Navigating an Isolated Market: The Effect of COVID-19 on Businesses
Contributed by Bryce Ward
Humans are social beings. When times become hard, we naturally look to others for help. So when we were told that the solution to the current coronavirus pandemic is not to join hands with others but to stand six feet away from them, an unprecedented sense of confusion and uncertainty followed, especially for businesses.
The economy—which depends entirely on the social relations of humans in order to thrive—has been greatly tested by these new isolated measures, leaving many business owners with a daunting problem to solve: how can a business—an entity reliant on social interaction—navigate an unsocial market? Not long ago, there would have been no solutions to this problem, but now, in a society seamlessly integrated with technology, there are.
A fair argument can be made that technology has become too engrained in our daily lives, that it has diminished certain aspects of life like interpersonal communication, but amidst this current crisis of widespread isolation the importance of modern technology has become painfully apparent. Video meetings may not be as enjoyable as in-person meetings, email communication may not be as effective as face-to-face communication, and connecting with someone through social media may not be as meaningful as shaking their hand in person, but in our current circumstances these types of technological alternatives are necessary, and it is important right now that businesses fully embrace them.
As a business, finding and implementing digital solutions to your otherwise non-digital challenges is of utmost importance in these next few months. Not only will leveraging technology enable you to navigate the current (albeit, temporary) unsocial market, it will allow you to thrive well after this pandemic has passed. The integration of digital solutions into business has been steadily and quickly rising in the past decade, but now companies who may have resisted this trend before are being forced to embrace it.
Are you getting the most out of your email contact list? Are you reaching your community through informative press releases? Are you creating consistent, high-quality content for your business’ social media pages? And is your website as professional and intuitive as your brick-and-mortar building? These questions, which were important before, are even more important now, and will continue to be integral to the health of your business in the future.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution during these unprecedented times, but technological alternatives do exist, and every business can find a way to leverage them for their own unique needs. Whether you run an e-commerce store or a brick-and-mortar, there is always room for improving your digital strategy, so think creatively and boldly about how you can use technology to solve the new challenges of an isolated economy. It will pay off now and long after this pandemic has passed.
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