It is no longer an exaggeration to say that COVID-19 is not only affecting an individual’s health but also has a huge impact on the economy, especially small businesses. These are unprecedented times for everyone and as a small business owner, you may feel things are beyond your control. However, we’ve compiled a list of survival tips to help you sail through these uncharted waters and come up strong on the other side?
1. Stay informed
With the amount of information and misinformation in the online world today, it is important for a business owner to stay informed about everything that’s happening. Stay up to date with all the announcements made by the Government. Go to the source of the information and do not believe in anything that’s not official.
2. Understand perspectives
This is a test for you at a personal and professional level. It is time to understand what you need, what you want, what your business needs, as well as understand your employees and their issues. It is crucial to show your leadership. Set the tone and be calm.
Things are changing very quickly, so do not plan too far ahead. Take it slow, for at least the first two weeks then re-assess everything before initiating any further plans. Be genuine and openly discuss the situation with everyone including your family, employee, and clients.
3. Financial triage
The greatest concern for most business owners is how to pay the weekly bills and how long the COVID-19 outbreak will last. Many of you are already panicking about how to manage your finances. You must understand the fixed costs and variable costs to determine a budget for the next 2-4 weeks. Eliminate all the unnecessary recurring expenditures, no matter how small they are – even the Spotify subscription at your store.
A layoff is not the only solution to control costs. Your employees are your biggest assets and it is crucial to communicate the situation and figure out a way to retain them.
4. COVID-19 policies within your organization
Be proactive in applying the COVID-19 policies that the government put in place. Stay ahead of the game by convincing your staff and your clients that you have created a safe environment for them. Physical distancing, clean work areas, sanitizers, good hygiene, etc., can enhance your ability to attract people as long as you are allowed to run your business.
5. Marketing and Communication
Have an open channel of communication with all the stakeholders involved in your business. Make sure they know ‘exactly’ what’s happening with your business, the change in timings or the safety measure you are taking to make everyone feel comfortable. This is when all your social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.), your website, your Google My Business, your email database, and all other channels become very handy.
Send SMS or Email to your clients asking for their concerns and try to mould your offerings accordingly. Digital communication and marketing can save your business as long as you are allowed to run it.
6. Be quick & innovative
Innovation is the key to tackle any such situations. ‘Need’ brings out new ideas and new opportunities within your existing business.
For instance, one of our hairdressing clients is offering a one-on-one consultation at her salon along with following all the other government policies and more. This has been conveyed on all the social media platforms and she started getting more appointments than cancellations.
7. Transform your business to digital
Situations like these illustrate the importance of change and the need to transform with technology. This applies to any business or any stubborn old-school business owner. Every business has the opportunity to transform itself, partly or entirely, into an online model. Whether it is simply using an online accounts platform instead of excel sheets & accountants or using social media to enhance your brand online or having an online delivery system in place or completely removing your store and build an online eCommerce platform, the digital world will take your business to a next-level.
8. Re-think your business structure
Have you been frustrated with a bugged structure and never had the time to fix it? Well, now you have all the time you need. Instead of worrying about things which are not in your control, take this as an opportunity to fix the old issues and re-think your business strategy going forward.
We believe there’s always a silver lining to everything and we want to look at the brighter side of humanity and the economy. After the pandemic settles down and things start getting back to normal, the economy will be in a growth stage of the cycle. Which means there is an opportunity for everyone to grow. The difference between a business that will succumb into the current situations and a business that will bounce back stronger than before simply depends on how the business owner understands the perspectives, portray patience and innovates with time.
Boost Social, like every other business, is currently facing a similar situation., but forward thinking Managing Director, Elisha Fiorentino is putting strategies in place to tackle the storm and bounce back stronger. We are also ready to share our experiences with anyone who is keen to understand the digital norms and are ready to transform their business online. Hence we are offering a FREE no-obligation strategy session for business owners who want to grow bigger than before.