With a second statewide stay-at-home mandate currently in effect across California, small businesses in LA County are once again finding ways to survive. While many remain open due to looser restrictions on which types of businesses must close, sales have once again plummeted due to the reduced number of shoppers out and about.
Most experts anticipate the second stay-at-home order to expire within the next month, but that’s a lifetime in the minds of small business owners. Many have decided to take action, while others are starting to follow by example.
The following are five ways small businesses in LA and throughout the rest of the state are making it through a second lockdown:
Ecommerce has changed the way small businesses operate. No longer are they limited to the foot traffic coming through the front door. These days, many small businesses across Santa Monica and elsewhere are offering their products to customers coast-to-coast. Thanks to 3PL consulting and parcel auditing services, small businesses can provide fast and affordable shipping to their out-of-state customers. Doing so requires minimal upfront investment while greatly expanding the customer base for specialty shops and boutique stores in Santa Monica.
Small businesses in LA County that have already expanded nationally are now looking overseas. Indeed, there’s little to nothing stopping them from doing so. Offering international shipping options is usually all it takes to launch a worldwide expansion of your business – done online, of course. It could be the difference between a month of net gains and one of net losses. With so many small businesses already struggling, the thought of another month in the red is more than enough to get them looking beyond the border.
Most of us are sick of being told how “we’re all in this together.” However, for the Santa Monica small business community, that sentiment remains as potent today as it did six months ago. Whether it’s the Chamber of Commerce or smaller organizations consisting of business owners working together, there’s strength in numbers. A collective push for help and assistance proves more effective than individuals taking action on their own.
Small businesses – along with other members of the community – are getting organized and demanding action. A protest march last December highlights the kinds of measures that can be taken. With that said, protests need a point. What are your goals? What is the plan? Having one isn’t essential, but it’s certainly helpful.
Here’s an idea: how about a state-sponsored 20% sale for all qualifying small businesses across the state? That’s something the small business community of California could push for in the coming weeks. Such a deal after the latest lockdown is lifted could result in a significant boost in business. Once the sale is over, small businesses send their paperwork into Sacramento and receive a reimbursement totaling 20% of all sales made.
There’s something to be said about the determination of California small businesses struggling to survive. With that said, grit and discipline can only go so far. To increase the number of small businesses to survive a second lockdown, many will need to adapt, organize, and push for change.