While most of corporate America is struggling due to the pandemic, SMEs are the ones who have taken a pretty bad hit. However, despite the havoc wreaked by COVID-19 on businesses and the economy, in general, SME owners remain optimistic about what the future holds for them.
Initially, the coronavirus hit us all unexpectedly, which led to several shops going out of business a few weeks after the lockdowns were implemented. Even major industry players like JCPenney, Chisholm, and Gold’s Gym weren’t spared as they were some of the big-name corporations that filed for bankruptcy due to the pandemic.
Whether you’re a retail shop owner, a lawyer, gastroenterologist, or roof installer, you suffered when the coronavirus hit. According to a survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management, 75% of small business owners now feel that if another crisis as bad as COVID-19 hits us, they are better prepared to handle it this time.
We have listed down a few simple things you can do to help you navigate COVID-19, whether you’re a struggling brick-and-mortar business owner or you have an online business that’s experiencing a surprisingly high volume right now.
All of us have been affected by the pandemic one way or another. We all need encouragement, inspiration, and guidance now. Don’t be afraid to virtually reach out to fellow business owners and entrepreneurs for advice or comfort. We’re all in this together. This is when the community can help out one another and bring the best out of each other.
While you’re working on boosting your morale, don’t forget to communicate with your clients and customers, too. They need to hear from you about how you’re doing and how your business has made the necessary adjustments under the new normal.
This gives them greater confidence to bring their money back to your business if they know you’re doing all you can to protect them and your staff from the threat of the disease.
The pandemic has upended our previous way of life and has thrust all of us into very unfamiliar territory. At this point, a little ingenuity and resourcefulness will do your business some good.
Ask yourself, how relevant are your products and services to the community now? Are you trying to force yourself and your brand in a situation where they don’t fit?
Perhaps you can evaluate what you’re doing and reach out to your customers about what they think would be helpful to their situation. Come up with new approaches to help meet people’s unique needs.
Don’t be afraid to think out of the box and reinvent your brand. If you’re running a restaurant, do you need to go the route of curbside pick-ups and deliveries for the rest of the year, or can you provide other options for your customers to enjoy your food differently? Are you a retail shop that needs to transition to an online platform? Now’s the best time to get your creative juices flowing and do some reinventing.
Boost your online presence
Lastly, as the lockdown and social distancing have pushed everyone to make their way to the digital realm, consider following suit. Like it or not, e-commerce is already a big part of the new normal. Even as the states reopened, most folks still prefer to do their shopping online. This gives them a greater sense of control over their health and welfare.
Is your website in need of an upgrade? Get to it immediately. Devise a strategy to use social media to put you in a good position within a competitive market. Work on improving your site’s content. The sooner you make the transition to the digital realm, the better it will be for your business in the long term.
At present, there is still no cure or vaccine for the vaccine. Until we get to that breakthrough, we need to adapt and learn to make the most of what we have on hand if we want our business to make it.