It goes without saying that 2020 has been a rollercoaster year for business owners. What I have learned from working with businesses of all shapes and sizes is that in order to withstand life’s punches, the business has to learn to bob and weave.
Businesses that are based on close contact, like hair salons, tattoo studios, and spas, were dealt a tragic blow by the emergence of the novel coronavirus. Blake Spa in Forest City was ordered to close its treatment room doors, but thanks to a diversified business structure and a nimble switch to an online retail platform, the business was better positioned to weather the storm of sudden changes. In addition to full aesthetics services, Blake Spa has a retail segment that carries high-end skincare lines, as well as personal care products including their Blake at Home bath bombs and essential oils that are crafted on site. Blake at Home is a part of a national new (old) trend towards small-scale manufacturing, where products are made at the consumer level and where cottage industries can reach their markets through new technology – e-commerce and social media. While the business’s revenue stream was negatively impacted by the closure of their treatment room, their quick pivot to e-commerce and social media marketing created a significant protective buffer for their small enterprise. E-commerce was always a long-term goal for the business, but current events hastened the launch. Blake Spa is not alone in making a quick transition to e-commerce. Many businesses are moving online to reach their customers, a trend likely to stay with us long after the coronavirus crisis has ended.