So it seems as if, at least for now, the threat of the pandemic sweeping Elgin County in a devastating way seems to have abated. We don’t know if that means it’s gone for good or that we should be bracing for another wave, but in the meantime, life is slowly getting back to normal. And that, for some, means business is back to normal.

Whether or not you have reopened your business, you are probably wondering: should we be preparing for some unknown future event? Should my business be changing the way it interfaces with customers and suppliers? Can it survive another shutdown?

Consider the way you perhaps have changed your own purchasing habits. Did you do any online shopping for your groceries or clothes? Did you try the local online farmers market called “Cultivate Virtual Farmers’ Market”? Did you patronize any of the local businesses who quickly adapted to curbside pickup? And if you interacted with lawyers, insurance agents, or other professional services, did you find that signing papers digitally and emailing them back and forth was admittedly pretty convenient?

Okay, so these are a lot of questions! But if you yourself found a small appreciation for being able to order something at 11:30 at night, and then quickly picking up those items when they were ready, or not having to make a phone call to schedule a service appointment, consider that your customers likely feel the same way. Yes, it’s a new way of doing business, and yes, it can be a pain to learn and implement a new sales channel, particularly when you’ve worked for years to create efficiencies in your present model. However, in general the world is moving this way and many of the younger demographic prefer the convenience of an online marketplace.

Moving online doesn’t have to require a huge amount of investment to start. It can be as simple as selecting 5-10 of your most in-demand products and putting them up on a Square store. Or it can be implementing an online booking system for your consulting business. I myself am a couple of weeks into working with an online personal trainer and I honestly don’t know if I will be motivated to drag myself to a gym in the dead of winter any more!

In almost any case, you will find new customers and new markets by allowing yourself to be open to new ways of doing things.

Stay ready and adaptable!