Post COVID-19 Advice: 5 Tips To Get Your Small Business Back On Track
The COVID-19 pandemic has been shaking the business world for several months now and its consequences are yet to be felt. Among the most affected are the small businesses with an incredible 99% according to Business Insider. The key reason for this is that SMBs don’t have the financial reserves to go through months of stoppage without consequences. The industries that suffered the most are hospitality and tourism, with travel cancelations due to the massive lockdowns globally. However, the new normal of keeping distance and stay-at-home measures caused many industries to face low consumer confidence, resulting in even lower demand.
In this new fierce reality, the “good” thing is that we are all in the same boat, and countries worldwide have been introducing various funds and financial measures to support struggling businesses. Check some loans and grant programs here for the USA and here for the UK.
Now when slowly but surely governments around the globe lift the lockdowns, re-open restaurants and shops and prepare the industries for the new normal, it’s time to make sure your exit strategy is ready and set. It doesn’t matter at what stage of re-editing your plan you are right now, we are here to help you do it. Just read what follows carefully.
1. Calculate your losses and see if eligible for getting financial support
The place to start with your strategy revision is going through the numbers and assessing the damage your small business has suffered. Start with the hard numbers and go over your profits and losses, as well as the cash flows. Next, make a comparison with the last year’s numbers and see how much your business has dropped. Now when you have the big picture, you can add some other things into the equation like customers that left, no new orders/reduced number of new orders. Then include some cuts you had to make like lower your marketing and advertising expenses etc. All these things you need to take into consideration to make a new action plan that will help you rebuild and recover your business. Since your profits and costs are not the same, it’s time to set a new business model and budget too.
2. Update your business model and budget
None has ever imagined the COVID-19 reality we have been facing throughout 2020, neither have you. Your business projections and model may have worked perfectly before the crisis, but now they need some revisions.
Apart from spotting what’s working and what doesn’t, try to think beyond the challenges and detect fresh opportunities. What I mean by this is, if you relied on face-to-face communication for sales, now it’s time to go virtual. Your customers, your potential customers, your competition, everyone is online, make sure you take advantage of that.
Keeping your budget as lean as possible is a must. Once you understand fully where you are standing, you need to plan where you can make cuts to make the most of your revenue. Get rid of any extra costs, as every cent counts in a post-global pandemic period. If this looks too complicated for you, we can help! Contact us today and we’ll help you get started!
3. Adjust your brand message and the entire marketing strategy
Your brand message and marketing strategy needs adjusting. If you haven’t done it yet, start now. Depending on what your products and services are, keep to the core values. Why does your business exist, what does it solve? Try to relate these to positive messages and connotations. Remind your audience about your whys and keep them updated. Even if it’s fashion and not necessary at the moment, you can go with slogans like comfort never goes out of fashion.
All of your marketing efforts need some fine-tuning too. Plan, prepare, and then execute. If you can’t afford paid ads and campaigns, see what your free choices are. Keep your content marketing alive (read why here), be present on social media especially on the platforms that your customers use most. Plan and prepare some freebies! In a post-COVID-19 period, everyone loves free stuff. The FREE part of your offering is crucial. For example, don’t offer a 50% discount, but buy one, get one FREE option.
4. Take care of your people even if you have a handful of employees
Most small businesses have several key employees who may function as a family. Every person is important and may conduct several roles. When going for cuts and reductions and keeping your budget lean, think twice before firing your employees. Sometimes you have to go with layouts, but don’t make it to be your first choice.
You need to have people on board in the post-COVID-19 period and you need them to prepare your business for the new reality. Instead of layoffs, try all other options as funds and measures provided by the government and maybe financial aid available. In case there is no other way, do it professionally and with a lot of heart. These are tough times and even tougher when unemployed.
5. Continue with sales but with a brand-new way of doing the old craft
We are facing a new reality, thus a fresh approach in sales is essential. The first step to take is to connect with your customers. Do it on the phone, via email or any means you believe is the most appropriate. Ask them how they are doing and learn of your customers on how to continue with sales and approach new customers. Don’t force them into anything, just be present, and be there for them. The tactics you can’t go wrong at this time is email marketing and presence on social media. Cold outreach can be done to but in a way more personalized manner.
Think of your customer first and offer help instead of just placing your product and service and listing the price. Do it in a far more personalized way. This is not a novel approach but now it is a must. You need to adapt the way you approach and treat your customers and all of your efforts need to be customer-centric.
We are here to help you do your best after the COVID-19. If you’re struggling and need any advice, reach out! The first consultation is on us! Schedule your FREE one-on-one call today to help you get your business up and running!