The coronavirus is a world disaster on more than one level. Right now, more and more people are getting sick.
Even though the situation seems scary, we have to trust our hard-working healthcare workers who are giving it their all to curve the pandemic and come up with a cure. Thanks to the advanced society we live in, it’s evident that it’s just a matter of time before the pandemic is over. However, that doesn’t mean life will immediately go back to the way it was.
The economic recession is near and we must do our best to stop or at least delay it. Central banks and governments all over the world are already on the case with huge relief bills for businesses. This is good news for anyone with a small business, as you might not have to close after all. Be prepared that things are going to be slow for a while, but that’s better than closing your company down.
You don’t even have to rely just on your government and central banks to take initiative and help. It’s important that you take advantage of the situation as much as you can and look for creative ways to help your small business.
1. Cut all unnecessary operations
There are a lot of things that make up your business, but not all of them are needed right now. You should take a long look at your budget and figure out what parts are not essential to the production process.
Your overhead costs and some employee benefits can be taken away until the situation improves. That money can be used for something else. For example, you can temporarily revoke your employees’ gym memberships since gyms aren’t even working right now and everyone is in isolation.
If you rent your office space, you can ask the landlord to lower your rent or strike up a deal to only pay the bills. If you decide to ask the whole team to work from home, this can end up saving you a lot of money. Another good idea is to cut your budget for offline marketing. Since everyone is quarantined and all of the major things outside are closed, there’s no point in wasting your money on offline marketing.
None of your audience is going to see your efforts, anyway. You can either save this money or use it for your digital marketing campaign since this is the best way to reach your customers in the given circumstances. If you're from Australia consider finding a professional Melbourne AdWords agency.
2. Ask your government for help
As we have already mentioned, the government and central banks are looking for ways to help small businesses and offering them relief funds.
If you’re in need of more money to keep your doors open and pay your employees, as well as provide for your family- there’s no reason you shouldn’t turn to the government for help. Keep up to date with all the latest fund information about businesses and find a way to get in touch with the representatives.
Keep in mind that a lot of people will be applying for the same benefits, so don’t be upset if you have to wait a little longer than you anticipated for someone to help. The important thing is that you’ll get the help you need eventually and that everything will be okay.
The less you panic and the more professional you behave, the better success you’ll have at obtaining the funds and getting on with your business. If you’re not sure how all of this works, it’s always a good idea to ask people who have had small businesses for longer for some advice.
3. Online shopping should be mandatory
If your business doesn’t have an online shop, now is the perfect time to introduce one. Whatever you may produce, you can ship to the people in your city or country via the mail.
This also helps the economy keep going and supports the post office. These people need the work as much as you do, so by introducing an online shop, you’re helping everyone involved.
When designing your online shop, make sure that it’s simple to use because not all of your customers will be tech-savvy. As well as that, you should ensure the store is well-designed in terms of aesthetic appearance. Experience has shown that online shops with a lot of aesthetic appeals are more liked among customers.
Make sure that your new website for selling can withstand a lot of traffic, too. Once your customers hear they can get your products online and start visiting it, there will be a lot of people doing their shopping at the same time. If your website crashes or doesn’t load fast enough, you’ll be losing a lot of business.
The average consumer today likes to obtain everything quickly and will look for a different business if you can’t meet their needs quickly enough. Of course, if you want to bring your webshop to a whole new level, you can always follow some other important UX design principles. Remember, the happier your customers are, the easier the situation is for everyone and the more business you get.
You can even go a step further and fully include delivery and make it contactless. It may be a bit out there, but even before this situation, some companies started using drones for delivery. This does not mean you should go all out and buy an army of drones, but might be worth experimenting in these times. It does not have to be a big investment, you can find the best drones under 500 dollars to suit your needs.
4. Don’t force your workers to show up
If your workers aren’t feeling well, they should know they can stay at home. Instead of forcing everyone to show up every day, you should let your workers only show up if they’re feeling healthy. As well as that, you should disinfect the office daily so as to make sure the virus is gone. If your business allows it, switch to at-home operations.
This way, your workers can still go on with their work without exposing themselves to the virus on their way to the office. It only takes a second to get infected, and by telling your employees to stay home, you’ll be saving lives.
Finding a way to adapt your business operations to the internet will make the age of the pandemic much more bearable.
5. Be considerate to others
Solidarity is the one thing that we all need right now. Knowing that we’re all in this together will help us all get out of the situation the best that we can. In business terms, this means you should work on actively supporting others.
Right now, nobody is your competition. We’re all just trying to feed our families and come out of this alive. That means that you should be a responsible customer, just like you’re a responsible business owner.
Don’t forget to be extra kind to those working the front lines. Of course, you can’t support healthcare workers are police officers directly, but you can listen to their advice. Keep up your hygiene, stay indoors, and respect every new safety decision they make. If you want to show your support directly to other businesses, choose grocery stores. Respect all the rules inside, wear protective gear, and be sure to thank the cashiers.
We often forget how valuable they are in these trying times. After all, they’re the ones constantly exposing themselves to the illness so that you can get your food. Be sure to tell them how much you appreciate their hard work. Of course, remember to do this from a 2 metre or wider distance.
6. Ask for patience
People today are used to having everything at the snap of their fingers. The current situation will be hard for most simply because they won’t get the services and goods they want as soon as they want them.
What people need to understand is that most businesses are doing the best that they can. After all, they, their employees, and their families are suffering too. This is their livelihood. So, while you get things sorted out, you should ask your customers for some patience.
Don’t keep them in the dark about what’s going on, either. You should inform them that you’re working on things and that you’ll tell them about them as soon as you have any updates. This will show your audience that you’re thinking about them and that you’re not going to leave them hanging.
People are much more likely to be patient when you tell them that things are underway. As well as that, they’re less likely to replace you with another similar business because they know you’re going to keep providing services. Nothing is left to guessing.
7. Take out a loan
One of the ways you can support your own business is by taking out a loan. Everybody understands the current situation so you can find the best low rate personal loans much more easily than usual. Taking out a loan will help you meet your business expenses and minimize collateral damage when it comes to your workers.
The fewer people you fire, the better things will be for the economy after the pandemic is over. As well as that, the smoother your business will run when things come back to normal.
Some business owners are reluctant when it comes to taking out loans, but this is a special situation where you really have few other choices. The best part is that you’ll have enough money to pay off the debt after the virus passes.
Essentially, think of this as an investment in the future of your business. Of course, the loan won’t solve all of your problems and you’ll still need to act responsibly, but it will definitely help move things along.
8. Encourage the community to shop locally
Now is the time to prioritize local ads and marketing. Connecting to the local audience is what’s going to save your business and make the coronavirus pandemic easier to handle. The community should support you and your business now more than ever. It’s your job to emphasize this and remind everyone why you are so amazing.
The good news is that the local community doesn’t have a lot of choices. They can’t really shop online and order things now when most borders are closed and the whole world is focused on containing the pandemic.
This means that the local audience will already have an open mind towards supporting local businesses. All you have to do is show them you’re here for them in their time of need with your services and products.
9. Switch to delivery
If you’re selling products or work with food- don’t shut down. You can still keep your doors open if you switch to delivery. This way, your restaurant or other venue isn’t open for the public, but they can still enjoy what you have to offer in self-isolation. This will help encourage people to stay indoors, but will also help you minimize losses. In fact, you can have your existing employees do the deliveries so nobody loses their jobs.
One way to ensure that nobody gets infected even with delivery is to provide your workers with protective gloves and masks. As well as that, you can add the option of people paying for their goods via credit card. This way, the delivery person can just leave their goods in front of the door and knock.
The customer and the delivery person never have to meet or touch, thus successfully keeping the virus away from both of them. When contactless paying isn’t available, remind your employees to stay 2 meters away (6 feet) from the person opening the door. As well as keeping your delivery person safe, this will also help the customer feel more comfortable.
As you can see, your business doesn’t have to completely fall apart due to the pandemic. These are trying times for all of us, especially in the economic sense, but if we don’t panic and take action now, we can minimize the effects of the economy.
Aside from worrying about your business and taking action to ensure it makes it out of the pandemic, you should also act responsibly towards your health. Conduct business remotely, stay isolated and plan for the future. This is the best way to stay sane and productive in a situation like this one.