The COVID19 store

#OnlyinJersey – The Covid19 Store exists, but maybe others will catch on.

A store named COVID19 has opened in a mall in New Jersey that exclusively sells masks and we are not talking Halloween masks. It’s the “No Masks-No Service” kind of masks, aka face coverings! They even advertise that there is an in-store seamstress who will make masks from fabric brought in by customers!

Having shared this article in a 13.6k member Facebook Group of Mask Makers it was met with 12 WOW emoji, 4 SAD emoji, 25 LIKE emoji and 28 comments (and counting at the time of this post) in support of and of discouragement. We haven’t counted the stats from the Twitter post where we first saw the article.

The discouragement looked like:

Does anyone go to malls anymore??

The only thing I am not happy is that most of us have donate time, material to make masks for the front liners and also was a way of income for months. Now big companies are banking and making a cheap product without thinking about the health concerns.

Now we need to lower our prices because of the big competition of business.

Remember, this is a group of mask makers – who may have made their livelihood the last few months making masks. As the one comment noted donating time and materials. Some received “orders” for 5,000 masks and have even completed up to 10,000 masks! Many just learned to sew a few months ago and in a few weeks made 300 masks! Let’s have a callback to Lessons from Entrepreneurs, about learning something new AND actually applying it.

The support sounded like:

Entrepreneurship at it’s finest.

It’s a business, I don’t see the issue. Good for them.

Great idea for a store! I am for anything to get people to wear masks. 😊😷😊

I like the idea. Millions of people need several masks. They might have a few but will lose them or they get worn out. I thought of something similar but am not quite that entrepreneurial to bring my idea to fruition.

Let’s examine this last comment above in support of this store. This one:
“I like the idea. Millions of people need several masks. They might have a few but will lose them or they get worn out. I thought of something similar but am not quite that entrepreneurial to bring my idea to fruition.

Is the COVID19 store a passing fad entrepreneurial idea?
Another comment said:

I give them 30-90 days

There is NO WAY anybody would invest the time and energy that is needed to actually start a business:
1) if they did not see the potential for growth
2) have business plan
3) to only be open for 90days.

If you are thinking about starting a business you might have guessed it, that YES, you are in for a long haul! Planning alone may take up to one year. So why didn’t this store open sooner? Well for one thing the malls where closed. 2020 is the year of the pivot and this pandemic has allowed entrepreneurs to plan quickly in the downtime. Perhaps the owner took the last six months to build a strategy, raise funds, find people, work the process and deliver a product; no passing fancy.

While this could be a POP-UP store, the sign looks pretty permanent! We’re sure the owner is thinking that COVID19 is going to be around for a while and surely he will eventually maximize his offering. Which bring us to our response to the FIRST comment received after posting this article. JF said:

“I don’t like the name of the store could’ve came up with something better”.

We agree.

Here’s why: A store named COVID19 could mean a lot of things, however this store ONLY sells masks.

We responded to JF’s comment saying:

They needed to consult with the CEOforCEO for small business strategies.
We’ll give this one away for free…
A better name would have been “COVered19”.

DO YOU AGREE?

The Creative Entrepreneur Outlet would have suggested COVerd19 as this would help with expanding company offerings.
Remember when we talked about “Plus” in the “Learning From Others” post?

Now suggesting COVered19 was just a gut response, we didn’t give it much thought because were were being playful and in the moment in a FaceBook comment. This name could be further explored; however not to discount the benefit of following your gut when an idea strikes. If anything it can at least be a springboard for creativity.
Let’s dissect why COVered19 might have been a better choice:

  1. The store name informs customers that they offer COVID19 related products and services
  2. Using the play on words COVered19 is enough for the viewer to read between the letters and make the mental connection that it is COVID19 related.
  3. Since the store sell masks, the name COVerd19, literally translates to the consumer “we have you covered” – for all things COVID19 related, namely masks.

How do you associate the words COVERED and COVID19?

What are the first things you think of?

Is it a face covering and safety?

Part of the small business strategy is getting into the minds of your potential customer. Giving them WHAT they want (even if they don’t know they need it, yet) and WHEN they want it.

Have you figured out HOW to give your customers WHAT they want WHEN they want it?

Or do we need to start a littler further back with WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER and how are you getting their attention?