Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media

12 Days of Small Business: Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses with

12 Days of Small Business: Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses with

Sharon Sobel, Picture This Video

12 Days of Small Business: Sharon Sobel, Picture This Video Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses with

12 Days of Small Business: Sharon Sobel, Picture This Video Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses with

December 2020 Social Networks Updates – Web and Beyond Live

Find the original archive of the video here: December 2020 Social Networks Updates – Web and Beyond Live. December 2020 Social Networks Updates – Web and Beyond Live – December 28, 2020 Each week, President of W3 Consulting and Managi…

Find the original archive of the video here: December 2020 Social Networks Updates – Web and Beyond Live. December 2020 Social Networks Updates – Web and Beyond Live – December 28, 2020 Each week, President of W3 Consulting and Managing

J.T. Compeau, The Content Interpreter

12 Days of Small Business: J. T. Compeau, The Content Interpreter LLC Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small

12 Days of Small Business: J. T. Compeau, The Content Interpreter LLC Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small

Mellenie Runion, Truly-Life Eco-Friendly Skin Care and Garden Gifts

12 Days of Small Business: Mellenie Runion, Truly-Life Eco-Friendly Skin Care Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses

12 Days of Small Business: Mellenie Runion, Truly-Life Eco-Friendly Skin Care Small Business has its challenges, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, we all have to do our part to support each other and the small businesses

Snapchat Launches Spotlight Feature with $1M a Day Giveaway to Challenge TikTok – November 30, 2020

Find the original archive of the video here: Snapchat Launches Spotlight Feature with $1M a Day Giveaway to Challenge TikTok – November 30, 2020. Snapchat Launches Spotlight Feature with $1M a Day Giveaway to Challenge TikTok – Web and Beyo…

Find the original archive of the video here: Snapchat Launches Spotlight Feature with $1M a Day Giveaway to Challenge TikTok – November 30, 2020. Snapchat Launches Spotlight Feature with $1M a Day Giveaway to Challenge TikTok – Web and Beyond

Roundtable Recap: Pivoting Your Small Business in 2021

This week’s post was written by Ray Sidney-Smith of W3 Consulting, social media consultant and facilitator of the monthly Roundtable for the Alexandria SBDC.  As the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, started to circulate around the United States, Alexandria, Virginia small businesses began being impacted around March 14th when the City of Alexandria declared a local emergency…. Read more »

The post Roundtable Recap: Pivoting Your Small Business in 2021 appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

This week’s post was written by Ray Sidney-Smith of W3 Consulting, social media consultant and facilitator of the monthly Roundtable for the Alexandria SBDC. 

As the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, started to circulate around the United States, Alexandria, Virginia small businesses began being impacted around March 14th when the City of Alexandria declared a local emergency. It wouldn’t be until a day after that a Virginia man passed because of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, and more followed. Things have certainly changed since those earlier days of the pandemic, and the situation continues to be dynamic.

This sounds bleak, and there are plenty of heightened emotions regarding the loss of lives, loss of normalcy, business losses, and more. But, with great adversity comes the greater resilience of Small Business in Alexandria. On November 17, 2020, Alexandria Small Business Development Center convened its last Business Development Roundtable of the year, which it resumed virtually for Alexandria business owners to connect and share lessons learned throughout this challenging year.

During the Roundtable, it was heartening to hear stories of small business owners making strategic, flexible choices about their businesses—pivoting your small business models and product/service delivery methods, modifying working arrangements for business continuity and staff safety, and new promotional tactics.

Diane Greenbaum was recently in the news about her pivot strategy success. And, she joined the Roundtable to provide some of her advice, having survived and thrived amidst this crisis. Greenbaum opened Kidcreate Studio in Old Town Alexandria on March 14, 2020, just two days before Alexandria City Public Schools would close their doors for the shutdown to stem the tide of the first coronavirus wave. She recounted how she made some smart decisions to change products and services (with Do-at-Home Art Kits, virtual classes and birthday parties), pricing, and working through human resources issues to help parents and children throughout Alexandria and the surrounding area. 

Diane Greenbaum, in her Kidcreate Studio located in Old Town Alexandria.

Other attendees noted that they needed to redefine their target audience, add new products and services to their overall package, and consider how to launch their digital experience (website, mobile, eCommerce, and other online presence components) in the coming year. Notably, Carolyn Alexander, owner of MomEase, has launched a virtual Ask the Experts program for expectant mothers. Bridget Gaddis, retail architect and owner of Gaddis Architect, is considering her overall search engine optimization strategy on her website and blog to attract new retail clients.

While the overall sentiment of the Roundtable participants was that 2020 was a tough year, there was a collective interest to get things back to normal and improve everyone’s businesses in 2021.

Alexandria SBDC resumes its Roundtable program (on the third Tuesdays of the month at noon) in January 2021, and we are available for business counseling virtually for Alexandria City small businesses. In the meantime, you can check out more pivoting strategies small business owners are trying in The New York Times ongoing COVID-19 business series, Small Business: Owning the Future.

The post Roundtable Recap: Pivoting Your Small Business in 2021 appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

Continuing to Pivot

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on December 3, 2020. This has been a year when familiar terms took on new meaning and significance. Examples – “community spread,” “flattening the curve,” “nonessential businesses” and “pivot.” Let’s explore pivoting. Among the imperatives for… Read more »

The post Continuing to Pivot appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on December 3, 2020.

This has been a year when familiar terms took on new meaning and significance. Examples – “community spread,” “flattening the curve,” “nonessential businesses” and “pivot.” Let’s explore pivoting.

Among the imperatives for businesses surviving and thriving through the challenges of the pandemic is pivoting to new approaches. Most have experienced a drastic change in their market. Customers no longer have needs, or might not want as much as before, and fear of infection limits their dealings. Supply chains have dried up. Consumer priorities have shifted, and some central events or celebrations are now deemed too risky.

There’s no template for pivoting because the circumstances differ by industry and approaches are unique for each business. The concept is to carefully consider all the direct and indirect conditions that have changed your market and determine whether it’s possible to adapt your tactics to the new environment.

There are physical aspects such as social distancing and capacity restrictions, but also challenging are the emotional considerations where customers become afraid of involvement with your product or service. Consumers also have pent up urges for luxury, if you can find safe ways for them to indulge.

There are several fundamental strategies businesses can follow to adapt or grow their company. One is to develop new products, services or concepts. Another is to refine the product or service delivery to a level that appeals to the new circumstances or to new customers. Technology can play a key role.

Perhaps you can partner with or outsource to another business, or team up to mitigate one another’s challenges. 

Made in ALX, a new makers’ market, launched on 11/16 with several local partnerships, including local watercolor artist Alexandra Schmeling, jeweler Bonny McMahon, designer Diana Papazian and Torpedo Factory artist Betsy Grady, according to the release.

With shock and awe, COVID-19 unfolded in unpredictable ways, and we had no solutions on the shelf. Aside from the disease itself, coronavirus also precipitated reactions and conditions that took a toll on almost every person and every business.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel with new vaccines and treatments. Scientists are hopeful that we might be able to resume some of our prior approaches within months. We know, however, it won’t be like flipping the switch back to normal. Proceeding purposefully into 2021, it’s essential for businesses to anticipate the possible shock and awe coming out of COVID-19.

Even under the best scenarios, getting back will not be seamless. Restrictions will lessen and opportunities will broaden, but not everybody will be on the same timetable returning to old routines. Those who provide products and services will again have to recalibrate approaches – not doing it like we’re having to today, and not like we did it before. We will be entering an even newer new-normal.

Even while we grumbled, many have become accustomed to working from home and will find it stressful returning to the worksite. We’ve developed new patterns over the last nine months, and it will be interesting to see how we unwind those.

This offers opportunities – but also challenges – for businesses to develop new pivot strategies focused around the circumstance of returning to our earlier lifestyles. 

We are all in this together, and will be coming out of it together!

The post Continuing to Pivot appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.