Submitted by Gina Covello, MA, Habla Language Services
Did you know COVID and its lockdown was coming? Were you prepared to pivot as soon as possible? Are you still looking for ways to continue doing business while we continue to operate with 6 feet of distance and face masks?
Gina Covello of Habla Language Services was prepared. She has friends in Asia and doctor friends in the US that warned her that Coronavirus was coming. She made sure she had a Zoom account linked with Calendly and converted her classes as soon as the Shelter in Place was announced. She emailed the new after-school program participants that she would be converting their 1 hour of weekly small group lessons to 30 minutes of private lessons via Zoom, thus avoiding having to refund all the new clients for a program that never got to launch.
When she realized that her annual Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica wasn’t going to happen, she began thinking of ways she could bring Costa Rica to her clients. She developed Zoom tours with animal sanctuaries, cacao farmers, and is offering a “Christmas Around the World” Zoom event involving representatives from every continent who will share how Christmas is celebrated in their county/culture.
Other examples of small businesses pivoting include 10th Street Distillerywho recognized the urgent need for hand sanitizer and turned their whiskey-making business into a hand sanitizer operation. Flights of Los Gatos added drive-thru groceries and essential items to their menu. If you are a retailer and haven’t yet, consider upgrading your website to make online purchases easier.
What can you do to continue building your business? Be innovative and see what other businesses in your industry are doing. As you think about ways you can pivot, think about the possibilities – not the loss.