It’s no secret that 2020 hasn’t exactly been kind to small business owners. The nonstop shutdowns and economic decline have left many small business owners with few financial options. Should you close up shop and weather the pandemic? Or try to stay open and provide products or services to your customers some other way? Whatever you decided to do during the lockdown, the process was no doubt a struggle with your business.
Now that businesses are being allowed to reopen in cities all across the country, you may be wondering how to keep up inventory, build your brand, and even expand your workforce to meet the new surge in demand. Today, we’ll talk about how you can jump-start your business and get back in the game, even while working with a tighter budget.
Step 1: Get your team back in action
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Sadly, many small business owners were put in the difficult position of having to lay off many of their valuable employees during the tightest phases of the lockdown. So, if you’re trying to surge back into business as things reopen, the first thing you’ll likely have to do is build out your team again. Doing so on a budget may be hard, so here two critical options you can take:
- Rehire your old team: a simple way that you can get your team back to full strength is to simply rehire the team that you had to let go once lockdowns went into effect. No retraining costs necessary, and fewer mistakes due to rookies new on the job.
- Make strategic new hires: if your old team has found new work or won’t come back to your business for other reasons, you have the opportunity to hire new employees. Luckily, jobs are scarce these days, so you’ll likely have your pick among top talent. Make the process even more budget-friendly by using a free employment background check when making new hires.
Step 2: Assess the market
Markets are extremely uncertain these days, with ups and downs sure to be on the horizon in the near future. That said, a little bit of research can go a long way. If your small business is re-entering the market for the first time in a month or two, you might be surprised how much things have changed since you were last active. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you assess the market specifically to your business’s products or services, to ensure you don’t go over-budget:
- Online sales have gone through the roof. Even though plenty of retail locations have begun opening back up, many consumers are still nervous about the safety of heading into a store to buy non-essential goods. If you don’t have a robust online sales and delivery platform, now is the time to build that out.
- People are nervous about non-essential spending. With little to no government assistance in sight, people are choosing to save the cash they do get from unemployment or via a stimulus check. That means they’re less likely to spring for something non-essential.
- Some products and services are doing extremely well. If you sell textiles, making your own masks can be a great way to cash in on everyone’s desire to be safe and trendy. The same goes for breweries and distilleries, making hand sanitizer, and entertainment companies producing viral streaming content.
Step 3: Prepare for round 2
Many businesses were caught off guard by the sudden sweeping shutdown orders they faced. It seemed it was a matter of weeks between the days when most people thought the coronavirus would remain mostly in China, to the US becoming the world leader in cases and deaths.
With so many businesses reopening and no vaccine or extensive test and trace program planned in the near future, the best bet is that the virus will have a strong resurgence in the coming months, especially once flu season starts up again. As a small business owner, the wisest move you can make is to protect your small business in advance. If you were planning an expansion to your business or trying your luck with a new line of merchandise, now might be a good time to hold off instead. Wait to weather the storm once again, keep savings flush, and keep an eye on case numbers.
With the right planning, you’ll be able to keep your business open and ready to operate once the virus is cured.
Featured Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay