The COVID-19 impact can be seen in various businesses, under these most affected, broad sections – hospitality, retail, and personal service; smaller organizations have a harder hit. The long-term consequences of this outbreak could affect other sectors such as healthcare, automotive, financial services, life science, energy, and consumer markets.

According to Google, the worldwide search interest in coronavirus has risen by more than 260%. This shows people across the world are highly concerned and worried. Lockdown, social distancing, and other rules have resulted in hardships for businesses.

Authorities have advised the public to stay at home as the healthcare crisis is likely here to stay. While many organizations are working remotely, some are unable to do so. Some have shut their businesses, and some are taking external support (for necessary processes and functions) such as supply chain network, customer service, marketing services, human resource services, IT support, data management, bookkeeping and accounting services,  etc. Small businesses might also be affected more as consumers are at home and turning to online shopping options. They need to plan and act swiftly to prepare for COVID-19 repercussions – yet to be known.

2020 – The Year of Diminishing Revenue

In early 2020, the rapid spread of coronavirus had a significant hit on businesses worldwide. According to the Executive Trend Survey, 86% of companies expect a considerable fall in revenue due to the direct impact of the outbreak; 33% expect loss revenue by 10% or less, 21% predict a revenue fall within 10-15%, and 33% believe it to go down by more than 15%.

Diminishing revenue of businesses will further affect the economy because companies are having a tough time adjusting policies and strategies to be able to handle an economic downturn.

Most Likely to Occur Economic Downturn

From affecting trillions of lives, shutting down productions, to loss of consumer confidence, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect businesses and hinder operational flow. As per the same survey mentioned above, 77% of company executives believe an economic downturn will be one of the major aftermaths of the outbreak.

The Era of Remote Work

With operational restrictions and the full, temporary shutdown of non-essential services, many businesses have adopted remote work as part of their business continuity plan, ensuring coronavirus doesn’t spread among employees and operations continue as usual. The Executive Trend Survey shows 73% of executives have decided to shift their companies into complete remote working settings to manage operational continuity. Besides, 67% have also decided to postpone business activities/events in order to minimize social contact.

However, many small to medium-sized businesses are still not prepared for this massive move. They focus more on utilizing collaboration tools, looking for external support, and running operations with strict policies concerning employee health and safety guidelines given by authorities. Let’s now read what professionals from different industries tell us about what they have gone or are going through amid crises.

COVID-19 Impact on Different Types of Businesses

1. eCommerce Stores/Businesses

Hassan AlnassirHassan Alnassir, Founder & Owner of Premium Joy

While COVID-19 negatively affected the sales on our eCommerce store, the orders on Amazon have increased significantly (double the normal, on average). In fact, our Amazon sales since late March this year are almost the same as the high sales we had during the last holiday season. To benefit from the boosted sales on Amazon and avoid going out-of-stock, we’re replenishing the inventory there with extra units than usual and implementing some PPC ads also.

2. Real Estate Industry

TinoTino Jaimes, Owner of Sunrise House Buyers

After working the logistics of my company, training my staff, and beginning to execute my plan, the business was going well until COVID-19 occurred. During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to re-create a business plan to keep my company afloat.

We had to put a stop to cold calling customers; we had to cut a few expenses and, therefore, decided to stop sending out mass text messages as well. In doing so, our advertising decreased, and we received less and less clients.

Throughout this hard time, one of my goals was to maintain my staff employed and avoid cutting back on their salary. I pride myself on treating my staff well and wanted this pandemic to affect them and their loved ones the least possible.

After Texas began to open back up, we started to reach out to potential clients once again. Unfortunately, there are several people that are on the verge of losing their homes after the pandemic. This is where we come in and help them with their situation. The business now seems to be picking back up once again, and we hope to recuperate the business we lost during the COVID-19 pandemic soon.

3. Internet | Software Industry

SunnySunny Ashley, Founder and CEO of Autoshopinvoice

Our business provides shop management software for independent auto repair shops and garages. Like many businesses, auto repair shops have seen a drastic reduction in business as their customers are driving less and working from home more. As the pandemic continued, we made an intentional decision to pivot from hard sales tactics in order to stay relevant to the current circumstances.

To offer an alternative to those whose repair shops were affected by the virus but were still interested in our software, we’ve updated our inbound sales channels to accommodate potential customers who may have been financially impacted.

One example: our website’s chatbot for customers viewing the pricing page now says, “To shops affected by coronavirus: Can’t afford us but still want to use our software? Get in touch at ceo@autoshopinvoice.com.” This allows us to proactively navigate what may have been a potentially awkward conversation for the customer.

4. Graphic Designing Businesses

Kassandra MarshKassandra Marsh, Graphic Designer | Lakazdi

At the start of the outbreak, things were normal as my existing clients continued needing their marketing and business documents made. But there was a point where all my clients who run face-to-face workshops got canceled. I had already completed the workbooks and marketing materials, but the workshops were not happening. I gave out discounts to help my clients cope. The next month it was very quiet. None of the normal targets and KPIs were met.

But after everyone had a break, many of my clients had come back with a plan to pivot their offering to suit the new normal. I am really proud of how well everyone adjusted.

5. Healthcare Industry

Daniel-LanzerDr. Daniel Lanzer, Australian Dermatologist

Dr. Daniel Lanzer, an Australian Dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon with over 30 years of experience. With the restrictions in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic, no elective surgery could be performed, and Dr. Lanzer was closed for two months. Upon reopening, new procedures have had to be put in place, i.e., patients have to be screened with a questionnaire and have a temperature-check prior to coming to the surgery.

Due to this new process, Dr. Lanzer has had to become more conservative with their clients. Patients with a cold or any symptoms have to postpone. This has proved to be a very difficult time as more people were wanting their surgery as they couldn’t go to work and had more time on their hands. Alternatively, some people had to cancel their surgeries as they had lost their job, and financially they could no longer afford their chosen procedure.

6. Business Setup Consultants (and Relevant Businesses)

carlyn cainsCarolyn Cairns, Marketing Manager with Creation BCI

The COVID-19 pandemic affected small and big businesses around the globe. For the first few weeks, since the news about the outbreak broke off, our company decided to stop all operations until we finally sort everything out. For almost a month, the company did not generate any money since all transactions have been placed on hold.

Aside from not being able to generate money, we still had to pay our employees their salary to help them survive through the pandemic. We weren’t able to deliver products and services to our beloved loyal customers. The pandemic really made a big dent in the company since we really lost a lot of money trying to keep the business afloat.

Fortunately, after a week or two, we were able to come up with a solution, and that is transitioning to an online platform. Somehow, we were able to generate enough money to help us bounce back once restrictions are gone.

7. Financial Consultant & Adviser Firms

James PollardJames Pollard | The Advisor Coach

In many ways, COVID-19 has been the best thing to ever happen to my business for a few reasons. First, I have been preaching online marketing for years. Now, since financial advisors are forced to work virtually, they’re significantly more receptive to my message.

Second, ad costs have gone down. Because online advertising platforms operate in an auction style, fewer people are bidding means lower ad prices. So, I cranked up my online ads spending and more reach for less money than I did in all of 2019.

I also told the financial advisors in my audience to increase their online advertising spending, and they’ve reported similar findings. From late March to early June, we were seeing some of the lowest ad prices we’ve seen since 2017 and sometimes even earlier.

8. Professional Employer Organization Businesses

NelsonNelson Sherwin, Manager of PEO Companies

I’m not going to lie; it’s been a bit difficult. Since so many companies have been working from home or sitting it out entirely, our own business has been slow, because fewer companies need our services. That has obviously affected us financially, and we’ve had to furlough some people, which was a horrible decision to make. We’ve also moved operations entirely remote for the duration, which meant a lot of upheaval for all of us and a lot of uncertainty, moving forward.

  • Will we go back?
  • When will we go back?
  • Will everyone get to keep their job?
  • Will people get their jobs back?
  • How long can we afford to keep the lights on in these conditions?

We’ve started looking for ways to cut costs. We’ve already downsized on the office space – the rent was killer, and we’ve received a lot of feedback that people are too scared to return to the office or just want to stay remote, so we’re currently working on transitioning some roles to a full-time remote. I guess I’d have to say that it’s been a bit chaotic, everything considered—definitely an unprecedented situation.

9. Pharmaceutical Industry

COVID-19 has affected our business in a number of different ways. From an internal operations viewpoint, we are fully work-from-home across all of our employees and outsourced teams. Thankfully, we were already semi-remote before COVID-19. Now we plan on staying that way for at least the rest of 2020, and possibly even longer.

While it has taken some time to get processes implemented, we are now super encouraged by the results. Productivity is higher than ever before, and general morale is higher as well. I still believe that some type of physical interaction is important for building a solid working unit, but I think we are in the same boat as everyone else. We will just have to figure out what that looks like when things open up.

From a business standpoint, we have also seen a dip in revenue, directly correlated with 2-3 months of people staying at home. Without people going to the doctor or to the pharmacy to fill their prescriptions, it directly hits our top and bottom line. This has really highlighted the importance of finalizing and bringing our two new products to market.

10. Nonprofit/Fundraising Organizations

At the beginning of March, I started a project I had planned and anticipated for over a year – my own nonprofit organization. I had been working in the nonprofit field my whole working life, and I had everything planned for laying the foundations of my own foundation (pun intended).

I had all my documents approved and registered with the IRS, my office set, a couple of project proposals prepared, and even a handful of volunteers waiting to join my team. And then one “fine” morning COVID-19 ruined the ideas and arrangements I had planned for years in a matter of a few days.

Everything I had scheduled, prepared, and drafted got postponed to nobody knows when. Even now, when things are slowly starting to get back to normal, the few working agencies and organizations that I depend on are either on limited staffing or swamped with postponed responsibilities.

So I can honestly say that COVID-19 killed my business before it was even born. However, I am still hopeful and looking forward to resuming my business idea, because everything I have planned is still in my head, and not even the virus can take that away.

11. Photography Studios

Larry Lettera | Nycphoto

Our NYC based corporate photography studio has been shut down due to COVID-19 since Mid March. When we all left the studio for the weekend on March 13th, we knew that there was a pretty good chance we would not be reopening for a few weeks as all of our corporate clients had already shuttered their offices.

Since that time, we have no opportunity to offer our services to clients. We have been relying on our accounts receivables, cash on hand, and the Paycheck Protection Program, which was able to keep us afloat until last week.

Without knowing what the future holds with regard to additional funding and when our full operations will be able to resume, we have decided that our only option would be to have everyone collect unemployment. We do expect our business to fully recover, but only gradually in the short term. We are hoping that by September, there will be some semblance of normalcy within New York, and our clients will be operating within the boundaries of the new normal.

12. Wholesale Jewelry & Accessory Businesses

Elle Brown, a marketer, working for Nihaojewelry

Our NYC based corporate photography studio has been shut down due to COVID-19 since Mid March. When we all left the studio for the weekend on March 13th, we knew that there was a pretty good chance we would not be reopening for a few weeks as all of our corporate clients had already shuttered their offices.

Conclusion

Since WHO has declared COVID-19 a global healthcare emergency, a pandemic, the entire world is having a set of questions that are still unanswered. While there’s a lot that is unknown, it is clear that the COVID-19 situation is not bad for all; some industries have experienced higher demand, while some are shut till now. One thing that makes a difference in this situation is the adoption and implementation of stringent operational/business policies, procedures, and a workforce dedicated enough to comply with the same.

When most people are at home, employee and process management becomes a headache, and there’s no time for recruitment and training. In such hard times, lay your trust in Cogneesol – a competent outsourcing company offering quality back-office services including bookkeeping and accounting services, tax preparation, insurance, and  legal back office support, data management, technology services, etc.

For more information about our services, call us at +1 646 688 2821 Or email at info@cogneesol.com.

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