Instead of our normal blog post, I wanted to take time to highlight what is on all of our minds:
How will my business fare during the COVID-19 social distancing period?
I wrote a recent email about my reaction and what I’ve encouraged all our clients to do. I won’t include that in this post, but you can read my thoughts here. In the meantime, I want to highlight a few businesses who are dealing with the crisis as best as they can and are finding creative solutions to continue their cashflow.
In the end, we don’t know what is going to happen in 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 8 weeks, etc. But we can control how creative we are. Creativity is what brought us into business and is what will continue to sustain us — during this period and in upcoming ones as well.
A DIY studio and bar in Madison WI (and one of my former employers) decided to close their doors. A smart move that will support the community and prevent the continual spread of COVID-19. However, it is still a scary and challenging move. In the meantime, they have been focusing their energy towards their Craft Kits that can be delivered to your door! As a business whose mission is celebrating people, they are bringing the celebration to our homes.
The Cincinnati Zoo also closed its doors to the public. However, they’ve decided to offer free Home Safaris on their Facebook page at 3 pm CST. These home safaris will keep the zoo at the top of their customers’ minds while also serving the children and families stuck at home as they practice social distancing. Their followers increased by 400,000 already. Since they are unable to rely on ticket sales to fund their operational costs, they’ve asked viewers to donate to an emergency fund.
Athletic apparel company lululemon also closed its stores in North American and Europe through March 27th to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, it has chosen to continue to pay its employees for the hours they were scheduled. Not all businesses have the cash flow available to do so, but lululemon understands the financial burden business closures will have on family units and has chosen this creative option to support their employees.
With studios across the nation closing to protect their members, barre3 has been offering free 15 day trials to those who want to continue to move their bodies while at home. Ryann, our content coordinator, is an instructor at a Madison barre3 and is helping coordinate other ways to keep members connected as a community during the closure.
Let’s be honest, nobody expected this and nobody wants to have to navigate these changes. But we are doing it together. I’ve been so encouraged to see reminders to support our small business friends. We are coming together in creative ways to care for each other (both business-wise and in our personal lives).
I am very aware that you might be running your business alone and struggling to come up with a creative way to continue cash flow so your business survives this hard period. If you need a second brain to help you brainstorm, I’d love to jump on a Zoom call for an hour and talk.