The Coronavirus outbreak has put the world's largest economies under immense pressure. Most of the countries in Europe, the USA, New Zealand and China are in complete lockdown. United Kingdom refuses to undertake such a step in an attempt to save the economy. However, the damage is already done.
Ever since the Coronavirus began spreading across Europe, business slowed down in most industries and at present, completely died out in some.
The Events Industry
All face to face business, entertainment and personal events have been cancelled or rescheduled. Smart event professionals were able to move some of their conferences, meetings and even trade shows online. A UK events company even started a Facebook Group where they would stream concerts of bands and artists to sustain the music and entertainment industry. It is such an innovative idea, which has the potential to change our perception of art and how we consume it. Whether it will work, we wait and see.
Birthday party entertainers, wedding planners and kids classes providers are among the businesses who were hit the hardest. A large number of people are choosing to self-isolate and practice social distancing. Some of these entrepreneurs have tried to alter their offers in a way and were successful to an extend. For others, though, business has stopped completely for the near future.
The Tourism and Hospitality Industry
Holiday agents, hotels, airbnb property owners, airline companies, cafes and restaurants also took a serious hit.
Airline companies had to cancel a number of flights and offer free re-bookings for their customers. Flight cancellations are still happening every day around the globe as more countries lock their borders. As a result British Airways announced they will need to cut many jobs.
Holiday agents and tour operators in the USA and Europe are devastated. However, those who specialise in exotic holidays, i.e. Bali, report growth in bookings. Apparently the Coronavirus doesn't thrive in hot places with high humidity. And although there have been confirmed cases in Africa, it looks like the spread isn't growing so fast despite the large population of many African countries. Could this be an opportunity for tourism growth in Africa? And perhaps, the right time to invest there?
Big hotel and restaurant chains lost a lot of money, but they will be fine for the next several months. Unfortunately, they will have to make up for some of the losses by cutting staff off.
The local restaurants and cafes, however, are in serious trouble. Even without a quarantine imposed by the government, many people avoid such places. They are buying lots of food supplies from shops and cooking at home. It is a worrying trend for small business owners in this industry and they will most likely have to rely on loans from banks to survive. Something they could do, however, is start cooked food delivery (if they don't do it already) and increase their online presence, so people can order when they need and want.
The Cleaning and Maintenance Industry
We conducted some primary research in the UK through the Domestic Cleaning Business Network to see how the domestic cleaning companies are affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus. At first most cleaning providers reported full capacity and more more booking requests, but only a few days later there were tens of cancellations from clients and regular cleans put "on hold". Many self-employed cleaners feared they would lose their only source of income.
Social media and email marketing campaigns seem to have helped on this occasion, at least a little.
We tested a piece of content, which explains to the people why keeping their home clean and sanitised during the COVID-19 outbreak is very important for their health and safety. The copy also gives people tips on how to clean their home to protect themselves from bacteria and virus spreading and reassures them that cleaning companies are taking all necessary measures to provide their services safely wherever and whenever needed.
All companies and freelance cleaners were allowed to use the same content on their Facebook pages or send it to their clients via email. Those who did, reported positive feedback almost immediately.
People want to know what will keep them safe and help them cope with the current situation. They are hungry for information. And this is exactly why your content matters more than ever now!
Stay engaged with your audience, give them value and they will remain loyal to your business even in hard times.
Online shops and traders seem to be doing well at the moment. People are buying goods online and continue as normal with the services they use.
There has been a significant increase in interest in dropshipping as many people prepare for several months with very low or no income at all. This business model usually requires very little investment and minimal effort. It will be a great buffer for many people in the coming months. The only problem with it is, it's profitable in a thriving economy.
Online retailers of non-essential goods will continue to have steady sales until we all start feeling the effects of shutting down whole countries. The global economy is about to get in decline. So, whatever gains and sales you make now, be sure to save a large portion of them or invest smartly to cover yourself for future losses.
As business in general struggles, professional services will see a decline in the coming months too. However, those who are able to offer flexible payment options, high value and relatively quick results will not lose many clients. They may well gain new ones.
Investment and Insurance
Life insurance brokers are having a boom of applications at the moment. People are scared for their lives and they want to make sure their loved ones will be taken care of if the worst comes to pass.
Another type of insurance that is trending at the moment is unemployment insurance. Many contractors working through their own limited company and self-employed individuals are left without a cover from the government in most countries. Their only option for receiving income if left without a job will be an unemployment insurance.
The stock market is in total shambles at the moment. Unprecedented in history. However, for experienced brokers and investors this would be a great opportunity to generate a lot of wealth this year through making the right moves and investing in what seems least reasonable at the present moment.
Health and Wellness Industry
Gyms, swimming pools, spa studios and physical activity classes are not doing so well at the moment with the expectation of the situation to get worse for them. However, people still need dietary advice and exercise routine they can complete at home.
Fitness professionals who previously refused to take the majority of their business online will now be forced to do so if they don't want to be left without paying clients.
The greatest business winner in the Coronavirus pandemic seem to be the businesses offering supplements and products that boost the immune system. Many of those companies follow the MLM business model.
Anything that can prove the least effect in the prevention of getting the virus or becoming seriously ill is a total hit. These types of businesses will probably be the only ones who will not see a massive decline in sales throughout the whole COVID-19 crisis.
What do Consumers Need and Want the Most Right Now
Health protective products
Personal hygiene products
Mental health support
Life and income insurance
Additional streams of income
Learning new skills that will enable them to generate income from home
Information and reassurance
What will Consumers Need More Very Soon
Food and essential product deliveries
Home schooling tutorials
Technological advances at affordable prices
What's the Best You Can Do
In times like these, make sure you think creatively and outside of the box without panicking. Don't take any business decision under stress and in fear. Most times those decisions turn out to be wrong ones. Research, analyse, plan and do.
As a consumer, also be vigilant and don't let yourself become a victim of various scams out of desperation.
Most important of all - stay safe, protect others!