Updated: Apr 7
When it comes to running your business during COVID-19, Ross Gellar was really on to something.
Small businesses, artists and entrepreneurs were forced to do business differently – and some made creative changes they have enjoyed so much, they’re going to continue to do it.
We love the creativity, ingenuity and compassion these business owners and entrepreneurs took to lighten the load and bring value and joys to their customers.
Check these out:
Beach House: Launching an E-commerce Store
Beach House: When owner Chrystine Moreau was forced to shut down her business, the Beach House Massage and Bodywork, she was instantly hit with no income. Before this, she had always wanted to launch an e-commerce store since she has existing inventory in the clinic. In just one week, she launched an Ecwid e-commerce store, uploaded her inventory, and promoted her store to her social media audience. In just one week, she made over $1,000: money she otherwise wasn’t seeing. Now that she’s re-opened, Chrystine will still continue to sell on her e-commerce store and maintain it as a consistent revenue generator.
Poplars Resort: Pivoting their offerings using existing infrastructure
Poplars Resort in Newboro (Cathy’s dad’s old stomping grounds) welcomes many fishing enthusiasts annually to their fishing lodge – including many Americans. This season, Americans made up 93% of their bookings.
With the current border closures and procedures in place for short-term rental accommodations, Poplars owners Dave and Becky saw the writing on the wall: this season is going to be quiet. Yet, they quickly realized they had existing infrastructure they could still utilize to generate revenue: their boats.
They decided to open their fleet to the public for daily rentals including pontoon boats, bass boats and big-rig kayaks. They planned out their safety and cleaning protocols and booking system and eventually launched a website and social media pages titled, “Poplars Boat Rentals”, and they essentially opened up a new business model that allowed for revenue and build their brand with the regional community.
“The response to the boat rentals has been better than expected! Our pontoons are proving to be really popular, booking about two weekends in advance at the moment as we gain more exposure, especially with families,” explains Becky. “This is also giving us a unique opportunity to promote our resort business for the future to a more localized clientele. As new owners of Poplars Resort, it's our goal to expand our regular clientele to Canadians. So, we're loving this opportunity to get this exposure.”
Artist John Shea: Gifting his Artwork through Social Media
Artist John Shea had a season full of shows already booked for 2020. The shows are the spaces and places where he can introduce the public to his (gorgeous) artwork, and that exposure eventually turns into a sale later in the future. But, with art shows cancelled for the year, Shea was left with dozens of prints and nowhere to go. So, he went to social media. Each Friday, Shea gets on his Facebook page and shows three different prints he plans to give away. People must share or comment on his post to gain entry into the draw. Later that weekend, he draws three names and announces the winners.
Simple, right? He’s already got the prints and he’s brightening so many people’s days! But here’s the best part: the giveaway exposure has exploded his online sales. Shea is connecting with a wider audience without having to travel to shows. He’s building long-term relationships with his followers and that has translated to more sales online.
Ever After Bridal: Better Conversions with Booking Appointments
Prior to COVID, Ever After Bridal owner, Julia Foley allowed walk-in traffic to peruse her inventory of consignment wedding dresses, prom dresses, accessories and more. When she was able to open up following the COVID closures, she decided to allow for booking appointments only – an effort to ensure she was following safety protocols. She allowed a bride and one other person and locked her shop to the public. What she didn’t realize was the appointment booking layout transformed her business model. Not only did her appointment bookings convert to more sales, she could set up a more intentional work schedule while also nixing walk-in traffic that was more intentional and allowed for deeper connections with her clients.