Let us start off with the blunt truth. A lot of businesses are going to die as a result of this pandemic. There are going to be businesses who did all the right things but had the horrible luck to open or run during the worst economic times most of us has ever seen. And there is no shame in having a rough patch or even a business fail during these times, as horrible as it is.
But that does not mean that business owners are completely helpless. There are steps which you can take to keep your business alive or even have it grow. It is time to rethink how you approach your marketing, sales, expenses, and just about every part of your business. Here are a few simple tips to consider so that businesses can keep things running while hoping that this will blow over sooner rather than later.
Do Not Fret about the future
This may sound like a strange tip, as it is true that some planning is going to be essential. You need to take stock of your business, devise what you can survive without over the short term, and make cuts which will hurt. And you need to plan for how to retain as many existing customers and gain as many new ones as possible.
But there are some guides like this marketing guide from HSMAI which talk about the importance of planning for the aftermath of this virus, and that is a fool’s errand. No one knows when this is going to end, and no one knows what the post-coronavirus world will like. You might as well detail a plan for what your business will be doing in 10 years for now. Focus on the present crisis and on each day at a time instead of making a plan which will not be executed for some time.
Communicate and Market
Long-time customers will want to know how your business is being affected by the pandemic. Will your business survive? Will your business have to close down due to government decree? If your business is operating, what changes will you be making to keep customers and employees safe?
Your business should use social media, emails, and websites to let customers know the answers to these and other important questions. Furthermore, online content marketing will be crucial tool to help customers and by extension yourself. Post updates about your business, how it is doing, and what it is doing to help in the local community. Check out the Content Marketing Institute for some further tips on content marketing. They’ve done fabulous work for a truck accident lawyer.
By giving advice and showing how your business is contributing, you will remind existing customers that you are still functional and that they should buy your services. Remember to make updates on a regular weekly basis at minimum.
Improve Operational Processes
If you find yourself with more free time as the result of the pandemic, you should be taking this time to educate yourself and learn new skills and concepts such as nutrition which can help you stay healthy. The same concept applies to businesses as well.
Every business has weaknesses. These can be areas for which you have no one who is well trained and which you have been jury rigging your way through as a result, or processes which exist out of inertia rather than a rational decision-making process. Hold an online meeting with your staff to discuss what weaknesses your business can address during this time.
Once you know your weaknesses, you can correct them. If you need more qualified staff, look for online training programs. Many training programs such as at Mashable are being offered now at steeply discounted rates during this pandemic. Otherwise, invest in new processes or areas such as cybersecurity or IT so that your business will be more prepared in the future.
We are living in a new, more dangerous world which means doing the same old thing is no longer good enough. We have seen businesses adapt to this crisis by making medical gel instead of alcohol, or medical masks instead of clothes. Even if your business cannot do those exact things, there are always ways to innovate and revamp your businesses in ways which will be more successful in this new world.
A successful business sells the products that its consumers want and not what it wants to sell. If you are not sure how your business can innovate, talk to your existing consumers online and through social media. Ask them what your business can be doing to better satisfy their needs, and compile the responses. Then work together with your employees to figure out what changes can be made to satisfy those responses, just like was done to improve your business processes.
None of this is going to be easy, and some businesses are going to be unable to adjust. But every business has a chance of failure. By making the right moves, you can give yourself better odds so that you can get past this disaster and embark on the road to recovery.