Early in 2020, most countries were caught unawares by the fast spread of COVID-19. This led to the introduction of quarantine measures, each with a different level of strictness. With the roll-out of vaccines, it’s going to be lifted — slowly — but people will still have to adjust having been under lockdown for a long time.
When businesses start to re-open, they will feel financial pressure quickly. If you have a business, consider yourself lucky if it didn’t close; a lot of others do. It’s also going to be a challenging time since it will be long before any semblance of normalcy returns.
So how do you continue to survive and even grow your business during the pandemic? You only must take the advice of people who managed to live through the different financial crises that happened before. Here is our own collection of tips to ride out the pandemic and resume your business successfully.
Convert to Social Media
Most businesses took the shift to connect through social media amid the pandemic. For instance, AC repair and replacement companies thrive on face-to-face, personal conversations to close deals. With the pandemic in place, they’ll have to rethink uber-traditional processes to protect their clients. Going live on social media also helps build a new slew of clients.
Whereas you once only served clients deemed ‘traditional’, with social media, you’ll get clients from up-and-coming, young professionals and first-time homebuyers who are potentially repeated clients.
Adjust to the Pressures of the Times
In essence, converting to social media interactions rather than face-to-face consultations is a form of adjusting to the changing times. With the new normal, it’ll be a long time before personal communication is allowed. If you learn to shift to new technologies and re-adjust your business strategies, though, you’ll have a lot of opportunities to foster your business’ growth.
Take the example of the coffee company Starbucks. From being solely purveyors of coffee makers, they became the coffeehouse that they are today. Flexibility is important in a business and that’s even more crucial during today’s uncertain times.
Consolidate Business Processes and Practices
If you find your cash flow diminishing, then you must learn to adjust your business to it. A lot of other small companies closed for good when allowed to re-open because they failed to adjust to the new normal that COVID-19 forced on them. If you find redundant practices, consolidate this to become one big efficient process.
If you don’t want to downsize and let employees go during the pandemic, learn how to re-adjust your services to go digital. For instance, rely more on digital ads and social media presence rather than going for traditional ads. You can also choose to go renegotiate with your clients for better prices or deals that will go both ways.
Lower the Payroll, Downsize If You Have To
If adjusting your business practices to new ones still doesn’t do the trick financially, you’ll have to resort to drastic measures, like downsizing your workforce. You can also choose to lower the payroll, which is a better option.
There are creative ways to go with this, but it differs from business to business. One is to change it to commission-only, which pays them if they put in the work. Another is to promise them equity in place of cold cash. Some employees with knowledge of the markets will go for this, but not all of them will do.
Do not wait for a time when you must tell them that you will pay them back in the future. It’s another option, but it’s a risky one that could very well have you following other failed enterprises.
Steady, She Goes
Things can get bad with COVID-19, but you must keep faith that it won’t get too bad that you’ll have to close your business. If you must, look at it from a more positive mindset — when chosen to look at a glass-half-full or half-empty scenario, be thankful that you have a glass to fill at all.
With a positive mindset, you’ll inevitably pass it down to the people in the company. A group of three or more positive persons will fill your business with enough energy to survive the pandemic and think of successful strategies. Keep it real, but don’t keep it too real.
It’s hard to think bullish with new strains of COVID-19 allegedly developing, but it’s better than to have to lock everything down again. It’s going to be a long time before things go back to some form of the normal before COVID-19, but that’s no reason to slack off in running your business.