, but people aren't spending right now. As the restrictions ease, I hope people feel safe again to go out to take portraits and have weddings, as my business is my only source of income.
2. Zero Income? You Must Pivot.
In early March, we had several large video and animation projects lined up that would have represented about $150k of revenue: a first and huge milestone in our 3rd year of business. I had worked on cultivating these relationships for over two years. By March 19th, all of our projects were postponed indefinitely or canceled. We have zero income right now, but we remain positive, as we pivot our business and work on a new e-commerce platform of animated video products for small businesses.
3. Slow Government Help
It's important to remember that the virus is not the same as the 'cure' meted out by governments. In the UK, we have been told to close by the government. The majority of our members are sticking with us, and paying us (which enables us to pay the full rent we are still being charged, despite not being able to function). Government has promised help to pay rent and to pay staff. Neither have been forthcoming yet after a month so far. Cashflow is very difficult.
4. Revenue Has Been Decreased
I own a small retail store in a town. Before coronavirus, I was making a yearly revenue of 6 million with almost 10 employees. I now have five employees and am hardly selling 5000 dollars' worth of goods a month due to coronavirus. Now, I am not even making enough money to pay for the staff and delivery drivers left in the company.
I am afraid that without any help, my business and other small businesses might lose forever. We are just hoping that the pandemic situations end soon.
5. 8K Disappeared & Silver Lining
As a magician, I've started pivoting my shows online to Zoom creating virtual events. I’ll be doing shows that will influence thousands of people online, reaching people in geographies I previously did not service.
Virtual corporate events and happy hours that were previously adult-only events now often include the entire family. The cost of these happy hours is actually lower, as there’s no food or alcohol to purchase! Participants are encouraged to invite friends and family.
6. Free Advice to Small Business
Our business made a huge pivot when I realized how many small businesses were affected and hurting from coronavirus. I asked my 650 top tier business consultants in 30 countries if they would have interest volunteering and provide free advice to those who are in need? Over 200 said yes! We now provide pro bono help and advice for businesses that are in trouble such as bars, restaurants, theaters, yoga studios, nail salons, gyms, etc. The response and appreciation have been very rewarding.
Will Bachman of Umbrex
7. GREAT Time for Theme Parks!
In the last couple of years, too bad we had the unfortunate (though unforeseen) miscalculation to pivot the brunt of our business to serve the theme park & attractions industry. Now, of course, all these facilities are shuttered for the foreseeable future. Agh! Just can't buy a break!
Small silver lining: at least our wearables are also useful during COVID-19, but it's hard to get people to know we're even here... & for them to understand the true capabilities of our line if they do!
8. Embracing the New Normal
We are lucky. We saw a down turn in the economy coming almost a year ago, needed to travel less and bring our business more online in terms of consulting and workshops, so we were prepared when it happened.
However, that really did not mean anything. If your clients are not focused and ready to accept help, then it does not matter how prepared you are.
We have spent the last 8 weeks just talking to clients, listening and empathizing. Profits come later; compassion is the word of the day.
9. E-commerce | The Only Option!
I am thankful I realized e-commerce would continue to play a major role in our future because my company was already adapting to the ongoing situation. Many aspects of the company were either going virtual or had already been designed to be marketed to consumers online. The only major issue we have had is government offices being shut down like the I.R.S. Me, my family and those I work with have strong immune systems, so covid-19 has not impacted us directly. My business is continuing to adapt.
10. Conflict and Covid
I'm a mediator & conflict coach specializing in eldercare & organizational conflict. Conflict doesn't stop because of Covid, but being able to get together and work things out does. Expanding services online is being worked out, but there is an element of disassociation when using technology that makes it a slower process. Organizations who are using conflict coaching and mediation with teams do better with technology than families who are trying to decide what is best for their older adults.
11. Busy, Busy, Busy!
Coronavirus is impacting big and small companies from Wall Street to Main Street. For us, the pandemic has caused a surge in inquiries and new orders. We manufacture bipolar ionization indoor air quality devices. Installed in building HVAC systems, they continually neutralize COVID-19, other viruses, germs and bacteria in the air and on surfaces in office buildings, hospitals, airports and sports arenas making them safer. In what is a difficult time for so many businesses, we provide a solution.
12. Free Shipping and a Gift
Postage is a huge expense, so we usually have a flat fee for smaller orders & free shipping over $65. When the virus overwhelmed NY, my store had to close. We not only sell retail products but we host parties, so overnight we lost 75-80% of our business.
Online has exploded because we are now shipping free for all orders until the store can be re-opened & include a small gift in each order.
We are also donating hundreds of "pamper packs" to all the area hospitals. This gives me purpose!
13. Complete Program Change
We offer online personal training and nutrition services, all of which are custom to the client. Though we are 100% online, our clients use gyms, restaurants, etc. and our programming for them reflects this. As stay at home orders went into effect over the course of four weeks, we had to redo programming for our entire client base. Considering programming is custom, and every client situation is different, this was a tall order.
14. Sales Team Motivation Is Hard
We started to encourage our sale team to start working remotely from home in early March. However, a virtual office is not the same energy level as compared with a physical office. It is much harder to give and receive internal feedback to a remote sales person. Feedback is an essential component of managing a sales team and the remote environment is simply not conducive to communicating with and motivating a large sales team. Face to face conversations are sorely missed.
15. Expand Not Contract
With the Coronavirus, many businesses came to a screeching halt. Our typical authors, entrepreneurs and small businesses had to move into crisis mode. We looked to see who we could support to grow their presence in the world, instead of pull in to survive. Creating Joint Ventures with companies to showcase their clients and business practices has enabled them with us to increase their visibility and reputations to move into the New Normal ahead of the pack, instead of stumbling into their future.
16. COVID Consequences
When the COVID-19, or coronavirus, hit, little did I know that I would be affected. After all, my business was already 100% virtual and my clients firmly in place. However, startups I worked with were reacting in fear, losing major contracts, and greatly affected. This led to a swarm of clients postponing or eliminating my services for the unforeseen future. Even as a virtual business, I was affected. The solution: start marketing immediately. Challenges = opportunity.
17. COVID-19 Killer Service
Bee Line Support, a woman-led Chicago-based medical-grade cleaning services company, had a PATHOGEN PREVENTION MISTING SERVICE available solely to our medical clients prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. We saw a serious need being unfilled and responded, offering new monthly PATHOGEN PREVENTION MISTING SERVICE subscriptions for ALL of our clients. We've also triple-trained and checked our cleaning teams for consistent safety protocols, ensuring continued good health for them and our customers.
18. Fear Is a Terrible Burden
As a practicing Consultant, the biggest challenge now facing my clients is pure, unadulterated fear; fear of defeat, fear of bankruptcy, fear of loss of the business, fear of the inability to protect their own family, fear for their employees; most of all---fear for the future. I've found that the best advice I can offer is to break down each element of fear and address it... item by item. Only by doing this will clients begin to work through the challenges faced in these unprecedented times.
19. Affected but Staying on Course
New, cold leads have ground to a halt. New, warm prospects are dragging their feet. Some clients are pausing or stopping services for the time being.
Some of our clients have been hit, but others have actually become more busy as a result. Most have stayed the course.
We're also a remote team, used to working across borders and time zones. So, while team members might be busy at home with their kids to the COVID lockdown, we're largely unaffected and able to continue working as normal.
20. Focus on What You CAN Control
Early on, our team proactively took steps to keep costs down and to minimize the impact as much as possible. A few of our initiatives included placing a freeze on new hiring, pivoting all marketing messaging, and offering to swap out services that would help our current client base more during this time. Some clients have, understandably, had to pause their campaigns, but we’re still doing all we can for them and we continue to search for ways to add value.
21. It Will Get Better!
I run a small media company that generates revenue through advertisements on our primary website, allcards.com. Our biggest challenge has been the reduced budgets of advertisers.
Still, I see this as an opportunity. It’s a time to improve and build on the content we have. We are also preserving cash to make sure we weather this storm.
22. Start a Stimulus Package!
We look at community groups we are part of (industry/trade/neighborhood/alumni/women/hobby/religious/non-profit) and start our own stimulus packages by agreeing to support/buy from each other directly, refer business proactively to each other or buy gift certificates. Cross promote the products/services in newsletters, follow/like/retweet on social media and vice versa. Help your neighbors/network thrive and we will all get through this together, stronger by showing our humanity and compassion.
23. Now's the Time 4 Made In USA!
Things really slowed down as many retail stores were forced to close. It really affected us. At a time like this, people want American made items more than ever. Rather than be conservative, we invested thousands of dollars to have our Michigan factory immediately make 10,000 of our sold out yellow PVC free Good Ducks, the safest rubber ducks in the world for babies to teethe on. You always want to change a tough moment into a positive. Now is a time to pivot, be creative, and make a difference!
24. Decisive Action Over Inaction
We saw an initial revenue drop of 75%, due to COVID-19 that clearly wasn't sustainable. Since our patients needed treatment but weren't able to visit, we immediately made the decision to convert to a 100% telehealth practice overnight. That was a lot of work, however, I believe it added tremendous value to our practice and business model. While it was difficult to execute, the benefits from offering telehealth will remain for years, which adds value for patients and a revenue stream for us.
25. Hit Us Hard, but We'll Be Back
I thought being a criminal defense lawyer was a recession proof business model, as courts have always operated without interruption. However, when COVID-19 hit and the court systems were injured due to social distancing mandates, we were benched. I had to temporarily furlough my team of 12 legal professionals. This broke my heart, but I made that choice to ensure whatever operating capital we have can be ready for them when we reemerge vs. spending it now and not being able reopen. It is hard.
26. What Was Reliable Is No Longer
The stay at home orders have had a huge impact on my personal injury firm. Naturally, the number of car accidents has plummeted and new client calls have followed suit. For current cases, clients are unable to continue much-needed medical treatment with their doctors. Aside from the obvious impact on their physical recovery, it holds up settlements because we don't have all of the medical records and bills to determine a fair settlement amount. It's proper disruption and I'm still navigating it!
27. Adversity Brings Opportunity
I've been a work from home advocate for 9 years, so I chose to see the opportunity in this great adversity. Although I'm lucky enough to have an online business, I quickly screamed 'plot twist' and pivoted my business strategy a few weeks ago to move more towards creating multiple revenue streams from downloadable products - who doesn't want to make money while they sleep? There is so much opportunity. Whatever industry you're in, it's time to adapt to survive - push it online.
28. My Millennial Mentee Was Right
My timing has always been off- in one business, 25 years too soon. But with COVID-19, the pandemic helped my small business grow exponentially! All teaching, coaching, and facilitating quickly moved on-line. Already familiar with video-conferencing with my clients, I didn't miss a beat with my students. However, I did miss the timing by a year, as my Millennial mentee had urged me many times that on-line was the way to go. I'm happy to admit that he's the better mentor. Learn by doing - faster!
29. Focus on Generating Leads
For the most part, we’ve been really fortunate in that our platform is focused around lead generation, and is effectively a work from home tool, which means we’ve seen a higher demand than normal, and we’ve been kept very busy since the start of the pandemic. We’re growing, and there is plenty of work out there for businesses - we’ve had over £62m ($77m) of projects on our platform in the last 3 weeks alone for instance, so keeping up with the demand is the next challenge we face.
30. A Time to Over-Communicate
Our service (dumpster rentals) has been fortunately deemed an essential service. To that end, it's vital we continually communicate our availability to our customers considering homeowners are stuck at home doing projects around the house.
No matter the status of your business, this is the time to continually communicate to your customers. Exhaust all the channels to do this --- your website, email, social, Google My Business, local listings.
31. Decline in Sales
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, we've seen a decrease in sales. This is only natural. Mashvisor helps investors find lucrative rental properties. However, when their health and safety are threatened, people are not thinking about investing in real estate. Nevertheless, we are optimistic that this negative impact on our business will be only short-lived, and our sales will go back to their regular level as soon as things start normalizing.
32. Low Patronage from Clients
I just wish this COVID-19 pandemic will be over soon. I have been experiencing low patronage from my clients whose jobs I struggle to meet up with before now. Some have even informed me ahead that I have to exercise patience in terms of my pay for their current jobs I have at hand. I just have to understand because the virus has weakened a lot of businesses around the world. Many people are at home observing social distancing in order to avoid contracting it.
33. Less Revenue, More Expense
As a financial firm, we are paid from the revenues from investments and fees. Investment pricing is a leading indicator of what people may expect or experience and often falls before anyone feels pain. With COVID-19, this was the case. Our Q2 revenues fell by about 30%. Yet because of our demand for business consulting, employee activity rose. Our revenue decreased and consulting expenses increased. Thank God we practice what we teach and have reserves for a rainy day, or in this case, a typhoon.
34. It's Early Days Yet!
I've been fortunate in the sense that my business is 100% online.
Initially, we saw a decrease in traffic + sales when countries first went into lockdown.
In the following weeks, traffic has continued to grow as more people are staying at home.
We've seen some growth in terms of revenue, but things are still uncertain and difficult to predict. It's possible this growth may continue, but we're exploring other growth opportunities to mitigate possible risk.
35. A Pivot AND a Deep Reset
1) Using this very slow time on the consulting side to really go deep in thinking through my message, audience, etc. for the work I really want to do, helping businesses develop and market PROFITABLE products and services that make the world better. 2) Taking my sideline of while-you-wait resume and cover letter writing to Zoom, also offering free resume critiques.
36. Next Woman Up
Our small business, a test prep review website, has been significantly impacted by COVID. An employee's mother tested positive for coronavirus, forcing her to take a leave to care for her ailing mom. To cover in her absence, our two other content contributors and myself were forced to step up and handle her responsibilities, all while working from home. Despite this less-than-ideal situation, we all have risen to the challenge and faced this adversity head on. As we've said - "Next Woman Up!"
37. Entertain by Being Helpful
Being an online business, we have witnessed a meaningful increase in traffic. People confined at home are looking for ways to be entertained and they spend more time online. So, we quickly reorganized our regular content schedule (primarily product reviews and deals) towards recipes, educational content and tips. Our audience is rewarding us with better engagement and shares (which turns into more ad revenue). People have more time right now; help them make the most of it.
38. Be Mindful of Client Concerns
We're fortunate to be deemed an essential business, we just had to quickly adjust our processes and procedures to ensure the safety of our staff and clientele. Connecting with and serving our customers is key to our business, so operating with the necessary social distancing guidelines and individual client health concerns has been interesting. It's added a heavy and at times, challenging element to our business, but we're just trying to lead with compassion and navigate with finesse.
39. Digital Industry Privilege
As a Digital Marketing company, our business has fortunately maintained and brought on new clients, something we owe to our "Digital Industry Privilege." Our Social Media and Content teams are particularly busy due to quarantine; clients are in constant need of digital updates. All employees are working remotely, so my department (Growth) ensures our employees are provided with online tools like Asana, Harvest, Uber Conference, and Slack for a productive and successful work day.
Our firm works with small businesses to help navigate financing options. Our business has been flipped upside down over the last 2 months. We've gone from traditional SBA lending programs, asset based lending, and equipment financing to ONLY PPP information/application requests. Small businesses are entirely focused on government programs to get through the economic impact caused by COVID-19. Our tip is to be as patient as possible, as banks and lenders work through processing PPP applications.
41. How to Pivot During a Pandemic
I recognize that so many people are dealing with abrupt changes in their business. Some clients have postponed the use of certain services, due to the financial climate. I've even had to push some launch dates back for new projects. However, I'm hopeful. Every business and every relationship has ups and downs. I keep a close eye on my business and personal goals, while ensuring that I'm taking this time to prepare adequately for future launches and contract negotiations.
42. Boost in Sales
Our business is up, there is more consumption and overall, we are seeing an increase in sales. We have been lucky to maintain our entire staff and are very grateful to be a part of the essential businesses. It is a big recognition not only to us, but to society in general. I think that this will help to promote and expedite medicinal and recreational cannabis in the life of the American people. We’ve been fortunate.
43. You Win Some, You Lose Some
The biggest impact that the coronavirus has had on our business is that we have a decrease in customers from the most impacted industries (hospitality and tourism). On the other hand, we have an increase of customers in industries that sell online, such as eCommerce and SaaS. While we have losses in some areas, there are spikes in others, making it more or less the same as things were before. If this is the worst-case scenario, I hope that things stay this way until the pandemic dies down.
44. Deferred Payment Program
Being in the mountains, none of our employees or their relatives have gotten sick and it’s been business as usual. Our cash reserve has kept us from reducing employee hours, and we've been hiring! We started a Deferred Payment Program for potential clients who couldn’t pay for IP attorneys. We hope this gives inventors and small businesses the opportunity to get their patents and trademarks even in uncertain times. Once they recover, they can pay. If they never recover, we won't charge them.
45. A Gut Wrenching Experience
Our business has been hit hard by the pandemic. Since our primary clientele are seniors, we are temporarily closed until further notice. There's no denying that COVID-19 is devastating in just about every facet, but knowing there are clients that could use our services right now is gut wrenching. However, we continue to be positive that this will pass soon and we remain eager to work, so we can provide the best service to our clients once we return to our office.
46. Increased Customer Queries
We've noticed a significant increase in the number of queries we're receiving, and we believe this is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Because people are more on edge, and because money is generally tighter, we're dealing with a lot more emails, calls and messages than normal. We don't mind this, as we appreciate that people are wanting to be reassured during this time, however if the increase continues, we may need to look at hiring help.
47. Be Nimble Post Covid-19
As a tour boat operator with three locations in Florida, we have been dramatically impacted by Covid-19.
April was on pace to become the best month in company history by a factor of two. However, the virus has caused our typical season to be cut short with over $100k in refunds and an estimated $100k loss in potential revenue.
We are changing to all private tours and targeting only locals moving forward. We believe there will be demand for outdoor activities when the lockdown ends!
48. Roller Coaster Ride
As a business that teaches others to take their business online, I was well positioned for the changes Covid-19 has been dictating others to take. That brought in new client inquiries and a greater urgency with existing clients. The roller coaster went up-hill. Covid-19 restrictions intensified - prospects had to re-prioritize, projects got delayed. The roller coaster dropped and my stomach churned. New inquiries, more delays. My coping mechanism: Stop, breath, trust, hold on and enjoy the ride!
49. Small Business and Covid-19
Covid-19 has affected all our suppliers and manufacturers. The entire supply chain from China to Mexico. Most of the plants are currently shut-down or have been shut down the last 4 weeks. Nothing is shipping. We have orders typically ship within 1 or 2 days, now taking 4-6 weeks. Most of our factory orders are still on hold. Our customers are cancelling orders due to no stock. We’ll be in financial trouble if the entire supply chain doesn't come back on-line soon.
50. COVID-19 Effects on E-Commerce
As an e-commerce business, our custom t-shirt site has been affected by a lack in overall internet purchasing due to a down economy. People (understandably) have much more important things on their buying list, but we are getting enough business to maintain until regular buying behavior returns to normal.
51. Importance of Contingency Plan
Due to COVID-19, San Francisco instituted a shelter in place order which prevented our orders from being shipped. Then, our shipping provider unexpectedly announced that it had been acquired by another company due to financial challenges. This resulted in some short term disruption but fortunately, our fulfillment times are back to normal. This story underscores the need to ensure that you have a solid contingency plan so that you can continue to fulfill orders during economic and social storms.
52. Affected by Covid-19
We are a commercial cleaning platform where office managers book cleaning services. Typical services would include light cleaning of the main areas. Nobody needs this service anymore and we had to adapt to requests for Coronavirus cleaning. Customers now are looking for sanitization services using foggers/sprayers. We used to send our vendors to do in-person walkthroughs, but now nobody wants face to face meetings, so we created an app for office managers to send in videos of their space.
Roman Peysakhovich of Onedesk
53. 10-Year Training Pays Off
When the world turned upside down, I immediately added the support of real-time 10-min. daily activations to bring HSEs (highly sensitive entrepreneurs) to higher-levels of creation and accomplishment during these exceptional times. I also began extra support to connect via video as a Community of HSEs 1-2 times per week. As a result, HSEs are thriving rather than shriveling up and dying during this intense time. My business continues to move forward because unknowingly, I’ve been training for this moment for the last 10 years.
54. Positive Coronavirus Story
My website, Fitness Savvy, received a massive boost since coronavirus lockdown measures came into force. We provide a price comparison service for fitness and home gym equipment, so when commercial gyms were forced to close their doors, our website traffic increased 1,000%.
I was working a full-time job alongside Fitness Savvy, but I've now given up my day job to concentrate on my business, full-time, and will work towards my ultimate goal of growing Fitness Savvy into a global brand.
55. Corona Wave Boosts Online Biz
When COVID-19 started, my business felt an immediate drop in income traffic as concerns over the future led to consumers buying less. But in the weeks that followed, that trend was balanced out by another. With so many people unable to leave their homes and so many retail stores closing, shopping for cabinet hardware in person ceased to be an option, and more buyers were forced online. The cabinet hardware industry as a whole may be down, but I've been blessed that traffic on my site is up.
56. Splitting the Working Day
Splitting the working day between my wife and I has been extremely challenging. We have two very young children to care for during this time, as well.
The plain truth is that while I have my dream, my wife has a salary. We need to protect that as best we can, given the economic uncertainty that lies ahead of us all.
I've learned to break my bigger projects down into much more discrete chunks. It's not ideal, but half hour bursts of work - wherever I can get them - add up eventually.
57. Supply Chain Disruptions
As a small e-commerce business marketing physical merchandise, we are experiencing complications pertaining to supply chain disruptions and service carrier interruptions attributable to the pandemic. Consequently, we are encountering difficulties in replenishing our inventory, resulting in a reduced ability to fulfill customer orders in a timely manner. These impediments have inspired a business stalemate, as we are unable to progress by expanding our product line or engage new customers.
58. Hit on Two Fronts
Our business got hit on two fronts at once. Much of our business comes from referring real estate investors to portfolio lenders, but many have suspended new loans during this crisis, plunging that revenue around 75%.
We also sell online landlord software licensed from another company – that just announced they’re going under. So, we’re working overtime to build custom software to replace it, so our customers don’t suffer a gap in coverage. Hoping to go live with basic services on 5/15.
59. Effect of COVID19 on Chanty
The coronavirus pandemic brought us more customers than ever before. We have a tool for communication and collaboration and companies switching to remote work are interested in our product. Ever since the pandemic started, we have about a 30% increase in new customers, both free trials and paid accounts.
Dmytro Okunyev of Chanty
60. Wholesale to Virtual Workshop
As a handcrafted aged tea company that works closely with Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels, our wholesale business disappeared overnight when our hospitality partners closed due to COVID-19. We were supposed to onboard a few new partners just before COVID-19, and we could not close those sales.
To weather the storm, we have been focusing on eCommerce. We took our existing in-person tea workshops online and now we are sending tea kits in advance to do a guided session together.
61. Lost 75% of Revenue
Our small family owned jewelry business had to shut the doors about a month ago. We are thankful to have an online ecommerce business as well, but still lost about 75% of our revenue. Our associates are coming up with novel ideas to help engage with customers during this time, which has also helped to get sales here and there from local customers, but unless we open up again soon, our business will not survive doing this for the foreseeable future.
62. Using Extra Time as a Gift
My husband and I started a business icravecars.com less than a year ago, selling automotive-themed merchandise and “manantiques”. Although our sales have slowed during this time and my freelance work has dried up, having both of us working at home has really helped move our business forward. We can now communicate, collaborate, and implement ideas much quicker. My husband has taken his typical commute time to illustrate new products. We have chosen to see this extra time as a blessing.
63. Cleaning for COVID-19
Bolana Enterprises, a Women Presidents' Organization member based in Maryland, has pivoted from a janitorial service company for buildings to become a deep cleaning and disinfectant provider to businesses experiencing COVID-19 cases. We are now experiencing an exponential increase in clients and are having to turn business away. The company is happy to play its part in taming the virus as much as possible.
64. Utilizing Cocktail Ingredients
Our Texas-based company Buzzballz, inspired by membership in the Women Presidents’ Organization, has joined with hospitals and the military to help stem COVID-19. Buzzballz is the only woman-owned distillery in the US. I knew that my company had the raw materials and the correct equipment. I searched for glycerin to add to my mix and voila! I had hand sanitizer—a 100-gallon batch. I am aiding front-line workers and our bottom line.
Merrilee Kick, President of Buzzballz
65. Sweet Treats for Vets
My daughter Lindsay and I are co-owners of The Dessert Ladies, which produces gourmet dessert bar events for clients in NJ, NYC, and the Super Bowl.
COVID-19 caused cancellations of many booked events, resulting in an inventory of thousands of uneaten treats. We donated them to the VA Medical Center in Lyons, NJ, which is one of the largest VA hospitals in the state.
The patients and staff were grateful for the donation, and we were thrilled to bring them some delicious joy and smiles.
66. Essential Pivot to Stay Open
A majority of our workforce was on a construction project outside of Philadelphia. On March 19th, the state forced the job down. This was a big burden for our small company, because we didn't have enough projects for all of our workforce. Our sales team had to scramble to find new projects. We targeted food plants and warehouses because they were permitted to stay open. Luckily, we were quick, and able to get enough jobs lined up at these essential facilities to keep everyone employed.
67. Determined, Not Disappointed
COVID-19 has not been an easy obstacle to overcome, with many business owners succumbing to the virus' effects early on in the piece. As a company, we have strived to block out the negative realities around us, choosing to be determined in overcoming them. Our team enjoys the comradery of being in the office, discussing content, and debating articles. That interpersonal connection is something we're craving, but we are determined to keep working and excited to get back to the office to see each other again.
68. BrandCrowd Joins #OpenWeStand
BrandCrowd is a logo maker where you can edit and download logos.
We've seen a dip in logo demand due to COVID-19.
Additionally, to keep employees safe, 100% of our staff are working from home.
To help the community in this crisis, we've joined www.openwestand.org created by GoDaddy. We're also offering free logos and access to our design tools.
We believe if you've been impacted by COVID-19 that there may be ways to overcome the crisis - be creative in your business and don't give up!
69. Coronavirus Adjustments
My Hungarian business partner and I started an academy together. Using his Green Card, we planned for him to come to the U.S., stay with me, and the three of us-- my business partner, my husband who is my business manager, and I would collaborate. We planned to strategize on branding and marketing.
It's a well-known fact that you can get the Coronavirus by traveling, so when my business partner arrived, we couldn't see him. He stayed in a room with a private door.
70. Business is Up 350% YoY
As an ecommerce business, we have been in the extremely fortunate position to be able to keep trading during COVID-19. As a hobby business that sells wooden model ship kits, we do have the perfect hobby for extended periods of ‘home-time’. Sales for the month of March were up over 200% on the same time last year. We thought things would slow down after that. April is now up 350% on the same time last year.
71. Our Brand is Pivoting
Our brand is in a very challenging position because we sell fashion items to attendees of music festivals. These events are being canceled all around the world as COVID-19 spreads. As a result, we are shifting our marketing from festival clothing to focus on other uses of our clothing such as lingerie or loungewear. We’ve also started designing face masks. For each mask purchased, we will be donating one non-printed face mask to nonprofits supporting those on the front lines.
72. Building a Virtual Culture
In response to COVID-19 and the need to work remotely, we are trying to come up with new ways to show our employees how much we appreciate their efforts by building a solid virtual culture. We have daily "all hands on deck" meetings conducted via Zoom where we discuss what we did yesterday, what we are working on today, and talk through any issues we are experiencing. We've also issued a bonus stipend in the amount of $1000 that was sent to all employees to help during this difficult time.
73. Changes in Shipping Industry
COVID-19 has caused disruption in the shipping industry in a number of ways. While we are still receiving, loading, and shipping vehicles and cargo, certain delays are to be expected. Ports have shifted their hours due to decreased volumes from China. We are experiencing a shortage of 45-foot containers, many of which come from China. We were planning to attend several conferences, but they were all canceled, so we have to find alternative networking opportunities to maintain relationships.
74. Taking Necessary Precautions
Phoenix is an essential business dedicated to supporting our nation’s critical defense infrastructure. As a result of COVID-19, all work-related travel has been prohibited unless absolutely necessary and all employees who are capable of working from home have been directed to do so. As for all of our technicians and engineers with vital work in our facilities, all possible precautions and safety measures have been taken to ensure a work environment that will not contribute to the spread.
75. Weathering the Storm
Like most people, we are seeing conferences and trainings canceled or changed to remote formats, as well as cutbacks in travel. We have also had to delay team-building events. Much of the incident response work we do to support ransomware victims and other clients can be done remotely, thankfully. Our team has been very flexible, responsive, and understanding about the additional challenges COVID-19 adds to what are generally already extremely stressful events for our customers.
76. Ensuring Business Continuity
Our core focus is to ensure business continuity for all of our clients. With this in mind, we will continue to staff our facilities 24/7 with essential employees. We are also training our staff and ensuring that they are able to continue to operate from a remote location. We will mandate some staff to be on-site and we are in the process of reviewing our standard operating procedures under these extraordinary circumstances.
77. Diverse in Marketing Channels
We are a DC motor manufacturing company. Most of our customers are from the U.S and Europe.
Inquiries about our products have decreased. Some of our customers either have no need of our products, as most activities have mostly come to a halt.
We also rely on events to make our products known. But, the current situation makes our marketing via events halted.
We are thankful that we invested in SEO 2 years ago, so online inquiries are still coming in, just not as much as previously.
78. Small Business and Big Heart
I run a small safari business in South Africa. COVID-19 has impacted my business terribly. With flights grounded and movement restricted, I have no guests with me whatsoever at the moment. The impact not just on myself, but on everything from hotels to attractions has been devastating. As a small business, you can weather storms like this for a while due to the lack of staff and running costs. However, if this carries on, small businesses are in serious trouble and the future is uncertain.
79. Mobile App Boom
Our typical customers are restaurants, coffee shops, pubs, bars, etc. They use our service to create mobile apps for their business and offer things like food delivery, customer loyalty programs, etc.
With the restrictions on these types of businesses across the globe, we've seen our sales double with people looking for a viable solution to stay in business whilst they can't welcome customers into their business. To help these businesses, we're building apps for free with 15% of subscriptions.
80. Free Plan Changing
Like all other businesses, we have had very slow growth and we have customers churning left and right, so we are doing the best we can to stop the bleeding and get new customers. We changed our free plan from 30 days to six months, hoping to get new customers that we can eventually upsell and move on to a paid plan when the pandemic dies down. We have high hopes that things will turn out for the best.
81. Lack of New Opportunities
Even though we work in a digital age, our business has been affected majorly with the lack of new opportunities coming. Business has gone slow and the impact is being felt all over. On the operational side, the entire team has been working from home for over a month. The timelines have had to be extended due to expected delays in these conditions. These are some of the things that we have been dealing with and who knows for how long will have to.
82. Covid-19 Good for Insurance
The COVID-19 pandemic has expanded opportunity in the insurance market targeting seniors.
Uncle Sam guarantees Social Security payments no matter the economic climate. That means more dependable premium collection.
COVID-19 is a major life event, causing otherwise apathetic folks to consider their mortality. Life events drive insurance purchases, and the pandemic has noticeably increased new insurance sales.
Remote sales are fine. Agents can help people without a personal visit.
83. Adjusting to the New Normal
We've transitioned most of our employees to remote work, with only core team members remaining in-office while observing strict CDC guidelines. We've enabled those working from home to utilize VPNs and coordinate remote access across secure devices.
In lieu of our regular daily Kanban meetings every morning, we now hold virtual meetings to accommodate remote employees. During these meetings, we discuss concerns regarding clients and products, and arrange how best to resolve them.
84. Knocked Down, but Got Back Up
I own a real estate investment company. We were hit hard by a massive slowdown in lending. That forced us to cancel two early-stage projects and we recorded losses on each. The first two weeks were extremely stressful. Fortunately, we bounced back quickly by finding creative ways to partner with other investors. We're still challenged by providing a safe environment for our team and clients. But, we have created some virtual processes that will carry over once things return to normal.
85. Helping Those in Harm's Way
We contemplated shutting down, but evolved as an organization as a result of COVID-19. We responded with a call for #VirtualVolunteerism for people to join in writing letters and making things for military and those in harm's way. Secondly, we launched the Coalition to Support COVID-19 Frontline Responders with support to frontline responders nationwide. The Coalition has been raising money, donating essential items, and encouraging volunteerism with letters of gratitude to hard-working heroes.
86. Pro Wingman Adapts to Lockdown
I am a dating coach in New York City. My business consists entirely of going to bars as a professional wingman, so I have shifted to optimizing Tinder profiles and teaching people how to sext.
It's harder to charge real money for that.
87. COVID-19 Affected My Business
My name is Shneidine, "The Millennial Mom Money Expert". I'm a financial Coach and I teach people how to get out of debt. I'm a keynote speaker and Award-Winning women empowerment. My small business has taken a massive hit since COVID-19. I was a mentor for LiveGirl (an organization to help young girls gain confidence). The mentorship program stopped abruptly. I can't do speeches at Universities & can't make ends meet. I had to file for unemployment and go to food pantries to put food on the table.
88. Prep for the Company's Return
We're a video production company that lost all of our projects due to the pandemic. We got together and discovered the best thing would be to furlough the team and let them get unemployment for now. Now, I'm working on internal improvements like SEO to hit the ground running when we're back from all this.
89. Everything is Messed Up
Our production process has been disturbed a bit. The suppliers are facing difficulties in supplying the products because of the restricted travel conditions in most of the countries. This has impacted our sales and revenue. But, we are facing this challenge patiently and strongly. We are optimistic that this negative impact on our business will go away soon and our sales will go back to their regular level as soon as this pandemic gets over.
90. COVID-19 Forced My Firm Remote
COVID-19 has caused most businesses to pivot and my firm is no different. I own a law firm with a team of 10. Before COVID-19, we had some remote capabilities and were actively incorporating other e-tools. I was already working remotely 3/4 of the time. COVID-19 forced my firm to go remote completely. There have been some growing pains, but we are gaining efficiency as we measure and learn. COVID-19 has also allowed us to implement video conferencing for various teams within the firm.
91. Law Firm Operating Smoothly
Due to the national emergency over COVID-19, most courthouses are closed except to process criminal cases and emergency orders. That means our cases have come to a grinding halt. Most of our civil cases have been continued until June. The number of prospective clients seeking our services has also declined. However, we have kept our law firm operating smoothly on a 100% remote basis. We were a paperless office before the crisis occurred, and we use Zoom and FileVine to conduct business electronically.
92. Debt Load Has Increased
Coronavirus has affected my business severely. I have to lay off most of my employees due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was facing difficulties in generating payrolls. The credit cards have covered most of the payrolls. Therefore, the debt load has increased.
I have failed to get supplies orders with the increase in the spread of coronavirus and couldn't receive a shipment from vendors.
Now, it's really challenging to communicate with the remote workers and this is affecting productivity.
93. Automation is the Solution
We are the leaders in automating business operations with SAP B1 ERP. Our sale in ERP is seeing a major downfall, as companies with limited budgets are not considering the same as an essential tool to invest in due to their financial crisis. Fortunately, there still exist companies with a progressive vision that understand the value of an ERP and are operating their businesses from home with assured safety of their data & their employees.
Hope everything gets back to normal soon!
94. Honored to Be a Light
My company has been impacted positively by Covid-19. We deal with Voice over IP solutions, for instance, video conferencing software. We've experienced increased interest from businesses wanting to set up Voice over IP solutions that lend themselves to remote work. We understand we are in a unique position and are honored to torch a light in these uncertain times.
Reuben Yonatan of GetVoIP
95. Online Sales Have Increased
We're in the online learning space and have seen an uptick in business both with new clients coming on-board to deliver online courses through our platform and with our current clients' courses selling more than ever. We have seen a month over month increase in our clients’ course sales by 170%. Now that everyone is home, people are looking for something productive to do, so online education is a great option.
96. Communicating in a Pandemic
It’s been gut-wrenching to watch biz owners deal with the impact of COVID-19, our firm included. During this uncertain time, we decided to act. We're helping out small biz owners putting it all on the line to save jobs in the best way we know how – providing COVID-19 communications counsel at zero cost through our COVID-19 Communications Hotline. We serve as a sounding board providing feedback & input as business owners work through the communications challenges associated with the pandemic.
97. 6 Months Cash Flow Gone!
Over the course of 72 hours, our entire next 6 months of cash flow disappeared. My phone would not stop ringing - event organizer after event organizer called me to tell me the same message - they were cancelling.
A few weeks have since passed and reality has normalized. After the initial panic, I sat down and reviewed our financials. It wasn't actually as bad as it seemed. Things were bad, but we could survive if we were smart (e.g., convincing customers to postpone instead of cancelling).
98. Shift Your Business Model
We shifted our business production model to meet a new goal of helping medical staff and employees for essential businesses. While we usually create luxury blankets we knew our fabric, time and workforce could be utilized to make masks.
By shifting our focus, we are able to produce 60,000 three-layered, washable masks a day. Next, we will make them available to the general public so employees in essential industry businesses (transportation, grocery stores, etc.) are able to remain protected.
99. From Sales to Education
Because of COVID-19, we pivoted our focus from educating through sales to creating readily available education through our online platform, Financial Literacy University (FLU); social media; and mailing lists. FLU delivers quality education about financial literacy to those striving to improve their financial health. This strategy increased our social proof and revenue with quarter one’s gross income equaling 75% of the prior year’s income for the year, indicating our strategy is effective.
100. Catch22 to Save Small Business
Catch22 started out of a small business owner's frustration to drive traffic to the website instead of 3rd party sites amidst COVID-19. In discovering her restaurant was most likely not the only one having this problem, Olga connected with others to develop a platform called catch22delivery.com. Catch 22delivery provides a direct line between consumers and restaurants that is open, transparent, and inclusive. This gives power back to all restaurants using Catch 22 and can save consumers money.
101. Knowledge I CAN'T Bank On
I am an independent education consultant assisting families with the process of college admissions and finding scholarships. With people not getting a paycheck, their discretionary spending has tightened and my client base took a significant decline. I know people are concerned more about paying for a mortgage than paying for college until this virus passes, however, every day they delay is a day I don't have income. They need what I have but can't pay, yet I can't afford to give away services.
102. Showing True Character
This virus has shown true leadership at our firm. My team has stepped up to help our customers to put their minds at ease on how bad the situation is, and how/why we are here 24 x 7 to make sure their business will not be interrupted from a technology stand point.
Customers need to have their minds put at ease in order to survive this and we are trying to make sure they are, and our team is hand holding them for security and support.
Christopher Carter of Approyo
103. Crisis Can Be Good
We’re a young SaaS start-up. We’ve actually seen an uptick in users during COVID-19. Partly, this is due to offering the service for free in response to the emergency, but we speculate it's also partly because stress (like the financial and mental pressures of a global pandemic) can increase bad behavior among high conflict personalities, especially between separated partners. It's a guess that recipients are looking for an easy way to capture text and email evidence for when this is over.
104. Clinical Research Covid-19
I am CEO of Clinical Trial Media, an organization that specializes in matching patients with clinical trials that aim to advance treatment options for various diseases and conditions. I have pivoted my company to create what we need to get out of this COVID situation. With research, we can have hope for a cure and a vaccine.
105. Positive Impact of COVID-19
Our business is positively affected with COVID-19, since our business model is connected with an online casino affiliate. Nowadays, people are in self-isolation and spending more time on the internet. We have also increased our marketing budget to acquire more customers. All employees are working from home, so sometimes, we are not able to achieve milestones on a desired time. Overall, our business is surviving and we believe we will have better business opportunities in the next quarter.
106. Power Your Way Through It!
With less client work coming in, we've been getting super creative with the work we do have and looking for new business opportunities. This feels like the ideal time to test new ideas and opportunities. So, we've stayed very busy with new business ideas we want to create and invest in. The key is to stay busy and work the problem. There will be new business opportunities. So, it's time to get creative and put your thinking caps on. And stay positive!
107. HVAC Company Takes a Hit
As a small family owned business, we have been adversely affected by COVID-19. The pandemic has drastically reduced demand during our peak season. Customers are fearful of having outsiders in their home or they've lost income. Unless it is a necessity, most customers are holding off or delaying service. As a result, we’ve had to downsize our staff for now. We're doing everything we can to keep our customers, our employees, and our community safe while navigating this new normal.
108. Grateful For What We Have
Our business was deemed essential during this time, so we've continued to do business, but in a modified way. We're grateful for how this crisis has helped us grow closer as a team and given us a sense of how critical our business is to the communities we serve. We're grateful that our team was able to volunteer and feed a local hospital staff. We're grateful that the one employee of ours who contracted the virus is recovering well after being critically ill. We're focused on the positives here.
109. Taking Market Share
As a HVAC company, we were deemed essential, so our first challenge was making sure we were keeping our staff and customers safe while continuing to operate. Since our customers are spending more time at home, they're not willing to be uncomfortable, so we've actually had an increase in business. Additionally, our competitors stopped spending on marketing, while we increased our marketing spend in anticipation for the increased demand. This has led to us gaining significant market share.
110. Remaining Optimistic
Our retail stores and regular services are temporarily closed since the majority of our work requires face-face interaction with clients. However, our emergency services (heat, hot water and roof leak repair) are still available, fortunately enough. We're doing our best to remain optimistic that our business will re-open entirely sooner rather than later. As a service-based business, we want to provide our customers with the service they've become accustomed to at the earliest possible date.
111. Play the Cards You're Dealt
Love Cork Screw has been affected by COVID-19 through canceled events, in-person wine tastings, speaking engagements, and more. To maintain personal interaction and wine tasting availability for consumers, I now offer virtual wine tastings via Zoom. Participants receive wine at their doorstep and a virtual wine education session. As a small business owner, it's important to think fast during a difficult time like this and execute. If it doesn't work, at least you tried.
112. Alternative Financial Markets
Given that foot and driver traffic is down, our Bitcoin ATMs have experienced a slight decrease in users. However, we are optimistic about our future, as the price of Bitcoin has increased. During times of economic instability, more people realize that traditional financial currencies depend on unreliable measures, such as governments who produce money out of thin air. Bitcoin thrives because it's independent of struggling financial markets, and we expect to see this reflected in our business.
113. (Dog)Walking Through the Storm
Let’s Walk Chicago is our family-owned dog walking service. Over the past 6 weeks, we have seen a 95% reduction in revenue. We established a Walker Relief Fund to support our 12 employees & our clients have generously donated to it. We began offering a low-contact dog walk. We remain in limbo with the PPP Loan. We retained 100% of our staff & continued to pay out their regular paycheck amounts. Ownership is foregoing its salaries to fund expenses & employee wages. We are optimistic & hopeful.
114. Our Small Business
We are a traditional board games company, specializing in chess and backgammon. In terms of our situation, we have had to close down our store and shift all of our staff to our warehouse and dispatch via online. Indeed we have indeed kept our staff and shifted all of our staff to regions in the warehouse to cope with online orders.
115. Side Hustles Rock
We run an upscale Bed & Breakfast at the edge of the Olympic National Park, PNW. Both are closed due to Covid-19. Meanwhile, we're upgrading the docks on our ponds/weeding gardens.
To lure folks back in June, we're starting an electric bike rental & tour company. This will include a free 1 hour tour for folks who book now for June. Also, we are starting an Elopement in the Mountains service $950 w 2 nights included.
And, my husband is an Uber driver to pick up folks at SeaTac.
116. It's Positive!
Being in a digital business, we have been positively affected from this corona-virus. The only major effect that can be said negative would be that we were forced to work from home.
The future is digital. In this economic shutdown, the physical businesses are just like Titanic sinking in the ocean, whereas the digital businesses are like the violin players that kept on playing, unaffected.
Thus, this pandemic has given a huge boost to our business in terms of traffic and sales.
117. Keep Your Head Down
The small business toll from COVID19 is vast & many more could be working safely.
NOTHING has happened to change the course of this virus & NOTHING will for the next 2-3 years, until there is a vaccine. So, we needed to figure out how to work safely. Firstly, those working for home need to stay there. For those working solely outside, GET BACK TO WORK. We need to procure KN95 masks & testing for those employees that must work shoulder to shoulder and make each person safe.
Julie Auslander of cSubs
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