The New Normal. What Does That Mean?

As we are in the middle of the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, and possibly at the peak and on the downward turn, the focus has now been turned to reopening the economy. This is a scary time, since our economy has been on a downward spiral due to non-essential businesses being required to be closed. This has basically frozen our economy, unemployment rate sky-rocketing, small businesses suffering, people are scrambling with what is to come.

Getting back to normal. What does that mean? This global pandemic is not like a light switch where we can just turn it back on and get back to business as usual. It has caused a profound change in what we once experienced as normal. There will be a new normal. Is the new normal going to be like the Great Depression of the 1930's? Is it going to be like the Great Recession of 2008? Will the new normal be something like we have never experienced before? What does this mean for small businesses? So many questions.

With a stimulus check coming to many Americans, encouraging citizens to do their part and participate in supporting businesses by using their stimulus check to put back into the economy, we are hopeful this will help keep many businesses afloat. Families will still be struggling as not all companies will be rehiring everyone back right away. Businesses lost money while they were closed. Many small businesses will not be able to afford to hire help back. Which in turn, will force consumers to hold back on spending. Families will be more frugal with their money. Budgets will tighten. I really wish this weren't true but it is a harsh reality of a possible recession.

Small businesses are forced to take another look at their business model and find ways to change it to make "the new normal" work for them. Consumers are going to be cautious about going out in public and shopping, sitting down at restaurants, attending events, justifiably afraid that they may be surrounded with people who could possibly be a carrier for the COVID-19 virus. Will they infect me? What if the virus comes on stronger than ever now that people are going about there business as if it didn't even happen. These are completely understandable feelings. We are living in a time of uncertainty.

This all makes me rethink how I can change my business to work together better with this new norm. I would like to help families who will be cautious about having large parties. Celebration events may change on how they are conducted with social distancing. What can I do to ease my customers state of mind? I have already begun some new facets to my business. I have created a YouTube channel with many "how-to" tutorials on making some simplified baked goods at home. How to decorate cakes, how to make your dog some homemade treats, etc. This YouTube channel has been a lot of fun! I really enjoy teaching and want to share my experiences with my customers. Another new facet to my business is the opening of my Etsy shop in which I sell cake/cupcake toppers, cake decorations and sugar flowers. These are very helpful to my customers who would like to make their own cake, but have it decorated with something special. I offer a wide variety of items for every budget. This also helps cake shop owners who want to focus on making cakes and just purchase pre-made decorations to add to the cakes.

There are a few more changes I will be making to my cake business. I'll be adding a budget friendly line of simplistic cakes, reducing my cake minimum price so consumers of all budget levels may find pricing that works for them, as well as changing my pricing structure to focus on the anticipated economic hardships due to the current economic freeze and thawing related to the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to make my services available to consumers at a more affordable level, however at the same time, keeping my prices appropriate for my artistic skill level. It is a balance.



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