Necessity is the mother of invention. We have all heard that and it is as true as it has ever been. We are seeing small businesses take it to heart, put it into practice, and thrive. Yes, even, and particularly, during the pandemic.
Crises create opportunities. More than half of the Fortune 500 companies were started during economic downturns. More than 50 of these were created during the Great Recession. There are more new business start-ups this year than last year. If history repeats itself, as it usually does, many of these will become long-term success stories. Along with the creation of new businesses, many businesses are successfully recreating themselves.
A start-up company in Eastern Massachusetts was making travel packs and purses for the tourism industry. When the pandemic hit, tourism and therefore demand for their product ground to a halt. This meant that their factory partners were idle as well. The company decided to put their factory to work making face masks for donation to front-line workers. They did this out of a sense of service. As their masks gained visibility, demand in the private market was created. Within 24 hours of promoting the masks on social media they had $25,000 in mask orders. They have continued to grow their product line, hired employees, and moved to a new facility, increasing capacity by 60%.
Over the past several years a synagogue in Northern Rhode Island had seen its congregation shrink and along with it, attendance at religious services. They were in danger of closing their doors altogether. Then the pandemic struck and in person services weren’t even allowed. Like many other houses of worship, they started conducting services online. Not only did the congregants who attended regularly attend virtually, many others did as well. In fact, with virtual services, attendance quadrupled! New people started attending, congregants who had long since moved away were able to again attend their “home” synagogue, and finally people were attending who preferred the coziness of being in their own homes. Changing religious services to an online model (out of necessity) has breathed new life into this synagogue.
A Brooklyn laundromat opened its doors with a mission. They wanted to make you want to do your laundry! They succeeded. It was bright, airy, with eco-friendly machines. It was a great place to hang out along with their coffee bar and comfortable seating. The community loved them. Then Covid came. They had to survive through stay at home orders and social distancing. Neither of which was conducive for their business model. They had to make changes and successfully did. They quickly converted to a drop-off only business model. Their laundry services are available with many options and online appointment making capability. They further service the community with special hours for frontline workers, the elderly, and immunocompromised. Their environment and client needs changed and so did they.
The start-ups and small businesses that survive economic downturns are typically very resilient. They assess the changing climate and change with it. Their nimbleness enables success now and into the future.
Starting a NEW business or know someone that could use our help?
Call your friendly neighborhood attorney today.
With the right help, you are more likely to succeed. The attorneys at Shoffner & Associates will be happy to help you.
Freya Allen Shoffner, Esquire
Counselors to Small Business and Families.
Give us a call at (617) 369-0111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org