Small businesses will be one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdown measures in place in Australia and all over the world, most small enterprises are forced to close down temporarily or operate on a very limited period. As a result, revenues have started to shrink and many are forced to make drastic business decisions.
The bigger problem for businesses during this time, though, isn’t the lost revenue or drastic decisions; it’s the uncertainty. With coronavirus updates flying in every minute, the situation is rapidly evolving. This breeds doubt among business owners because they don’t have concrete numbers and clear projections on which to base their decisions.
We understand the problem all too well. If you’re a small business owner, we have prepared a pandemic survival guide that you can tweak and adapt to fit your company and ensure that you will still have a business to run when all of this is over.
1. Communicate with your customers
With so much uncertainty everywhere, even your customers have fears. Though they are likely more concerned for themselves—how will they access your products and services in the midst of a crisis?—they are also indirectly concerned for your business, especially if you are forced to close.
The best thing to do is to alleviate their fears through communication. Describe to them how the pandemic has affected your business, how you’re handling it and how it will affect them. When they’re updated on what you’re doing, they will be less worried and more assured.
2. Shift your sales strategy online
You might think that the services of an SEO company aren’t relevant now, but you’re mistaken. Your marketing strategies shouldn’t stop just because your operations temporarily did. In fact, now is a good time to focus on your digital marketing efforts since most people are at home and online. The more present you are by producing relevant online content, the more your audience will remember you and how you helped during a time of crisis.
3. Take care of your staff
If you’re loyal to your employees, they will be loyal to you. As employees of a small enterprise, they are likely worried not just about their health but also their job security. So, try to be as understanding as possible and give them purpose during this time.
One thing you can do is to upskill your staff. You may offer virtual training sessions so they can develop additional skills that are necessary right now. This makes them more productive and it will not cost you a lot. As a result, you’ll have multi-skilled employees who are even more valuable for your company when this pandemic is over.
4. Plan for the future
The economic and social impact of the coronavirus will likely last for a while. Your suppliers, investors and business partners will be affected so it’s important to talk to them and strategise to keep your business afloat while the world settles down. In your planning, make sure to come up with a sound business continuity plan that you can turn to in case something unprecedented like this happens again.
The coronavirus pandemic presents many challenges to small business owners. But if you’re proactively looking for solutions and better ways to operate, your business can survive this crisis.