Anyone can put up a business. It could have started as a hobby or a simple idea, but with enough capital, training, and the right people, anyone could make any business a success. But could your business succeed in a pandemic?
Surprisingly, many small businesses are thriving, thanks mostly to good business practices and precautions their CEOs and owners were careful to take when they set up their enterprises. Here are some things companies could do to help them survive these economically turbulent times.
Find an additional source of funding
Many businesses are not earning much due to lockdown measures, and so some countries offer financial aid to continue their operations. The CARES act is part of the government’s Small Business Administration (SBA) program and provides emergency relief funds for small businesses. Owners could apply for a relief business loan that will help them overcome the lack of income and demand.
Make communication a priority
Efficient and smooth communication is crucial at this time. Your employees do want to feel uncertain about the security of their job. Failure to communicate could lessen productivity and affect morale. Explore tools and equipment that could help you do this: video calls, mobile phone text messages, social media, and even zoom meetings are some examples. The lack of actual face to face meetings could make workers feel abandoned, which also lessens productivity. So make your presence felt and engage your workers.
Allow for change and explore new opportunities
A crisis is always a call for growth, and a business closure is one of them. But an open mind could spot opportunities in the face of crisis. Explore how the crisis changed the business playing field and embrace any change that could give you some advantage.
You have the options to start from the ground, challenge the status quo and think out of the box. For example, many in the beauty retail industry found their businesses in a slump last year. But some explored other hobbies, such as gardening and baking, and found that these were lucrative in a pandemic year. Many took advantage of this and started gardening businesses and online bakeries. Others explored selling a different kind of product: exercise equipment. The success of this change was evident as exercise and gardening equipment businesses were two of the most successful endeavors last year.
Marketing is essential when things are looking down, and many entrepreneurs make the mistake of scaling it down when things look bleak. For many companies, digital marketing was the savior in a pandemic year, and though there were some that still used traditional marketing approaches, most marketing efforts last year were focused online. And why not? More than 40,000 people use Google Search every second, and that translates to 1.2 trillion searches worldwide per year.
One way to make your presence online strong is having your own website. One survey revealed that 19 percent of small business owners have no website yet. Experts believe that their company would grow as much as 25 percent in three years or even less if they had a website. Coming up with a website might not be that easy, as there are strategies you need to learn and use to make it appealing and functional to your target market. Look for companies that could help you understand web development for small businesses so you would have a better understanding of how digital marketing could work for you.
Address property issues
Some business owners deliberately ignore their landlords because they lack negotiation skills. Most landlords are amenable to renegotiation during a slow economy. They would rather earn a little from a possible restructured payment scheme with their tenant than earn nothing. Try to negotiate on your rents on an active lease. Last year was trying for the real estate industry, and so many property owners also tried to keep rentals at affordable levels.
If your cash flow is still not enough for your operational costs, consider doing business remotely if possible. This would eliminate operation costs tremendously and lessen expenses such as rent and utilities.
The coronavirus sent people and businesses in panic. Brick and mortar businesses were not spared, resulting in job loss and the collapse of the economy. But last year proved that there is a way for entrepreneurs to ride the wave. Learn from the mistakes of those who failed last year, and use these strategies to connect and evolve. But even if you commit mistakes, don’t lose heart. Your business may fail, but remember, failure is a part of success, especially in a pandemic year.