I think it is safe to say that a lot has changed due to COVID19 and all the problems that it has brought about. I mean, just take a quick look at our financial market and you can see how much things have changed between now and a couple of months ago. I would venture to say that most people have been heavily affected by this virus, buy small business owners like myself have been hit especially hard. Not only is it tough enough out here for us to survive under normal circumstances with the added pressure of supermarkets like Walmart and Meijer, as well as online superstores like Amazon, but everything related to COVID19 made it so much harder. When I was told that I had to shut down my store front for several months, I was absolutely devastated. How was I going to be able to pay rent, afford my building, or pay my bills? Honestly, it seemed like I was going to have to completely close up shop at the rate things were going. However, I made a few key decisions during this time that allowed me to keep my business open even through the pandemic. In fact, I even ran into a lot of profit over this time period in a way that I never would have expected. The best decision I ever made was to bring my small business into an online format.
Well into the COVID regulations, I realized that something would have to be done, or my business would be completely finished. With the storefront being shut down in the downtown of my city, there was absolutely no way for me to sell my products. I completely relied on people physically coming into my store in order to buy my products, and therefore did not make any sales at all once my business was shut down. Though I did have some leniency in the form of rent forgiveness as well as a few small loans from the government, I did not see a way forward unless I could open my store up and start to sell my products again.
Luckily, I was informed by some of my colleagues and fellow small business owners that I could attempt to sell my products online to try to save my business. At first, I was not thrilled about this idea because I am really attached to the idea of having my physical storefront business. However, as I got more and more desperate, I decided that I didn’t really have any other option. Afterall, what did I have to lose?
I already had a website setup for my business, but I did not do any sales through that website. Setting up a store page on my website took a bit of time and I needed to hire someone to help me through that process, but we were eventually able to figure it out without too much trouble. I had to invest in a lot of business supplies that one would expect when starting an eCommerce business. Shipping supplies is super important to anyone selling products online, so I made sure to order plenty of high-quality shipping supplies in order to keep my products safe and secure while in transit. Now my store is back and booming, and I still make a ton of money from online sales.