The past few months have proved to the whole world that things change for the worst, really quickly, and the economy can collapse. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted billions of lives around the globe, including businesses and organizations of every level.
The virus was not an expected one; hence the consequences are also unprecedented to mankind. Not only were the small businesses impacted by the economic crisis, rather businesses of each and every scale are in this together.
The recovery for small businesses can be a critical task, the reason being a lack of working capital, insurance, and resources.
Impact of Coronavirus Crisis on Small Businesses
The outbreak has caused millions of people in the US out of a job. Multiple businesses have closed down either on temporary terms or permanently. Let’s have a look at how the current economic crisis has impacted the small businesses around the globe:
- Almost 24% of small businesses are shut down, temporarily
- Around 40% are likely to shut down in the coming weeks
- 43% believe they will have to completely shut down in coming 4-6 months
- Every 8 in 10 small businesses are concerned about the impact of the virus and how to recover
Although times are tough, as per Charles Darwin, survival is for those who learn to adapt. Businesses must also learn to adapt to the current situation and take this time as an opportunity to innovate. The agile model followed widely across organizations, lets you incorporate changes easily, and encourage innovation.
If you are a small business owner looking for ways to earn money and stabilize your business, amid the crisis, we have collected 5 useful tips for you:
Take Timely Action
In times of crisis, you must take rapid actions, following a proactive approach is better than a reactive one. Immediately cut down on finances and analyze the high-priority areas. If you had recently introduced any new aspect in your business, better hold it for some days to save the cost.
You must also be fully aware of how you can innovate your services depending upon the situation. For example, if you are a restaurant owner, rather than completely shutting down your business, you can introduce takeaway or home deliveries at an affordable rate to make it better for the customer.
You must think of innovation is a way that is a win-win situation for both you and the customer to sustain your business and earn while the situations are hard.
Communication is the key
With every passing day, new information is coming, and state-implemented laws are also modified. It is essential to stay updated and communicate your situation with your consumers or costumers. You must clearly communicate with your current customers as well as potential customers to maintain strong relationships.
If you had an event lined, you must communicate the new plan now to the audience. If you can digitally provide the same services, you must disclose that to the audience. Clear guidelines must be provided on your platform so that your communication with the client stays strong.
If you are shifting your business model for a short period, communicate it to your audience via social media, emails, newsletters, etc. Google is recommending to update your website and working hours accordingly, to help improve communication with the audience. Changing your current focus is fine as long as it is properly communicated to the audience.
Embracing The Digital World
More than anything that has been taught by the current pandemic is the importance of digitalization. A lot of things have already shifted online, however, many businesses still need to improve their digital integration processes.
Having a brick and mortar setup is fine, but you must think of ways to provide services digitally if you haven’t already. The reason why a lot of businesses are still floating is mainly that their online sales are still running.
Carpet Cleaning Dartford reported that they improved their online systems as soon as the lockdowns began. If you are a fitness coach, a dress designer, an educational institute, or even a restaurant owner, now is the perfect time to get an app or make a website to shift your services online. This way, you can create a channel for your audience as well as yourself to keep your business afloat.
Pivoting Your Business
It is not easy to pivot a small business; however, tough times call for tough decisions. Think of the current situation, it’s needs and requirements, and how you can make it relatable to the audience.
People are only looking for necessity and need-based items these days. You must focus on catering to people’s needs rather than a luxury based product.
The only fields that are in business during a crisis are:
- Food and beverages
- Medical and health
- Hygiene and personal care
A famous luxury brand LVHM has halted its production of regular items and started manufacturing hand sanitizers to fill the gap and need. Other renowned brands like Nike, Gap, Zara, etc. are actively working on the manufacturing of masks, PPE, and other essential items to bridge the gap of supply and demand.
It is also essential for you to evaluate and build the ecosystem again according to the ongoing situation and make a new plan. It is okay if things are not going according to plan, none of us could have predicted such a situation.
However, to cope up with the current crisis, reprioritize the essentials and think of your backup plans. If your main focus was on employee training in-store, you must now shift the focus on an online platform and train the employees accordingly.
A newer approach towards things will take time, however, the sooner you adopt, the better you can perform in terms of coping. Find eligible assistance online or through your government to sustain your cash flow.