May 23, 2024

6 Ideas How To Survive in Business During A Disaster In 2024

By Veronica Jeans, Ecommerce Queen
How to Survive in Business During in 2022 |

Having a business online is even more important than ever before.

I've been through several disasters in the last few years. I was directly affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Ike and Harvey, and lately the Houston Tornado, which devastated many people and businesses around me.

No matter what face a disaster may have, you should be prepared for the worst. However, no one could predict how the Pandemic would affect businesses and daily life.

But, every calamity has a silver lining. There are businesses thriving despite the isolation and the changes in sales rules. Online communities, for example Zoom, have become an essential part of our lives, both private and business related.

Creating your online business now is more important than ever before. 

There is a paradigm shift in the retail market. The pandemic has changed the rules of how we do business and has also changed customer buying habits.

Online businesses have seen greater growth than ever before despite the supply chain problems. Amazon has seen a 200%+ profit during the pandemic. Small eCommerce store have seen an increase in sales up to 100%+.

Although the changing online environment has left some business floundering if not closing down. There are several reasons and one major issue is the disrupted supply chain which is driven by the lack of employees.

When you are directly affected in any situation, your brain tends to hunker down! The panic starts filtering through your body, and you feel you cannot move or make the right decisions.

Sticking your head in the sand (or under the blanket) is not an option. If you want to survive, you need to get up and do something!

In this article, you will learn how to:

How To Create Survival Habits In Any Business Crisis:

1. Stay connected to your customers.

Keep Going! Don't stop your marketing.

When small businesses see a decrease in their revenue, they often cut back on their marketing. This is a mistake because that's when you need to focus on your marketing more than ever.

While other companies are cutting back on their marketing efforts, you can stand out by continuing to invest in your brand and serving your customers.

Even when sales are down and budgets are cut, there are ways you can keep going.

Here are some ideas to stay connected to your customers:

  1. Connect with your existing customers and send them an email to to check on their status - be friendly and personal.
  2. Post encouraging messages.
  3. Connect with your local businesses to see if you could support each other, even if it is just to come up with ideas about how to survive. And you can do this virtually.
  4. Think of ways your products can support your customers and sell them at a discount. This is a great way to get new customers.
  5. Bundle some of your products for a larger basket value.
  6. Create a Giveaway and start a monthly competition - ask people to share to win.
  7. Connect to customers through chat - personal conversations are a great relationship builder.
  8. Keep your store open and if you cannot deliver on time, for instance, inform your customers, and they will be patient and understand.
  9. Add dropshipping to your store. See if there are more complementary products you can add to your line of business.

    It was very disconcerting for a customer to get to their favorite online store and it is 'Closed for Covid!' - this is one way to send your customer to your competition.

    My experience after Covid while visiting family in Florida, a Hotdog cafe was closed on National Hotdog Day. My six-year-old grandson was disappointedly wondered why they didn't have hotdogs on the day they were supposed to. An huge marketing opportunity lost.

    Donna, the owner of, kept her business going while her competition closed their online stores. She tripled her business through the Pandemic. She had to send her employee home, and she worked 18 hours some days to get her orders fulfilled. She was also available on the phone to help her customers, which created a personal relationship with her customers.

    2. Use Your Time Wisely

    When sales are slow, you have more time to focus on your business. Use this time to finish the projects you have been putting off and add new ones.

    To succeed, a business needs forward movement and consistency. If you stop being in front of your customers, they will forget about you and move on with someone else.

    Marketers and salespeople who have studied the psychology of decision-making say that it takes at least seven connections with a consumer to make a buying decision. But with online competition so crowded and information deluging consumers, buying decisions are now shaped by two things: stories and relationships - personal connections.

    You have heard the saying: “People buy from people they know and trust.”

    You can use your time to take action and get stuff done.

    Here are some ideas how to move forward:

    1. Write the blogs that are on your list.

    2. Create some videos to show your online visitors what happens in your business on a daily basis.

    3. Get your old product photos updated. Get some Lifestyle photos uploaded for your products.

    4. Update your story and About Page - make it phenomenal.

    5. Research your competition and see what they are doing and do it better.

    6. Create some interesting social media posts for the next few months.

    7. Plan your promotions for the year. Dust off those goals in your head and start implementing some of them.

    This is the time you can gain an extra edge by being proactive. Don't waste your time and do nothing.

    3. Be flexible in your business.

    Don't let stress get the best of you.

    Mark Shaeffer said: "As businesses, we need to zag when everybody is zigging". 

    Here are some ideas how to be flexible:

    1. Your store hours - staying open longer and being available on your  online chat so that your customers can immediately get attention.

    2. Prices - discounts are a good way to bring in new customers. If you don't have a sales, offering a better discount will bring in more sales and traffic. Money is money!

    3. Online shipping - if you have not offered 'Free Shipping', maybe now is the time to add that to your store.

    4. Employee schedules - if your employees have to stay home during the crisis, maybe they can help you with some online tasks. You would be surprised what your employees are capable of. Ask them.

    5. Joint venture opportunities - leverage your business with another business to support each other. This will get you a wider audience and maybe hopefully more customers.

    4. Reach out to the community.

    If you've been affected by a disaster, chances are the community as a whole needs help. Find the immediate needs that surround you and help them in whatever capacity you can.

    Here are some ideas to help your community:

    1. Have extra inventory that's applicable to needs? Donate it.

    2. Restaurants are always the first to get affected by a disaster. Support your local restaurants by ordering food for pickup.

    3. Donate some food to local shelters.

    4. Give your support to the community by physically helping.

    5. Create an online local group to keep up the spirits, and this is great for the exchange of crucial information.

    Stay present and flexible, the community will take notice.

    5. Have a positive mental attitude

    A positive mental attitude means approaching every situation and challenge in life with optimism. 

    When you have a positive mental attitude, you can see the benefits in difficult situations. This is probably the hardest thing to do when disaster strikes our lives. But your actions will affect those around you.

    The benefit of a positive mental attitude is that it helps you think more broadly and come up with creative solutions.

    When you try to stay positive, it helps you to think clearly and act differently instead of giving up. You need to be in a positive mindset if you want your brain to react differently to situations rather than immediately giving up.

    It's a lot harder to do simple tasks and be active when you're thinking negative thoughts.

    Taking charge of your emotional needs in a positive way will have a major impact on your employees, your vendors, and your community.

    Here are some ideas on how I keep a positive mental attitude:

    1. Smile when you wake up. It's almost impossible to be in a bad mood if you see the world through a smile. If you wake up bouncing, your day is more productive.

    2. When someone asks how you are, respond in a positive way. My response is always 'Fabulous!' This is such a small effort, but it affects people around you.

    3. When you encounter a challenge, stop, relax and calm your mind. Think of a way to solve the problem instead of thinking of it as a problem. I literally stop my body and focus on what it is, then I find a simple solution.

    4. Ensure that you surround yourself with like-minded people who you can communicate with at any time. There are a few people with whom I communicate via messenger or text. Everyone is busy with their lives as well, so no answers are expected, but they are appreciated.

    5. Exchange ideas or brainstorm with colleagues a few times a month, if not weekly. This is a great way to create a collaborative environment, especially for solopreneurs.

    6. Our life partners can have a huge influence on our attitude, especially if they tend to see a half-empty glass while you see a half-full one. It's probably the most challenging area in your life, but maintaining a positive mindset benefits everyone around you. 

    7. Goals and plans - having a roadmap to follow is a positive move forward. You are most vulnerable to negative thoughts when you are floundering. One of my habits is to set goals and adjust them as situations change.

    8. Keep a journal. Writing down your thoughts can be a freeing experience, especially negative ones. Writing helps you declutter your mind, so you can think more creatively. I keep a journal for new business or personal idea. Journalling frees up my thoughts for the tasks I need to accomplish because I know I won't forget about my brilliant new ideas.

    6. Leave the box and be creative.

    Our creativity drives our businesses. Whether you have a product or services business.  Creating new ways to solve problems for customers or adding new ideas and products, is a positive action that is moving forward which is part of being successful.

    Here are some examples of eCommerce owners' creativity:

    Kellie, the owner of Parisians Pure Skincare, prepared organic sanitizers during Covid and sent a small sample bottle of her hand cream as part of the package for free. The purpose is to help your customers and also to get new customers at a low price.

    Think about what you can add to your products. I know it is hard because, obviously, gift ideas are not something people buy in a disaster.

    Donna, the owner of The Missing Piecer Puzzle company, is a gift business and not something that comes to mind when you are shopping online for essentials. During Covid, she was promoted her puzzles to people staying at home who needed to entertain the kids. This was her message: "Create an adventure puzzle to get you through the long days staying in isolation!"

    So the bottom line is - Take Action!

    "One theory is that people who think positively tend to be less affected by stress. Research suggests that having more positive automatic thoughts helps people become more resilient in the face of life's stressful events. People who had high levels of positive thinking were more likely to walk away from stressful life events with a higher sense of the meaningfulness of life." ~ Very Welll Mind

    "There are many characteristics that are shared among successful people. Hard work is an obvious one. Creativity is often another link between those who have been successful in their fields. The willingness to take risk is also involved. It’s sometime overlooked but more often than not people who achieve success have a positive mental attitude. " ~ Hospitality Search


    Be a leader for those who are unsure of what's to come. Show them that rebuilding starts with a positive notion.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Why is creating an online business more important now than ever before?

    With recent disasters like hurricanes and the pandemic, the importance of having an online business has increased. The pandemic, in particular, has changed customer buying habits and business operations, leading to significant growth in online businesses. Establishing an online presence ensures business continuity and access to a broader customer base, even during crises.

    How can I stay connected to my customers during difficult times?

    Staying connected with customers is crucial. Here are some ways:

    • Send personalized emails to check on customers.
    • Post encouraging messages on social media.
    • Collaborate with local businesses for mutual support.
    • Offer discounts and bundle products to attract new customers.
    • Host giveaways and competitions to engage customers.
    • Keep communication open through chat and ensure transparency about delivery times.
    • Consider adding dropshipping to diversify product offerings.

    What are some ways to use my time wisely when business is slow?

    Utilize slower periods to improve your business:

    • Write and publish blog posts.
    • Create videos showcasing daily business operations.
    • Update product photos and add lifestyle images.
    • Enhance your website's About Page with compelling content.
    • Research competitors and improve on their strategies.
    • Plan and schedule social media posts and promotions.
    • Set and start implementing new business goals.

    How can I be flexible in my business to adapt to changing circumstances?

    Flexibility is key to business survival:

    • Extend store hours and be available via online chat.
    • Offer discounts and consider free shipping.
    • Adjust employee roles and schedules to meet new demands.
    • Explore joint venture opportunities with other businesses for mutual benefit.

    How can I support my community during a disaster?

    Helping your community strengthens bonds and builds goodwill:

    • Donate excess inventory to those in need.
    • Support local restaurants by ordering takeout.
    • Donate food to shelters.
    • Volunteer your time and resources to community efforts.
    • Create and participate in online local groups for information exchange and support.

    What are the benefits of maintaining a positive mental attitude during crises?

    A positive mental attitude helps you think clearly and creatively, improving your ability to handle challenges. It also positively impacts those around you, fostering a supportive and productive environment. Techniques to maintain a positive mindset include smiling, responding positively to inquiries, brainstorming with peers, and keeping a journal to declutter your thoughts.

    How can I be creative and think outside the box in my business?

    Creativity drives business success. Here are some examples:

    • Develop new products or services that meet current needs, like Kellie from Parisians Pure Skincare did with organic sanitizers.
    • Promote products in innovative ways, like Donna from The Missing Piece Puzzle company, who marketed puzzles as a fun activity during isolation.


    Get some more information in these articles:

    5 Top Secrets You Need To Know To Get Unstuck In Your Business

    10 Reasons To Not Fail In Business & How To Survive 


    SOONA - great for product photographs and videos. - Great videos for marketing & Live presentations.