COVID-19 may not be fully over, but with vaccines rolling out all over the country, companies are free to go back to “business as usual.” But will they?
For many, the answer is no — at least not without some new digital upgrades.
According to research by McKinsey & Company, “responses to COVID-19 have speeded the adoption of digital technologies by several years — and many of these changes could be here for the long haul.”
In other words, entrepreneurs made tech investments, such as launching online stores, recording online courses and automating follow-ups to survive the pandemic. And now, a year and a half later, they’re seeing too great of returns from those tech upgrades to let them go.
Here are just a few examples of how owners are reimagining their businesses as they settle into the new normal:
Taking the leap — going virtual for good
In 2019, Jess Bommarito’s coworking space had its best year yet. With her community of business owners thriving and her profits higher than ever, she was looking forward to a year of growth in 2020.
At the start of the pandemic, Jess’ doors shut, but her background in coaching made her an instant magnet for her small business community. Quickly, her in-person coworking renters turned into online coaching members — a pivot that was so well received, she decided to make it permanent.
She says, “In the end, our membership grew. We had a better year financially than we did in 2019. And now we’re gearing up for exponential growth in 2021. I love the online model, and even when Covid is behind us, I plan to continue it!”
Just like before but with some upgrades
Molly Ola Pinney’s nonprofit, Global Autism Project, specializes in training staff at autism centers around the world. So when the pandemic hit, canceling travel instantly slashed 90% of their revenue.
After downsizing most of her 40-person team, Molly developed an online course to continue training autism staff throughout the pandemic. The training “has literally saved our organization and is filling a huge need in the market,” Molly said. “This has most importantly given our team something to look forward to.” But given the nature of Molly’s business, staying 100% virtual forever can’t be a long-term solution. Once it’s safe, Molly’s team plans to restart in-person training. She says, “The experiences clients get from being abroad are too transformative to leave behind.”
But even when travel resumes, the online courses and other launches from the past year will remain, providing their community of autism educators with added value for years to come.
Keeping the best of both worlds
Before COVID-19, Melodie DeAngelis’ days were chock-full. With back-to-back appointments for her aesthetician services, she worked more hours than she liked, doing services she no longer wanted to offer.
So when the pandemic brought her business (and income) to a standstill, Melodie went straight to work using Ontraport to automate skincare consultations, record online courses and design a new website to sell skincare products on subscription.
Today, Melodie’s clinic is back in business but on her terms. Working only half the hours she worked before and offering only her favorite (and most lucrative) services, Melodie is using her tech upgrades to supplement income.
She says, “Covid taught us all one thing: Multiple streams of revenue in your business are essential.”
Ontraport Founder and CEO Landon Ray is a serial entrepreneur whose personal mission is to educate, motivate, and enable others to realize their goals of starting and growing their own business. At the age of 25, Ray transformed himself from a street-corner flower vendor into one of the nation’s top securities day traders in only twelve months. After beating the odds on Wall Street and again during the great recession, Ray has taken his research and personal experience and created Ontraport, a small business automation platform and related family of services, which reflect his passion for educating and supporting entrepreneurs.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to add digital offerings to your business, sign up for a free Ontraport strategy session here.
Digital transformation stock photo by Sashkin/Shutterstock