Steve Jobs said “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not a threat”. In the last few weeks, we’ve seen many business owners have to take steps back and suspend operations or permanently close their doors. Our hearts are with those who have worked many years to build a business and had no choice but to make drastic changes in a short time. On the other hand, we’ve also seen many positive stories and examples of innovation in a variety of industries. Unable to operate a brick and mortar, many business owners are getting creative and bringing their businesses online. In this post, we want to share some ideas of successful examples of these ideas that may help keep your business afloat or better yet, help you discover an untapped revenue stream that will bring you even more opportunity than before.
1. Product- based businesses
The biggest example where we’ve seen this is physical storefronts converting to online stores. While this may be a slow adjustment for businesses that are used to having shops, online stores when executed properly can open businesses up to new markets and opportunities. A lot of companies have also shifted normal production to making goods such as hand sanitizers that are relevant to these times to provide support for their customers. Experimenting with giveaways and donations have also helped these companies stay involved in their communities.
2. Service-based businesses
Service providers and consultants often work remotely so many are able to adjust quite quickly. However, there are some businesses like photography, personal services (hair and makeup, beauty) or coaching that are having to get creative. For these types of businesses, it’s a great time to show your expertise. For example:
- Offer a webinar with some frequently asked questions or covering a topic that solves a problem in your industry. You can do this live via Zoom for free.
- Create an online course and teach the service you typically provide 1-1. One of our clients successfully transferred her sleep consulting business to online courses, enabling her to create a passive income stream, offer similar knowledge at a lower price point (but selling higher volume) AND making her services completely location-independent. As another example, a local videographer has launched a course to teach business owners to shoot their own videos using only their cell phones. Great ideas of innovation that can also free up time for a business owner trading time for dollars.
- Create digital resources like PDF freebies or an e-book. You have so much knowledge and experience, get it on paper and help other professionals in your industry get to where you are! Digital downloads are inexpensive to create and a great source of passive income. If you work in personal organizing, consider creating a how-to for organizing different spaces at home. If you’re a nutritionist, this might be a great time to create unique meal plans and sell them as packages. The list goes on!
3. Education and health businesses
For those who work as music teachers, fitness instructors or work as healthcare practitioners, we’re seeing some great shifts that are also helping build community.
- Local yoga, pilates and barre studios are offering online courses for a discounted rate. This has been very successful for brands who have an existing following and students who never skip a class.
- A lot of these services are also being live streamed with an honour system that allows participants to donate what they can.
- Teach your classes virtually via Zoom (music teachers, language teachers, personal trainers)
- Offer virtual consults for physical therapy. Teach stretches, exercises, email resources as PDFs. Medical practitioners can consider Telehealth.
With everything that is going on right now, the best way to deal with this situation is through creativity. Businesses are needing to find innovative ways to provide their offerings online in a sea full of competitors. This pandemic has pushed companies to revamp their business models to help their community and discover creative ways to interact with their customers. It’s important to find your niche and leverage ways you can provide those unique offerings online. Remember that everyone is navigating through this uncharted territory so let’s be supportive of one another as we embark on this digital journey.