The COVID 19 Impact on Your Business Model

Last week SCORE Rhode Island kicked off a series of web workshops as part of a new ReStart RI initiative. The initiative is aimed at providing small businesses with the tools, techniques and advice to get small businesses back up and running successfully in a post-COVID 19 economy.

The ReStart RI initiative consists of three major efforts: mentoring, education, and financial assistance.  As part of the educational program, this workshop was the first in a new series on helping small businesses overcome the challenges of the post-COVID 19 economy. 

The workshop focused on how to adapt your business model to the challenges caused by the crisis. SCORE mentor Bill Cunningham presented a business model canvas and peppered his presentation with examples of Rhode Island businesses adapting successfully to the new environment. Bill is a CPA with 40 years of finance and general business experience.  The workshop also featured several experienced business professionals answering questions live. 

Bill started by explaining why the business model was so important to companies who have to rethink their business due to changes in circumstances we are experiencing today. “The business model is a framework that describes how your business creates and delivers value to customers and how you capture value for your business,” he explains. “It is just a simple way of discussing business issues, using a common language.”

The business model breaks down your business into nine components. “What’s amazing,” Bill explains, “If you analyze your own business using each of the nine components, you're going to realize that every single component has been impacted by Covid-19 in a significant way. It has impacted small businesses in all fifty states. This crisis is so much more severe than whatever I've experienced in my lifetime.”

The business model starts with your business’s value proposition. As an example, Bill offers the example of a fresh pasta shop that he mentors. They can effectively compete with a large grocery stores that offers hundreds of choices because they offer unique product offerings and services that meet needs across the entire customer experience.

The business model then focuses on your “front stage” (customer segments, customer relationships and channels). Your customer relationships will most likely have changed in the COVID era, Bill explains, so they need to be reexamined in light of current circumstances. “Marketing will require a lot of testing and innovation,” he says. “Consumers are in flux. Your customers will most likely form new buying habits so how your business responds to your customers now will impact your business for years.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeff Bodenstab is a Providence, Rhode Island-based SCORE mentor and recently retired marketing executive, board member and co-founder with a career of helping build young businesses into larger enterprises.

The COVID 19 Impact on Your Business Model