To better serve your customers during these difficult times, Gary Simpson explains what a small-business owner can do. It's important to dig into current data on your customers to identify any new needs, study the competition, adapt your products and services to fit the new normal, and focus on creating more content that serves your primary audience.
Kimberly Ann Calos, owner of the consignment shop Petersburg Pickers, decided to move her business just before coronavirus-related restrictions went into place. Calos set up an online presence to manage the crisis, relying on e-commerce and curbside pickup until she was able to open at the new location in Petersburg, Ohio.
As a business grows, it's important for an entrepreneur to learn to let go, writes Brad Schow. Start by relinquishing control of smaller tasks, focusing on larger-scale goals and building connections with leaders and managers.
Access to financing could tighten in the wake of the pandemic, so Ty Kiisel discusses the attributes of merchant cash advances. He describes how this type of financing differs from traditional loans and notes that merchant cash advances, while expensive, might be worthwhile if used to capture opportunities that would otherwise be missed.
Members from the Forbes Finance Council share their tips for diversifying cash flow. Bill Baumel of Ohio Innovation Fund says companies should adapt with customers' needs, while Carrie McKeegan of Greenback Expat Tax Services recommends restructuring payment terms.
Reflecting on the phenomenon of social proof, columnist Thomas Griffin outlines how a small-business owner can tap into the benefits for more leads, and more sales. Ensure your website demonstrates your value to the community, gather feedback and reviews, and make it a priority to engage and interact with your fans on social media, he writes.
Yarn seller Brooklyn Tweed created a stimulus plan for its suppliers and customers, which helped maintain those relationships in the coronavirus crisis. The owners explain how they developed the initiative, including discounts, trusting their retailers and knowing their limits.
Silicon Valley can remain dominant in tech as innovation hubs have expanded worldwide by focusing on solutions to global issues, writes Alex Lazarow. Diversity within startups' ranks as well as funding, and shifting attention to retaining employees versus hiring short-term "A players," are among the opportunities for companies in the region to avoid becoming irrelevant, Lazarow writes.
Southwest Airlines plans to add several new routes aimed at business travelers as well as increasing flights to leisure destinations. Some of the new routes will link Long Beach, Calif., with Phoenix and Austin, Texas, and connect Atlanta to Louisville, Ky.; Oklahoma City and Omaha.