Since its onset in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered huge ripples throughout the U.S. economy, leaving staggering numbers of Americans unemployed, and even more underemployed.
This devastating novel coronavirus and the widespread shutdowns and even lockdowns it has caused throughout the U.S. had a profound impact on the job market in 2020 and continues to so far this year. The biggest job losses happened last April, when the nation’s unemployment rate reached a staggering 14.7 percent, with 20.5 million people suddenly out of work. The jobless rate that month for adults age 55 and older jumped to 13.6 percent.
The number of jobs lost more than doubles the number that occurred in the 2007-2009 Great Recession, when 8.7 million Americans lost jobs. Restaurants, bars, travel and tourism, and retails are the hardest-hit industries. According to USA Today, of the 20.6 million jobs lost,
18 million are expected to be temporary when the pandemic recedes.
Although 40 states are now in the process of reopening parts of the economy, economists suggest recovery is not expected for many months, or even years.
But despite the jolt that still reverberates throughout much of the nation’s economy, there are businesses in America that are surviving, and some are even thriving. You might ask yourself how these companies are managing to make payroll and maintain a profit enough to keep their doors open during these turbulent and uncertain times.
These businesses are exhibiting traits that seem to be a prescription for success even with off-and-on restrictions of Americans’ mobility and periodic city and state shutdowns. These companies are able to display the type of ingenuity that opens doors instead of closing them.
Common Traits of Businesses that Are Thriving During the Pandemic
Here are some of the traits shared by successful businesses during COVID-19.
When the pandemic began, businesses that were able to finesse the changes were the most successful in staying open. One example are restaurants that provided contact-free pick up options, and grocery stores that created more delivery and home-shopping options.
What’s more, many companies changed their staffing protocols by having employees work alternate shifts to reduce exposure. This brings about flexibility from both employees and the employer.
Businesses that could rely on multiple sources of income and critical items needed to keep their business operating were able to thrive during the pandemic. They did not overreact or make rash decisions that would have potentially harmed the business in the long run. Instead, smart business owners looked at how to leverage their existing resources and adjust their capabilities in their existing environment.
No matter what the economic environment, successful businesses need to get creative and find new solutions to customer problems. Innovative, pro-active entrepreneurs used the pandemic to show off their creativity. What’s more, businesses that thought outside the box and reimagined the way their business is run – like those companies who brought in-person experiences online – were able to continue reaching and engaging customers in new ways.
Social responsibility is defined as acting in the best interest of society as a whole. During this COVID-19 pandemic, this translates into catering to proper cleaning procedures and hygiene efforts and enforcing new protocols with consumers.
For example, in states and cities with mask mandates, businesses could refuse to serve customers who are not compliant with safety measures, protecting other shoppers or customers from possible exposure to the virus. Many businesses have also adhered to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines, that include social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and sanitation stations throughout their businesses. These efforts result in customers feeling safer when at these businesses.
Communicating appropriate hygiene habits, keeping up with contact tracing and heightening training protocols are just some ways that successful businesses are able to communicate effectively with employees.
Informing customers about changing hours of operation and communicating new ways of interacting on their premises to keep them safe creates trust between customers and these businesses.
The pandemic has caused many people to grapple with the unknown in their daily lives. This can result in heightened stress and anxiety among consumers and employees who are concerned about getting sick, losing their job or caring for sick family members. Understanding these issues and responding with empathy have resulted in business owners retaining their employees and customers alike during this pandemic.
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