COVID-19 caused businesses of all sizes in every sector to almost instantly take a massive hit that disrupted their income and destroyed their custom. When the worldwide lockdown started closing down small businesses, owners had to act fast and think outside the box if they wanted to make money. Restaurants started offering takeaway, gyms created online workouts, and employees everywhere started working from home.
The going was certainly very tough for many of us. But small businesses everywhere not only found new ways they could work during the crisis, but many of them also put themselves in the best positions to survive when this is all over. With that in mind, here are some of the best tips from small businesses to ensure that you too will survive and reduce the impact of this pandemic.
Plan your finances
It is always better to be proactive in times of crisis than to only be reactive, and decisions will often need to be made on the fly. Whatever financial plan you had before the pandemic is almost certainly not going to be current, so adjustments will have to be made.
Start by taking a closer look at your finances for ways that you can reduce your overall costs as much as possible. Some expenses may be able to be delayed for a few weeks, whereas might be okay to put them on hold for longer.
You will almost definitely want to hold off on things like planned expansions until the business starts improving. Planning ahead will ensure everyone involved is on the same page and is the best way to get back business as soon as this crisis ends.
Engage with your customers
Because everything isn’t business as usual, it’s the perfect time for you to engage with your client base online using social media. Remember that the customer is always priority number one.
Start by reaching out to those you have on your email lists, and then engage directly with them via social media channels by keeping them updated about your business, your industry, and what’s happening with the world in general.
The idea is to share photos and videos, or play games and quizzes to ensure they don’t forget about your business during the downtime. That way you will be able to keep the lines of communication open whenever business starts getting back to normal again.
Upskill your staff
Whenever a business starts getting tough, you should always do whatever you can to hold on to your best staff. Remember that it’s quite likely your employees will be as reliant on you for money as you are on them for their work.
If you’ve managed to create a good team, you may be able to show that you are on their side by providing them with additional training. There’s plenty of affordable courses available online, and upskilling your existing staff will ensure they become more efficient and productive. Ultimately their new skills may end up increasing profits whenever things do eventually return to normal again.
Track your progress
Trying to do everything at once simply isn’t very realistic when you’re getting back on track, so it’s important that you track the progress of your efforts. This is especially true if you’ve been able to secure capital as you will want to ensure you’re concentrating on delivering the highest possible return on the investment.
Remember too that transparency with staff and clients are always just as important as ensuring there is money coming in. By creating a timeline for everything that needs to be done, from restocking your inventory, hiring new employees, and creating updated marketing efforts for your small business, you’ll be best placed to safely reopen your doors to the world again.
Look to the future
Despite the pandemic continuing to crash the planet, small businesses are still doing whatever they can to evolve and survive. The best way to adapt to the new normal is to remain as flexible as possible because otherwise, you’ll find it too difficult to survive.