As governments respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many businesses are being forced to close temporarily or drastically change their everyday operations. Using tools like a business answering service could be a great option to keep everything running smoothly during this time.
While some businesses have been able to survive, many have not—as a result, certain businesses have been forced to turn temporary closures into permanent ones. Meanwhile, other businesses allowed to remain open are facing their own unique impacts.
Whether open or closed, businesses everywhere are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in many ways. Here are just some of the major impacts businesses will face in the coming months:
Impacts of Stay-at-Home Orders
Many states and governments are enacting “stay at home” orders to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus. In most cases, the orders require people to stay home unless they are conducting “essential business,” such as going out for food or medicine.
Less (and More) Foot Traffic
While stay-at-home orders are helping to slow the virus, they are also slowing the economy; with minimized foot traffic, many brick-and-mortar businesses are seeing a drastic decrease in customers. Though this decrease has meant little to closed businesses, it’s had major effects on the businesses remaining open—even those designated as “essential.”
Since stay-at-home orders are causing many people to minimize their shopping trips, many businesses are seeing large periods of inactivity separated by short bursts of overwhelming foot traffic—mostly during peak restocking times. With little middle ground between near-vacant stores and massive crowds, businesses remain in a constant state of struggle.
Customer Restlessness and Lifting Stay-at-Home Orders
As individual states begin to lift their stay-at-home orders, businesses are starting to face different challenges.
While the long-term effects are not yet known, businesses are likely to experience even greater surges of customers eager to leave their homes. Some experts are predicting that these surges could cause a resurgence of the virus, potentially requiring extended or renewed stay-at-home orders—potentially prolonging the pandemic and its effect on businesses.
Orders to close have had the most direct effect on brick and mortar businesses. While many businesses have been able to survive using solutions such as online storefronts or a live answering service, certain businesses reliant on physical interaction with customers (such as restaurants and salons) have been forced into difficult positions.
With many service-based businesses already operating on slim margins, the prospect of several-month closures has already forced many to close permanently. Even businesses managing to stay afloat are still facing trouble, with economic uncertainty causing many to reevaluate their future.
What Businesses Can Do
While waiting is the only long-term option for most businesses, many can still benefit from adopting new solutions to interact with their customers.
For example, many restaurants and cafes have begun offering curbside pickup and takeaway, while some retail fronts have successfully moved their points of sale online. Some businesses are also benefitting from using a business answering service, allowing them to interact with their customers around the clock.
To learn more about how answering services for business can help you and your business survive during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond, contact us today.