The mandatory "stay at home orders" and new regulations have fundamentally changed the way founders are running their businesses. But for many of us, with change comes opportunity and a chance to make our businesses even stronger moving forward. 

As an example, one of my coaching clients owns a beauty school in Florida. Their model is to teach future professionals the skills needed to be a cosmetician, barber, massage therapist, or nail technician. This education consists of theory, book work, and practical hands-on skills. Prior to the pandemic, state and federal law required all of the education to be on site in their facilities. After Covid-19 hit, they were suddenly asked to close their building due to the CDC mandates. 

Like many others, they suddenly found themselves having to switch to a virtual setting. They had to decide whether to shutter their business or find a new way of doing business and servicing their customers. 

They chose to create an online learning experience. The initial goal of moving to online learning was to allow all of their students to continue on a learning path towards their careers, but what they found was an unexpected opportunity hidden within. 

They have since been able to reestablish connections with a number of students that for various reasons were faced with the decision of dropping out. The hidden opportunities they created by bringing their service online, not only allowed them to maintain revenue but they were able to introduce new tuition revenue streams from an at-risk segment of their customer base. 

So, while a complete overhaul in the way they do business wasn't in their plans they were able to come up with something that may prove fruitful long after the CDC restrictions are lifted. 

Besides moving services online, I have also seen a huge uptick in the number of businesses that are reaching out to their community to offer guidance, education and help during this crisis. Some of them seem like a natural fit; say, a textile company that began sewing masks, a restaurant that began serving meals to frontline health care workers and medical offices offering tele-health options. But some businesses have come up with creative ways to help the community that might not be so obvious. 

One such example I heard was from a mental health counseling business that began offering counseling sessions through glass partitions using a two-way phone conference system for those clients that struggled with the isolation that comes with a stay-at-home order.  

It's this out-of the box thinking that is making such a huge difference for so many businesses in the wake of this pandemic. So I want you to think about how to apply this within your own industry and business. Could you provide education or a new service to people during this time? Is there a way that you can reactivate past clients to help them through this pandemic? Can you provide a service or product that the community needs at this moment in time?