To say that COVID-19 changed the way the world operates is putting it mildly. Some companies had to retrench key employees, downsize or even shut their doors. Millions of people have been affected by the virus across the globe. And while we may be getting used to the new normal that comes with the coronavirus outbreak, it’s still a lot to take on for businesses. Small, medium and large enterprises have had to make changes to keep afloat during the pandemic. This time has been extremely tough on executives as the survival of the company not only affects them but their employees and their families.
Here is some advice on how you can keep your business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before anything else, it is important to take note of what your business is spending on. Before the pandemic, it was easy to spend on non-necessities, but now you have to take stock and see what is truly worth the money. Cutting back on operating expenses can be what saves your company from closing done or having to retrench people.
Taking a look at your expenses and using budgeting tools may make you realise that you don’t need this much office space or that one coffee machine works as well as two. Those might seem like small expenses, but when you consider the additional costs such as electricity, you’ll realise that you are indeed saving more by cutting back.
While you may want to run your race and do things differently, it may be helpful to learn from your competitors. Take note of what they have been doing during this time, especially small business, as this can help give you ideas on what you can do for your business.
This is also not to say you should only take note of small businesses if you’re a small business. You can look at medium and big organisations and see what they are doing to keep afloat. They might have a business survival plan that includes partnering with other businesses or having a service that can help during the pandemic. Seeing what you can offer your customers during this time can be an effective way to bring more money into your business.
When faced with challenges or when you see the coronavirus cases rising and considering what this means for your company, you may reconsider the product or service you’re offering. During this time, you must avoid producing substandard products or services as your customers will take note of that. And it can be detrimental to your business. Even if it may seem like you’re cutting back on costs, it does not guarantee that you will get the financial performance you are looking for or need.
When cutting back on your expenses, the key is to ensure that you aren’t wasting money. It’s to see if you can downsize your business yet still produce the quality that your customers know. Customer behaviour has significantly changed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers are trying to reduce spending and save more to adapt to the financial impact of the virus. This means that customer loyalty will be dependent on the quality you produce, not familiarity or customer relationship. So always be sure to strive for quality.
While it may seem risky to apply for business finance during these trying times, it can be a worthwhile calculated risk. If your income statement is showing that you aren’t managing, it may be time to utilise a business loan. It will be hard to find angel investors right now as everyone is trying to save money, and it won’t be advisable to invest. But finance for small businesses can come in handy.
This is, of course, if you know what you will be using the money for. And if you are sure that the business loan you take out has an effective way of helping your business survival strategies. For example, if you wish to grow a part of your business, or see a niche market during the pandemic, then having the finances to make it a reality can be helpful. Or if you wish to purchase newer equipment to improve productivity, then applying for asset finance for small businesses will be helpful. When seeking funding, you must ensure that it will help your business in this financial rut – not make things worse.
While the survival of your business may take center stage during COVID-19, you need to take care of your employees during this time. Your staff is the lifeblood of the company, and without them, it will be challenging to produce or even make a profit. With that being said, keep them in the loop of what is happening within the company; progress, new processes, and offer additional support that they may need.
This will ensure you keep the work morale up, even during these challenging times, and ensure that everyone is still on the same page. It can be so easy to put them on the back burner as they are more than capable of doing their job. But checking in on them and keeping them updated is just as important, especially if they’re working from home.
Even in this uncertainty, there will always be room for improvement. Why not use this time to find a new niche for your business in your industry, or even outside of your industry. There may be a product or service that your organization can offer now that is still aligned with your business. For example, many retail and food services companies have found a way to deliver to their customers. This offers customers convenience, which is needed during this time. So, brainstorm and find your niche in this new world.
It’s important to continue to build customer relationships during times of distress. Connect with your customers and be empathetic when they make contact with you or have a query. If your customer or potential customers have an issue or need information, make sure that your employees take proper care in building a lasting relationship. This is what will set you apart from the rest and ensure that your customers continue to work with you when this all passes. Customers will remember the businesses who treated them properly during such times, and they will be more likely to spend their hard-earned money on your company.
Running a business will always have hardships, and unfortunately, right now, no one knows how long this pandemic will be around or what the future will hold. But it’s important to find ways that will ensure business success and survival. We hope that our advice will help you keep your company afloat during this time and after the COVID-19 pandemic.