As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, business owners were caught off guard. For many, 2020 was going to be the breakthrough year, but as lockdowns are topical well into 2021, there is finding it hard to stay afloat. Luckily, you can utilize at least ten strategies to keep your business afloat during the pandemic.
Use the free time you were given wisely
Table of Contents
- Use the free time you were given wisely
- Curb your spending
- The market is still there
- Establish a strong online presence
- Do you know what your competitors are up to?
- Listen to your partners’ and clients’ needs
- Keep the spirits up
- Apply for financial assistance
- Delegate other tasks to employees
- The “new normality”
When it comes to the hospitality industry, “delivery” and “pickup” have become buzzwords during the pandemic. Restaurant owners aren’t wasting their time waiting for customers to return to in-house dining, so neither should you.
Unfortunately, you got a lot of free time you didn’t ask for as the business slowed down. However, you need to continue working the hours you worked before COVID-19, as this is actually a great opportunity to learn new skills or rebrand your business.
In the end, the whole situation might turn in your favor after the lockdowns are finally over.
Curb your spending
Many companies are experiencing an interruption to their cash, which does not go well with the bank. To stay in the green, you will have to curb your spending. Think about all places you can save money, from rent to marketing costs, and try to decrease them as much as possible.
Coincidentally, the crisis might render some aspects of your business unnecessary. Closing a brick-and-mortar store and going online will be a huge step forward. Plus, foot traffic has probably already decreased to an extent where the offline shop is no longer profitable.
The market is still there
Having experience market fluctuations, many entrepreneurs fall into despair, thinking that the market had all but disappeared. However, if you had a market and loyal shoppers before, they are still there, but trends have shifted.
The market shift was abrupt. You can still adapt to it just like you have adapted to previous market trends. For instance, you might want to expand deliveries to the national level, or you can start providing services remotely.
Although many folks have had to take pay cuts or are temporarily unemployed, the demand is still there. The challenge is to find novel ways to reach end customers. As mentioned earlier, going online is one of the ways you can adjust to present market conditions.
Establish a strong online presence
Speaking of the migration online, there are two things you require for establishing a strong online presence.
Firstly, you should launch a bulletproof online shopping platform that will enable shoppers to order everything you offer. In fact, this might be a nice opportunity to expand the assortment of products you offer.
On the other hand, you need to hold virtual meetings and organize hybrid events to improve internal and external communication. Last year you had promotion stands, but virtual events are today’s equivalent of such promotional activities.
Do you know what your competitors are up to?
You have probably kept an eye on your competitors long before the pandemic hit. They are in dire straits as well, so you can conduct short research to see which companies from your industry are doing the best.
Once you identify these businesses, try to discover the secret behind their success and try to emulate it. Examples of good business practices during the pandemic can come from all industries, as doing business has become more uniform these days.
Listen to your partners’ and clients’ needs
The reason why you might be losing business can be that you are simply not willing to listen to the present needs of your partners and clients.
Namely, business partners might be going through a rough patch as well, so reaching out to them would be a good business move to keep your business afloat. Perhaps you can rework the present deal you have to mutual benefit.
The same goes for clients, as the way people shop has changed dramatically over a single year. Conduct a short survey on your website (accompanied by a giveaway) to see how have your clients’ shopping preferences changed over the previous period.
Keep the spirits up
It might seem like an obvious suggestion but staying mentally strong is essential if you wish to keep your business afloat. Pandemic anxiety and depression are gripping an increasing number of people that even the World Health Organization thought they had to react.
It’s frightening when you don’t know what the future holds, but your business will hurt if you start panicking. You need to retain hope that things will go back to normal soon and work as if the pandemic will end tomorrow.
Apply for financial assistance
All levels of government, from federal to local, have designated funds to help struggling businesses. There is no reason not to apply for these funds, as you desperately require a financial injection to improve the aforementioned cash flow.
Delegate other tasks to employees
For business owners, the hardest part of the pandemic was when they had to lay off staff. Presuming you weren’t overstaffed at the beginning of 2020, firing folks who have worked for you for years should be avoided at all costs.
A far better tactic than cutting the payroll is to delegate new tasks to old workers. For example, after migrating your business online, a former offline store clerk can become a delivery driver or a packer. This way, they get to keep their job, and you don’t have to outsource shipping for a particular area.
The “new normality”
After the pandemic is over, the global market is bound to bounce back. However, it will be changed forever, as customers have already discovered new ways of shopping and allocating services. The “new normality,” as some people deem the post-COVID market, shouldn’t catch you off guard.
As lockdowns ease up, you need to retain a lot of shopping amenities available during the pandemic. They should be canceled consecutively as demand drops. On the other side, if your customers still prefer pickup points, for example, you should keep these shopping perks.
Now that you know better what you can do during the pandemic, it should be easier to keep your business afloat. Weathering the coronavirus storm won’t be easy, but you need to have faith in the future.
Featured Photo by Miguel Montejano from Pexels