across the world
Global Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Businesses Across Industries
The COVID-19 impact on business is evident across various sectors. However, hospitality, retail, and personal services, with smaller organizations face more significant pressure. The outbreak’s long-term consequences could extend to healthcare, automotive, financial services, life science, energy, and consumer markets. This global concern is reflected in a substantial 260% increase in Google searches related to the coronavirus, highlighting widespread worry.
Lockdown measures, social distancing, and other regulations have posed significant challenges for businesses, prompting some to close while others pivot to remote work or seek external support for essential functions like supply chain management, customer service, marketing, HR, IT, data management, and accounting. Small businesses, particularly, grapple with adapting to online consumer behavior, requiring swift preparation for the yet unknown repercussions of COVID-19.
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 the 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 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 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
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
Sunny 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 [email protected].” This allows us to proactively navigate what may have been a potentially awkward conversation for the customer.
4. Graphic Designing Businesses
Kassandra 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
Dr. 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)
Carolyn 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 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
Nelson 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. The complete shift to remote work amid considerable upheaval and uncertainty led to downsizing office space and an ongoing initiative to transition certain roles to full-time remote positions in a bid to cut costs.
- 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?
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
Sue | Fundraiser Insight
At the beginning of March, I started a project I had planned for over a year. It was 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. However, I had project proposals prepared, and volunteers waiting to join my team. And then one “fine” morning COVID-19 ruined the ideas and arrangements I had planned.
Everything I had scheduled, prepared, and drafted got postponed to nobody knows when. Even now, things are slowly starting, the agencies and organizations I depend on are either on limited staffing or overburdened.
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. This is 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. 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.
Uncertainty about additional funding and the resumption of full operations, we no choice but to terminate employees. We anticipate a gradual but full recovery of our business in the short term. Our aim was to adapt to normalcy in New York, expecting our clients to adapt to 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. On March 13th, we knew that there’ll be a chance we would not reopen the studio for days.
The WHO’s declaration of COVID-19 as a global healthcare emergency and pandemic has left the world with numerous unanswered questions. Some industries have faced heightened demand while others remain shut. Adherence to stringent operational policies and a dedicated workforce make a critical difference in this situation.
With many at home, managing employees and processes becomes challenging, leaving little time for recruitment and training. In such times, Cogneesol, a proficient outsourcing company, offers quality accounting outsourcing services. It includes tax preparation, insurance, data management, and technology services.
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