This week, we’ve transitioned to the safer-at-home act and these are the basic updates you need to know:
- Critical businesses are still open.
- Non-critical businesses are open with restrictions.
- It’s recommended people stay at home as much as possible.
- People should wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their faces.
- Wear a face covering or mask when you leave your home.
- People should connect with neighbors and loved ones virtually.
Aside from the changes to how we’ll be living life for the next few weeks, many industries have already encountered changes that will shape their future long-term success.
- Office leasing activity fell due to the impact of COVID-19. Property owners expect to see a surge in subleases coming on the market, a trend that is already occurring on the west coast. The pandemic has created uncertainty over the ability for prospective tenants to make long-term commitments and where rents will be when the economy restarts.
- Merchant payment processing volumes for e-commerce and non-supermarket brick-and-mortar stores declined.
Oil & Gas
- Oil prices have declined on a global level as businesses around the world closed or restricted their activities to reduce the spread of the virus.
- The number of US oil rigs operating is the fewest number of active oil rigs since June 2016.
- With the suspension of professional sports, a shift has lead consumer spending to staple items, and retail closures for major sporting goods manufacturers.
- Retailers with e-commerce options and added curbside pickup for online purchases are still able to function.
- Demand for bikes and home fitness equipment has increased to stimulate the need for entertainment and activity.
- The US brewery industry has taken a hit, as state and local governments impose closures and curfews on bars to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
- Many breweries have temporarily closed taprooms and are experiencing stress with margins that depend on tastings and live attendance.
- Some breweries have been able to ramp up business with takeout, drive-up, and delivery sales to a level that exceeds their former on-site sales.
Business and Professional Services
- Government bans on personal gatherings have forced many associations to evaluate digital communications platforms.
- Businesses are expected to provide services remotely as much as possible, although many will have to be put on hold.
- Advertising spending has dropped as businesses pull back on nonessential services and cancel events. However, some areas might still experience demand. Internet traffic is anticipated to remain strong and businesses with strong content marketing strategies will still be able to stay connected with their customers.
- Professionals providing accounting services, legal services, and management consulting services may see an increase in demand from clients seeking guidance on how to protect themselves legally and financially.
- Demand is expected to drop as corporate and individual customers drastically reduce their spending on nonessential services.
Hospitals and Healthcare
- Hospitals have increased capacity due to the coronavirus outbreak by delaying elective surgeries, erecting triage tents outside emergency rooms, and squeezing extra beds into break rooms.
- New York expanded its healthcare workforce by calling up retired and former doctors and nurses and expediting their recertification, as well as bringing in healthcare providers from other states.
- Industry leaders have sought temporary rule waivers so nursing homes can accept patients who are less ill and free up hospital space for critically ill people infected with the virus; so doctors licensed in one state can treat patients in other states; and for temporary removal of the 25-bed limit on “critical access hospitals” in rural areas.
- While demand for medical devices used to combat COVID-19 surged, some manufacturers expected sales to decline during the outbreak.
- Many construction projections, as well as residential construction, in particular, may be put on hold as economic uncertainty persists.
- Upstream supply chain issues for other industries like textiles may restrict construction material availability, hindering operations.
Finance & Insurance
- Credit and debit card spending at restaurants as well as travel and entertainment have both declined as a result of shutdowns and travel restrictions.
- Investment banks have experienced increased demand for investment-grade debt issuance in March as companies looked to raise cash.
- Equity underwriting declined as businesses delayed their plans of initial public offerings until market conditions stabilized.
- Major insurance companies have announced that they will be providing policyholders with premium relief as a result of the spread of the virus.
- Wholesale cannabis prices have experienced a recent trend downward.
- Since marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, marijuana companies cannot use the banking system, take tax write-offs, or access federal coronavirus relief programs that other businesses can.
- The industry continues to push for inclusion and equal access to disaster relief funds.
- Businesses will need to continue to stay open and generate sales if they hope to survive.
The reality many businesses have faced is a lack of demand, especially if they aren’t an essential service, and finding a solution to stimulate cash flow will take creativity. Some will have to restructure their business model to make their services more relevant to consumer demand. While others will need to update their marketing strategies to include new channels that increase their digital presence, making it easier/safer for customers to acquire their product/service.
While some businesses are experiencing rather straightforward solutions, like the restaurant industry’s new reliance on curbside pick-up and online ordering, other industries will grapple with finding new niche areas of service to rely on. Regardless, marketing will be an essential part of any business strategy prioritizing growth and revenue.
Although your business may face budgetary limitations during this time, digital marketing affords many opportunities for cost-effective solutions that stimulate organic growth, customer engagement, and help you increase your reputation. Our team of specialists recognizes the need to achieve your brand’s goals without wasting large sums of money. Schedule your free consultation and our team will discuss the best options to help your business forge a brand that drives revenue.