Yesterday I had a website design client (a gym owner) email me to let me know they were shutting down their website for good and needed to take their website down.

While I know this is becoming a common story due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was the first business casualty I’ve heard about first hand.

Now, I don’t want to go into what exactly led to this businesses failure (because I don’t know and can only speculate), but I’ve been doing some thinking about how the pandemic will likely thin out many small businesses that just didn’t have the cashflow, or capital, or business model to survive being shut down for several weeks.

However, I do believe that how a small business fares during the pandemic will likely be related to the business owners natural bias on how they treat their business.

For example, having your business shut down for several weeks is generally going to mean you’ve got a lot more time on your hands… so what do you do?

If you’ve read the E-Myth, you might predict where I’m going with this...

Some business owners are fantastic at working *in* their businesses, and now that their business isn’t open - they’ve got nothing to do. Their natural bias, is to work in the business.

These particular businesses are a lot more likely to fail because of the pandemic. They are run by practitioners of their trade, and business growth has primarily been based in providing a good service to their customers, and word of mouth advertising.

The natural bias is neutral… And when the doors are shut, their business growth will go the same direction as the market as a whole.

On the other hand, you have other businesses who are seeing this pandemic as an opportunity!

These businesses don’t work *in* their businesses as much, but they do spend a lot of time working *on* their businesses. They may have once been a practitioner of their trade, but they’ve made the transition to business owner.

During the pandemic, they know that some businesses will fail, but they aren’t as concerned for 2 main reasons:

  1. They’ve already been growing their businesses, diversifying their income stream, and honing in on their target clients. Different parts of their business may respond differently to the business closures, and their in a position to hedge their losses across the different income streams.
  2. They’re using the downtime to adapt their services, to strengthen client relationships, and to reach out to the community as a whole (aka, marketing). Not only do these things help reduce the impact of business closures, they also have the ability to position the business as an authority in their space.

These businesses will actually move forward because of the pandemic, because they’ve taken the time to build their businesses while others are doing nothing.

The best time to work on your marketing is all the time… and it will be recessions, pandemics, market crashes, etc that will separate smart business owners from business practitioners.

Author's Bio: 

Kyle Posey has been worked in website design and marketing for over 15 years, which has included designing and building over 1000 websites, and creating e-commerce software that has gone to transact over 1 billion dollars in revenue.