How some entrepreneurs weathered the pandemic
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“Pivot” is a word that’s been used a lot during the pandemic, especially in the context of business. For many, adapting how business is done to fit the pandemic reality has meant turning attention online. And entrepreneurs are seeing new growth opportunities in that pursuit, according to Jasmine Star, a business strategist and founder of Social Curator.
“On the back of social media and on the back of digital ads, what we see now is that our customer base is no longer relegated a Seattle zip code. It’s now customers worldwide,” said Star, whose also an instructor in the new online program, BackTo.Biz.
“Marketplace Morning Report” host David Brancaccio and Star discussed how the online pivot helped small businesses in the pandemic.
Jasmine Star: So during this downtime when a lot of people could not interact with customers face-to-face, they over indexed on realizing what can they do in the social landscape and in the web landscape. So that didn’t come necessarily on the back of money. But it came on the back of time. And during this odd, crazy, beautiful, painful time in human history, people had more time than they did money, and we’re now seeing the after effects of it.
David Brancaccio: What do you think, was this all like had to happen in May, June of 2020? Or is this still an acute need for the pivoting as we get into the fall of 2021?
Star: I absolutely think it’s an acute need. I actually think that it shined a spotlight on something that was needed and it really unveiled the necessity for business owners to serve consumers in a different capacity. On the back of social media and on the back of digital ads, what we see now is that our customer base is no longer relegated to a Seattle zip code. It’s now customers worldwide.
Brancaccio: And what have you seen?
Star: Oh, David, we have seen the most beautiful, innovative things that have been happening on the back of truly people being stuck at home. So what we see are artists burgeoning, now. The silver lining in this entire situation is that Americans have found a way to find a purpose, to find profitability and to find a way for them to define what it is they want to do.
Brancaccio: That’s so interesting, right? Because a lot of existing businesses are complaining about a worker shortage. Where are people? You know, are they just at home still, they can’t arrange the child care yet? But it’s possible that some people said, “Actually, I’ve become an entrepreneur, and that’s what I want to continue doing.”
Star: I don’t think it’s just possible, I think it’s highly likely. So what have we seen is that during this time, we’ve had the ability for people to build out businesses and there’s never been a better time to do so.
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