Today’s situation is an anxiety-filled moment for businesses all over the world. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses of all sizes are quickly adapting to the new norm of transactions to stay afloat. Sadly, many small businesses are still struggling, if not closing their doors, due to the lack of resources to survive.
Whether the pandemic ends within a month or stretches into the year, small business owners must reassess, buckle down and make changes to their current strategy to weather the pandemic.
Educate Your Staff on the Best Practices
In the current climate, apart from growing their other skills further by enrolling them in SkillsFuture courses, it’s about educating them on how to keep safe and work efficiently — whether they are at home or at the office.
The pandemic has created so much hype from the media that many employees do not have accurate information on how they can keep themselves safe. Protect them by staying up-to-date with current news from reputable sources so that they are always informed. Remember: they need your leadership now more than ever. Avoid assuming that they know what to do.
Safeguard Your Facility to Minimize Transmission in the Office
Safeguarding your facility protects your staff and customers from COVID-19. It also reassures everyone that you are taking proper precautions and prioritizing their safety.
Simple steps you can take include requiring people who enter the building, store or office to undergo a temperature check, use sanitizer and practice social distancing. Another way to minimize transmission on-site is to promote remote work. Determine members of the team capable of working from home and provide them with the right equipment, so they can be productive even at home.
Assess Your Finances and Plan the Budget Again
Look at where your business is currently spending money and identify areas where expenses are avoidable. Think about the rent, excess marketing, the size of your company and other expenses that can be reduced without affecting the quality of your products and services. Many businesses run with plenty of excesses, which is why now is the best moment to gain a leg up by determining your excesses.
Start by determining if you can optimize your burn rate. Consider if there are areas where you can reduce spending and make up for them by increasing your effort. All optimizations, however, should be well-thought through.
Adapt to Current Market Trends in a Complementary Way
Current market trends are already difficult to predict, especially during the pandemic. Still, this can work to your advantage if you spend time in understanding the current landscape of the market and the world. This enables you to improve your business’s current position.
Maybe a brand repositioning is ideal during this climate. Perhaps, it’s time for your business to provide products and/or services more remotely. Maybe now is the time to upgrade your business software. If you can capitalize on these today, then when the lockdown measures are lifted, you have a new stream of revenue or are capable of creating a new business trend.
Study Your Competitors
Some businesses thrive during the pandemic; others are suffering more. Study the ones that seem to be surviving the current climate and learn from them. Look at both of your direct and indirect competition for a better understanding of which strategies are effective. While some business strategies will not apply in all industries, use what you can and customize these strategies to your needs.
There are many opportunities to adjust the positioning and macro strategy of your business to match your competitors. If you understand how the competition works during and after the crisis, you can gain a competitive advantage once businesses resume.
Study Your Customers
Short-term thinking is a trend during the pandemic but mid-term planning matters too, especially if it’s about your customers. Are your consumers going to change how they decide or purchase once COVID-19 ends? Will they still use your services? Will they still purchase products online or visit stores?
Consider what traditional business models are going to do once “things return to normal.” For example, the limited capacity of airplanes, cruise lines and theaters. Each sector must consider how the traditional business model will play during the new normal. Similar to these business sectors, consider how your business must shift strategies and models accordingly.
Never Stop Improving
Another important thing you can do right now is to stay healthy. Listen to what medical experts say. Practice social distancing and stay at home if you can. Following these guidelines keeps you safe from the virus.
While the free time might seem like a setback, use them to improve yourself as an entrepreneur. Read up on advice from experts, research on other businesses and more.
The pandemic need not stop you from achieving your business’s full potential. Continue what you do best and improve on what you can.