SAN ANGELO, Texas —
Businesses and services all around the world have had to change their hours, policies and routines because of coronavirus prevention efforts.
While these changes likely seem inconvenient and difficult to most, business advisors at the Business Resource Center in San Angelo said these changes actually present a great opportunity for business owners to get creative with how they market and sell their products, as well as reach new customers.
“Look at the way that people are having to shop now. There are people that didn’t have Amazon Prime, and now they’re getting Amazon Prime because they know it’s the only way they can shop. They’re going online because they have to. The more they do that, the more they start thinking about shopping online in general,” Alejandro Castanon, a business advisor at the BRC, said.
In addition to being a business advisor, Castanon is a working artist and former business owner. Some things he's learned from these roles? Pay attention to new platforms, adapt, and be creative.
"Now would be a great time for business owners to think, 'how can I transfer my services online?' Try to be hopeful and think of things creatively and that will trickle down to your customers and they’ll be more receptive to those ideas," he said.
Castanon offered some tips:
1. Offer online services such as delivery and shopping appointments to limit crowds.
2. Sell gift cards that customers can use later
3. Live stream and sell tickets for art shows, performances, events
4. Businesses/consultants: sell digital downloads
As an artist, Castanon has experienced first-hand how hosting online shows rather than in-person shows can alleviate burdens and even save money.
“Doing an online art show is actually a really great and lucrative way of producing a little more cash flow. You don’t have to receive any art except for digital, you don’t have to hang it up which means you don’t need a physical space. You can still take entry fees for the show too," he said.
Castanon's last words of advice? Don't be fearful.
“You really can’t be creative when you’re fearful. Try to be hopeful and think of things creatively and that will trickle down to your customers and they’ll be more receptive to those ideas," he said.
The Business Resource Center in San Angelo is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.