Wednesday, 15 April 2020

As the world has adapted to social distancing to help fight the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), many small businesses have been forced to reimagine their business models to keep their doors open and continue serving customers.

With millions of Americans staying home to self-quarantine or comply with government restrictions, businesses and industries are creatively trying to adapt.

If your business has been affected by the coronavirus response, this may be an opportunity to modify your product, service or operations to continue serving customers throughout this time.

Move your business online

For retail businesses, switching to online sales makes sense. Some that didn't already offer online shopping are quickly upgrading websites to provide the service, or simply using social media platforms to offer merchandise for sale locally.

But even non-retail businesses can move online. For instance, a number of gyms and fitness centers are now offering fitness classes online in private Facebook groups or on their own websites for members who want to stay in shape while quarantining. Likewise, art studios and educators are now offering classes online, and professional organizers are providing organizational advice and instructions based on photos of customers' spaces. Similarly, real estate agents are offering video tours of homes for clients who don't want to visit in person.

Implement delivery options

If your customers are quarantined at home, and if your local stay-at-home guidelines permit, you may offer to bring your products to them. Many restaurants that already offered delivery services are now waiving delivery fees. Grocery markets and drugstores are newly offering delivery.

For customers who wish to order items to be delivered by courier, that process has also gotten safer. UPS and FedEx have stopped requiring signatures to protect drivers and customers from the virus, according to Bloomberg.

Provide curbside service

To eliminate a crowded waiting room, some veterinarians are offering curbside appointments. They can check the dog or cat in the backseat without close contact with the pet parent. Ice cream shops and coffee shops are also going curbside, allowing customers to text or call in their orders for drive-up or walk-up service.

Pivot to meet current needs

If quarantined customers don't currently need your regular products or services, consider how you can pivot your operations to deliver things that are needed at the moment. For instance, a number of craft beer distilleries across the country are now producing hand sanitizer, which has been in short supply globally. Clothing manufacturers and other textile companies are producing face masks and other personal protective equipment for healthcare workers.

It's also a good opportunity to use extra down time to develop or perfect new product or service lines that you may have been postponing during busy days.

As small business owners continue to reinvent their business models to serve their customers while adhering to social distancing measures, BBVA is also continuing to serve them. With BBVA's digital transformation, customers can easily conduct bank business via their mobile devices while staying safely quarantined.

The bank is also offering dedicated assistance to customers who have been affected by COVID-19, such as waiving and refunding ATM fees and offering penalty-free CD withdrawals for CDs opened before March 1, 2020. BBVA is also offering deferred and extension payments on existing consumer and small business loans and credit cards. 

The content provided is for informational purposes only. Neither BBVA USA, nor any of its affiliates, is providing legal, tax, or investment advice. You should consult your legal, tax, or financial consultant about your personal situation. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BBVA USA or any of its affiliates.

Links to third party sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement. BBVA USA does not provide, is not responsible for, and does not guarantee the products, services or overall content available at third party sites. These sites may not have the same privacy, security or accessibility standards. Consult your legal counsel for advice concerning your specific business activities.