As if it wasn’t already hard enough to survive, let alone thrive as a small business, CoronaVirus has made things even more of a challenge. Sadly, companies all over the country are struggling right now. Many have even had to close because of the restrictions and changes in demand for their services. Fortunately, there are some simple ways that you can maximize the possibility that your small business survival during this trying time. Keep reading to find out more.
Right now, before everything else, comes safety. But what exactly does that mean for your business? Well, primarily, you have three critical responsibilities. The first is to keep your employees safe while working for you, while the second is to protect your customers and clients when interacting with your business. The third is to do all in your power to halt the spread of the incredibly infectious CoronaVirus to the general population.
What that means is that you may need to take additional measures when running your business. These may include providing clear visors and gloves for staff, as well as implementing social distancing within your premises or store. Hand and basket sanitization stations are also essential for stores.
Where possible, allow employees to work from home, and encourage all those that visit you to wash and sanitize their hands and wear facemasks. Yes, it may seem like a lot, but these small things can keep the people most important to your business, namely your customers and employees, healthy. Something that will increase your chances of continuing to run during and once the Pandemic is over.
The customer is still king
Despite the priority of your business operation being safe right now, the customer is still king. This means that customer experience is still vital to the success of your business.
Of course, many customers are worried and scared about their risk of exposure to CoronaVirus. Therefore, the more information and reassurance that you can provide to them that you are doing everything in your power to be responsible and minimize the risks, the better.
In particular, businesses with open communication lines when customers can talk directly to a real human being can work wonders during this time. It’s not only the power of reassurance that is at play here. It’s also the importance and value of connecting with other people during this trying period.
You may have started 2020 with a clear business plan, outlining expansions and revenue increases. However, CoronaVirus has probably blown all of this out of the water. Instead, companies have had to be more agile than ever before, changing their operational process and product provision fast to fill new and novel needs.
Small businesses that have been able to pivot in such an agile way have demonstrated much more success in weathering the Pandemic storm. An excellent example of this is where restaurants and shops have swapped to home delivery to continue to meet their customer’s needs during lockdown.
Of course, such an obvious solution is not always available to every business. Although the vital thing to remember here is to carefully consider what it is your customers need right now and see how you can better meet this need in a safe and socially distanced manner.
Whether we like to talk about it or not, money matters to small businesses, and having a secure cash flow is essential for survival. The good news is that there are some steps you can take to make sure you always have enough coming in for your business to run, even in times as challenging as these.
One such tactic includes always having a credit line with your lender open, even before you need it. Then you do not have to waste precious time if the need does arise. You can also use smart cash management strategies to learn how to control your business’s income better. After all, such skills are vital when looking to survive the rougher times caused by the Pandemic.
Care for your employees
While looking after the safety of the people that work for you during the Pandemic is the least you can do, there is undoubtedly more you can do as well. In particular, being sensitive to employees’ stress levels and mental health is essential right now. Both if you want to be able to continue to operate during CoronaVirus, and have a staff left to run your business when it is all over.
Of course, allowing staff time to get used to new ways of working and providing them with safety training is vital right now. Additionally, any extra steps you can take to boost morale and mental health can make a great deal of positive difference in your employees’ lives. With that in mind, be sure to be more flexible with vacation time, remote working, and time needed for therapy where possible.
Don’t go it alone
While we are on the subject of money, don’t forget that there is plenty of advice and support available for small businesses right now. Primarily this comes from the government, and the financial situation themselves, who realize that the current crisis is one that we could have never accurately predicted.
To that end, don’t let your pride get in the way, and be open to take any help that is on offer to your business. It could just mean the difference between survival and the alternative right now.
Get inspired (by your competitors)
All profitable businesses will always keep an eye on what their competitors are doing. However, in this confusing time, it is even more important to stay up to date with what is going on in the market.
The good news is that if you aren’t quite sure how to proceed, you can look to your closest competitors for inspiration. Of course, it’s best not to copy them directly, but instead see what works for them, adapt it to your business, and then that as a basis for your strategy to survive the Pandemic.