Coronavirus: 7 Tips To Help Your Business Stay Alive
Small businesses have been forced to take a different turn in their business because of the current Coronavirus crisis. Unlike other crises, this is one that they have never faced before. With the lockdown everywhere, how can you keep your business going? I have decided to take time out to make a list of action items that can help you generate more leads, keep your customers and employees happy and satisfied.
Start Remote Work:
First of all, make your employees understand that this virus is going to change the direction of how work is being done and we would all have to start working remotely. Prepare the necessary tools like a laptop, internet connection, Slack and Zoom and a document that clearly states what deliverables each team member is responsible for completing.
Care for Your People:
It is important for business owners to show leadership. Make your employees understand that they are being protected but more importantly, they have roles to play in the growth of the business, make them feel safe. Also, create a plan for the next few weeks, then months, depending on how long this pandemic lasts. Be willing to adapt and to take on new plans. For now, recruitment can be on hold and this should be communicated to all prospective hires.
Communicate with Your Customers:
The best thing for your business during this crisis is to establish trust and brand loyalty. This is a good time to communicate with all customers, stakeholders and the general public that you are taking the necessary measures to fight the outbreak and even contributing to the solution (i.e. by making your employees work remotely).
Let your customers know that you’re open for business. Make it easy for them to purchase your product or service. If you don’t use social media, this is the time to create one and keep your customers up to date. Send out newsletters or series of emails to your customers if you aren’t already doing so. Use it to communicate your ability to help your customers and communicate any changes on how you would provide your service to them
Market Your Business :
As a business owner, you should be creative and find new opportunities to market and sell in this crisis period. With this, what can you provide for your customers right now, through your service? This is a good time to focus on your existing customers, provide good service, keep important relationships and customers. Let all your customers know you are still there and how you can be of service.
Also, consider new ways to deliver your service or product. It may be through home delivery, mail or through virtual web-based services. If necessary, offer discounts and think outside the box.
Improve your Product or Service :
Make the most of any spare time to work on those projects you have been putting on hold. Invest in this time, don’t spend it all on Netflix, Youtube or on the news. Instead, use this time to improve your products/services, and your operations.
If you or your team have more time available (because you have less work or fewer customers), use this time to improve your processes and operations, improve products and services or make the changes you’ve been meaning to implement over the past few years or months. We know we all have them in our business, and we’ve been too busy to get to them. Well, use this time now. Come out of this crisis stronger and have a better product or service.
Another important thing to do is to engage in training in your company or get training yourself as a leader in areas you know will improve your company. If you know you're not strong in social media marketing, or accounting and budgeting, IT, or an area in your business category that could drive your business, invest your time into this. Get your team doing the same.
Review Your Business 2020 Goals :
Did you make 2020 goals for your business? If you didn’t, this is the time to make one. This is a great time to make modifications. Start on projects that have been on your list and take a look at your objectives for the year. Adjust the plan for 2020 as you know more about your business.
With this crisis, there is a lot of time, are you going to let it go without using it wisely? Think about it!
Revisit Your Budget:
With this crisis, It’s advisable to spend on only necessary things, that would bring a return on investment. One way to do this is to look through your current budget - cut down on those spendings that are not necessary and tweak the necessary items. This would help you reserve cash and have enough to bounce back at the end of the crisis.