It has been nearly impossible for most business owners in Toronto to adapt to the “new normal.”
Most cities in Ontario have seen progressively looser COVID restrictions. But Toronto has seen COVID restrictions put in place, then dialled back, and then ramped up again.
These fluctuations are not just frustrating for restaurant and bar owners. Businesses in nearly every sector find themselves having to adapt, and then re-adapt. Some businesses bear absolutely no resemblance to what they looked like in February.
Here are some of the unique solutions that these businesses are using to survive in this unprecedented marketplace.
The plastic surgery industry is currently experiencing a mini-boom. People are gaining weight because of the lockdown, and they’re really starting to hate the way they look on Zoom calls. Or, they’ve gone the other way and used the lockdown as a chance to work on themselves and get in amazing shape.
The combination of these two things has resulted in a new wave of people looking to get a liposuction procedure or breast implants in Toronto from local plastic surgeons.
These clinics have adapted by offering online meetings for initial assessments, as well as post-operative follow-ups.
Clothing stores are now open, but shoppers are still tentative. This has caused a pivot or perish situation for a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers.
When GOTSTYLE was forced to close their famous Distillery District storefront, they were quickly sent to the whiteboard to try to come up with new ways to reach their customers with their fashion sommelier experience.
They invested heavily in a new type of virtual tour that allows their customers to click on, and buy, items as they pop up during a guided video.
Medical Supply Companies
You have probably already heard of distilleries and breweries shifting gears and using their facilities to make hand sanitizer. However, a lot of agile businesses have had to completely throw out their business plans and find new ways to leverage their existing equipment, facilities, and expertise.
Take Molded Precision Components (MPC), for example. Prior to COVID-19, their assembly lines were used to make car housings, seals, and cable fittings. But, a few months later, they have completely changed their focus. They are now producing millions of protective face shields to meet the PPE demands in hospitals and other settings.
Meanwhile, companies that were already in the medical equipment and PPE sector are so busy that they can barely keep up with the demand. This includes companies like Toronto’s Starkmans Health Care Depot. They had to temporally suspend online orders because of high demand, and they’re advising their customers to expect major delays for deliveries.
Good news stories still exist! Not all local business owners are being forced to close their doors forever. Some have stayed afloat by adapting and evolving. Others have stayed in business by getting into a completely different business altogether.
You need to be brave to be an entrepreneur. And to be an entrepreneur that survives the COVID crisis, you basically need to be a superhero. However, these heroes do exist all across our city, and they will be the ones that help us rebuild our economy.