It’s not just a matter of open vs. closed for small businesses

Chris Esh

Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash
Photo by Gary Butterfield on Unsplash

I got a phone call from a plant nursery owner a couple weeks ago. He’s not a client of mine but he wanted some ideas about what to do during this hard time. I mentioned some ideas like curbside pickups, but he’s committed to remaining closed until it’s safe to re-open.

The reason? For the same reason he grows organic and native plants: in order to support a sustainable and healthy ecosystem, which includes humans. He’s worried about keeping his employees, himself, and his community safe. Some of his competitors are rushing to reopen and/or finding workarounds, but that doesn’t align with his values.

Whether you agree with his assessment of risk or not, I think this is a very compelling story for his hippie/liberal-leaning audience. But he only told me this—it wasn’t being communicated to his audience via his website, email list, or social media. Which I implored him to do ASAP.

It won’t make him any money today, but it will remind people why they love his business. And hopefully when things re-open, they’ll be lining up.

This moment is not just a binary closed/open choice for businesses. You’re not just closed or open. There is a huge amount of nuance in HOW you close and how you re-open. Which presents an opportunity.


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