NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated a seismic shift in consumer behavior that has induced stress on business owners.
Jason Feifer, editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur Magazine, told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso that business owners must incorporate technology infrastructure for long-term sustainability and listen to their customers to try to anticipate future needs.
"You need to be in touch with them regularly - surveying them - so that you can start getting data back on what it is that they're looking for, what's resonating with them and what's holding them back on being your best advocate," he said.
Feifer advises business owners to create an email newsletter to communicate with their customers rather than relying on social media.
"If you think that being in touch with your customer by Facebook is good, it's not," he said, explaining, "You're losing people to the Facebook algorithm and you don't own that audience."
The Entrepreneur Magazine chief said customers will point owners in the right direction, and oftentimes, it can be a little change that can make all the difference in surviving the pandemic.
Feifer told Connolly and Carousso it is important that business owners look within themselves.
"Ask the simple question of 'Is this company doing what it needs to do to survive for the next five years?' Ask yourself that every single quarter and at some point you're going to start to say, 'Oh you know what, actually, I've noticed that our consumer is wanting this and this and I don't know if the thing that we're doing right now is going to last five years,'" he said, noting that type of honest assessment help owners make the appropriate adjustments.
Feifer is an impassioned entrepreneur, himself, running a production company in which he also hosts three podcasts, serves as a keynote speaker, and has co-authored a novel.
"I stopped watching basketball," he quipped about how he finds the time for his professional endeavors.
But, it's that entrepreneurial spirit that has been reignited as millions of Americans work remotely and others are starting businesses as a way to reenter a battered labor market.
Feifer told WCBS 880 many Entrepreneur Magazine subscribers are starting a "side hustle." Starting any business, especially now, he said, requires a keen focus on one's business plan and market.
"The number one way that people get stuck is that they have 10 ideas and they can't decide which one and they start to kind of noodle on them all and they get nowhere," Feifer said. "You got to just start somewhere."
Creating a valuable service or product right now can be a win-win for the entrepreneur and their current employer.
See examples, actionable advice and new business ideas on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.