The New Frontier of Business: Interview with Michael DePiro
Owning a small business during this COVID-19 pandemic can pose its problems, but Michael DePiro strongly believes that utilizing an online business platform is your solution. Owner of DePiro Entertainment and Design, LLC, DePiro has experience in both the entertainment industry and also working directly with businesses to enhance their online presence. Even though most stores are closed, he knows where businesses should be focusing their attention.
Many stores and businesses have been forced to shut down due to the pandemic and per the orders of Governor Wolf, but DePiro has been working harder still. “There are two sides to my company,” he says, “I own a production side were we work with actors and production. That side has pretty much stopped in its tracks. Many projects in the entertainment industry have been postponed.” But that doesn’t stop the other side of his company to continue. “The design side of my company has been doing pretty good. We’ve been rather busy, due to businesses utilizing their websites to their fullest potential. We are seeing an increase in traffic on that side.” As a whole, DePiro says they are still fully functional and expect to see that continue.
As an online design expert, DePiro has seen the ups and downs of how his clients are being affected by this pandemic. Most of the results come from whether or not their websites are successful. “They are trying different things and they’re trying to expand their social media presence. I feel that some of the businesses are doing better than others. I’ve only had one business shut down completely. I think the businesses in this area are managing and also, that we live in a strong enough community that these businesses are going to be able to pull through.” DePiro is confident that many will come out of this on a good note. But what are some of the ways that businesses can be enhancing their social media presence? How could they be reaching out to those customers that they can’t seem to grasp?
Social media is a powerful tool that can make or break a company and it all depends on how it’s used. DePiro believes that now more than ever is the time to be using social media to its full potential. “When it comes to social media, you have to be producing content that is dynamic and that captures your customer’s attention. Keeping statuses updated just isn’t enough, especially with all of us being so distant from one another, you need to engage with them on a different level. Get on camera or have someone get on camera, and post those video updates to social media. If you’re in a service-based industry or you’re selling a product, getting online and show off your product is a great way to keep in touch with your customers. Keep them engaged and you’ll keep them buying.”
The support of small business rang true with DePiro, who was quick to say that small businesses need support continuously. “Pandemic or no pandemic, small businesses could always use the support of the community. Now more than ever, these small businesses really need consumer attention. Trade Secrets is working to make their own hand sanitizer and that’s a prime opportunity to help the community. When you see businesses doing good like that, it’s important to help them out.” The more support we give to our local businesses, the better chance they have at getting their doors open for us once again.
DePiro describes himself as a social butterfly. The lack of interaction with his clients and employees is different but he’s confident that he will get back to the way things where soon. “I love face to face interaction. It sets the tone and I feel like you can get more accomplished. Zoom meetings are good but it always feels like there’s this missing piece. It’s just the same with friends and family as well, not being able to be face to face with them.” It is what he misses the most and it's probably true for many folks throughout the area.
As far as new projects for his company, DePiro is not shy to say he’s keeping himself busy. He’s working on not only a movie but also a video game that had to have its production put on pause. He says, in conclusion, “I really want people to take advantage of this opportunity, to realize how much their business can benefit from being online. If their company isn’t online or they are online and they just don’t know how to use their website, I would encourage them to reach out to their webmaster or reach out to myself. I’m happy to help people navigate those realms because I know, for a lot of people, it’s still a new frontier.”
Thank you to Michael DePiro for the amazing interview and we hope for the continued success of your business, DePiro Entertainment & Design, LLC. Be sure to follow their social media below.