Much light is being shed on how the current situation is affecting small businesses. But the truth is, it is affecting businesses of all sizes.
As we’re told to stay home, the concerns of employers and employees across the country heightens. But know that you are not alone and that everyone is trying to navigate the onset of this crisis.
Even the likes of the James Bond film has had its release date pushed back by months in anticipation of the Coronavirus impacting the global box office by up to £5million.
So if you are feeling like you’re alone in this, here are 5 businesses that are being affected by the coronavirus and how they are diversifying in order to stay afloat.
Already the restaurant industry has been deeply affected by the coronavirus. Typically, restaurants don’t have the reserves to survive a time like this.
With the advice to stay away from public gatherings ringing in our ears, fewer and fewer people are heading out to eat. Bookings are 50% lower than this time a month ago.
As with numerous businesses across the country, many restaurants are reducing the working hours of their employees or shutting up shop altogether. But there are a few who have taken it upon themselves to diversify their working stature and grab this unprecedented state of life by the horns.
In fear, we still need to eat. And recipe delivery box services such as Mindful Chef have seen over 150% increases in their sales since the onset of the pandemic. Likewise for other home-delivery food services.
In light of this, restaurants are offering home delivery services in order to keep their heads above the surface. And people aren’t complaining.
Deliveroo has just launched it’s ‘no-contact delivery service’ for those people who are self-isolating. As well as providing restaurants with additional packing materials and seals for dishes, if requested deliveries can be left outside of people’s homes to avoid any human contact in the exchange.
Deliveroo are now even offering household products as well as tasty snacks.
Businesses that are offering educational services such as language courses or masterclasses are also being hit.
With the decreasing appetite to attend any social gatherings, these businesses are taking advantage of the digital age and offering their services in virtual reality.
In fact, as of late January, Century Tech have been offering their e-learning platforms as a means by which schools can deal with the spread of the virus.
The high-tech programme which uses Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience to create an individualised, virtual learning experience is now being used in over 50 schools in China and more throughout the rest of the world.
Though Century Tech is making their resources accessible for free, it’s worth considering these movements as a means for inspiration.
There’s no reason for other, smaller businesses who provide educational services to continue their business through virtual means.
As of this week, every other person you speak to will tell you they are working from home. Any business who uses mainly online applications to do their work is likely able to survive nationwide ‘WFH’ but perhaps we’re not considering the security that digital companies have at this time.
For those who’s professions are grounded in face-to-face contact, the virus is truly debilitating.
By contrast, digital marketers, web designers, writers, publishers, content creators and more will turn to their laptops and continue on.
With the likes of Google making workloads accessible from any device, members of digital companies are able to uproute and head home without much immediate repercussion.
Of course, there will be difficulty in the shift from office to home. For some businesses, there will be ‘test-days’ running to ensure that their business can go ahead as usual from remote locations - and we can only hope that they can.
And this doesn’t negate the other difficulties that these businesses may be facing, but at least it’s a starting point for how you can keep going if you are a digital business.
Amid social distancing and self-isolation, there is unity.
Fighting this epidemic is bringing together the likes of scientists, governments, politicians and our health services.
Our health services are being stretched by the onset of Coronavirus, and the public and private sectors are in talks regarding how each can help the other to ensure the overall health of the public.
The NHS is joining forces with independent medical care providers throughout the country to overcome the lack of public resources. Although this will cause some ripple effects for people who use private healthcare, this banding together of resources is necessary for the NHS to combat their lack of capacity.
We can expect to see private hospitals being taken over by the NHS to provide spaces for beds for those being treated.
We can expect to see private healthcare professionals becoming part of the NHS to provide care for all those who need it.
Not to mention financial aid from the government to support our healthcare system. The treasury made an initial pledge to fund the NHS with £5billion to combat COVID-19.
As we said, businesses of all sizes are being affected by the pandemic. And while perhaps the effects appear more immediate and more drastic for small ‘non-essential’ businesses which will likely have to close, there are wider effects taking place in corporate companies.
Leading supermarkets are in battles with customers who are panic buying and leaving the shelves bare while hours are being extended to ensure that stocks are being replenished quickly.
While supermarkets perhaps aren’t dealing with a lack of income, in fact it’s quite the opposite, there are measures that are having to be taken to protect their customers.
Certain wholesale supermarkets such as Costco are now only allowing a certain amount of people into their stores at one time to avoid people coming into close contact whilst doing their shopping.
Other supermarkets are offering pensioner-only hours to ensure that those who are most vulnerable are still able to access the things that they need.
You will also find supermarkets, along with many other essential businesses, are implementing increased cleaning schedules to ensure the health and safety of their customers and their employees.
COVID-19 is taking a huge impact on charities across the UK. Particularly those who rely on volunteers.
The recommendation to self-isolate means a significant lack of volunteers are available and charities are having to close down.
Organisations such as CRISIS who cannot implement a ‘work-from-home’ structure are required to have 20% staff present in their offices. Without these people, their offices would close and their work would cease to continue - leaving some of the most vulnerable people in the country without their life-line.
In order to keep afloat and keep providing care to those who need it most, these organisations are having to make uncomfortable re-adjustments to their staffing. They will be asking any staff who are ‘at-risk’ to work from home and requiring anyone who classifies as ‘not at-risk’ to keep coming into work.
The breadth of effects that COVID-19 is having across the country is astonishing.
But what’s more astonishing are the ways in which businesses are diversifying in order to stay afloat during this time.
For many this will be by working from home, but for others this isn’t an option.
We hope this article has shed some light on the various ways that companies are changing their behaviour in order to keep going.