GLEN COVE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down so many businesses, many people are trying to reinvent how they can still make a living.
Experts say it’s important to stay connected and relevant to clients and customers, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Thursday.
“I thought it was going to be the best year ever and then all of a sudden, bam, corona came upon us,” Andrea Correale said.
The lavish events that Correale’s Elegant Affairs caters vanished overnight, but in almost no time she reinvented her business model. She put her staff to work with a healthy, affordable dinners-to-go campaign, then added home grocery delivery.
“I put together an entire list of what I could sell to an average household, built a website within 48 hours,” Correale told Gusoff.
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For other businesses, it’s not simple to pivot. The Sands Point Preserve can’t deliver its 200 acres, but executive director Beth Horn found a way to bring the park to the public.
“To take the content of the classes that we do and still connect with the children remotely,” Horn said.
Art, yoga, and science and nature classes are all conducted online. Children are not muted and encouraged to go outside. It’s not about maintaining revenue but keeping staff together and a community served.
“It’s entirely about maintaining the connection,” Horn said.
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But what if you can’t just operate your business out of your living room?
Branding expert Hilary Topper said this is the time to genuinely build up relationships.
“Try to think of ways that you could give back to the community without the PR. Just do it because of goodwill,” Topper said. “Tell people that you really care about them and that you are here for them and they are going to respond to that.”
And if you’re furloughed or laid off, take a breather and then think about how to turn passions into plans.
“Think about what you are passionate about because this is a good time right now,” Topper said.
“We can’t just sit around. You have to take action,” Correale said.
Customers will remember your strength and goodwill.