(p. B4) In early February , things were looking good for Practice San Francisco, a center offering individual psychotherapy and classes for children and adults that promote physical and mental well-being. Business was so good that owner Nina Kaiser, a psychologist, had just renovated and moved into a bigger space with the goal of doubling revenue.
Then the coronavirus pandemic hit. In early March , Ms. Kaiser moved all her classes and counseling services online. Fairly quickly, however, video fatigue set in. “After a few weeks, we saw a big downturn in attendance across all our programs, even psychotherapy,” she said. Thus began a period of “endless pivoting and troubleshooting.”
Like many other small businesses, Practice San Francisco, which has been around for three years, has essentially become a start-up again, employing a strategy similar to the “fail fast” approach well known in start-up culture: A change is made to some aspect of the business and if it works, it sticks, but if it fails, data is collected and something else is tried.
“There has been a lot of flying by the seat of your pants,” Ms. Kaiser said. “We see what doesn’t work, where we run into trouble, and we course-correct. It’s this constant, iterative process.”
That process is crucial right now for small businesses, whose numbers dropped by 22 percent — 3.3 million — between February and April , according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
For the full story, see:
(Note: bracketed years added.)
(Note: the online version of the story was updated Dec. 17 [sic], 2020, and has the title “Can a Start-Up Mentality Save Small Businesses?”)
The published-online-ahead-of-print version of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper mentioned above is:
Fairlie, Robert. “The Impact of Covid-19 on Small Business Owners: Evidence from the First 3 Months after Widespread Social-Distancing Restrictions.” Journal of Economics & Management Strategy (2020): 10.1111/jems.12400.