Can you believe it’s only been four months since 2020 started? Since the new year, so much has already happened in the world. With concerns of Nuclear War in January, then the biggest bushfires ever recorded in Australia having started the year off, we are now facing a new situation which is entirely unprecedented in our living history. The Covid-19 virus has taken its toll on people’s lives across the globe. Millions of people have already been infected, and hundreds of thousands have already died. The impact of the virus affects on people’s physical and mental health has been astronomical. It also has a huge impact on the world’s economy. And as much as large companies are struggling, small businesses are greatly affected by this pandemic mainly due to the lockdown; disrupted supply chain, forced closures, and significant drop in sales are just some of the many problems that small businesses are facing right now.
We are feeling exactly the same as you are right now – overwhelmed, anxious and uncertain of what the future holds. We have all put our hearts into our businesses, and none of us want our efforts to be put to waste by halting business without knowing when we can get back to normal. The good news is you actually have the option to continue operating. This pandemic is a make-or-break moment for business owners, and we can’t deny it’s one tough challenge for us business owners, but this is why we wrote this article: to help you get through it! So read on to learn how to survive your business during a pandemic like Covid-19
Transition to Online
The internet provides a lot of business solutions that we can take advantage of during this pandemic. We all know that we could be doing more online, but there’s never been a more crucial time to start. It’s like an alternative business environment for us; a second chance to continue our businesses. We can continue making transactions and working together on the internet. How exactly do we do it?
First tip: shift marketing budget to online platforms. With the lockdown, we bet everyone is online almost all the time! Take advantage of it by doing all your marketing online. Now is the time for digital marketers to shine. Do social media marketing, dynamic advertising, SEO, email marketing… The list is endless!
Second, you can continue working with your teammates online. You can use project management tools like Bitrix and ClickUp to manage your teammates productivity through workflows and tasks. You can monitor your teammates productivity through time tracking tools like Hubstaff. Conduct meetings online through tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts. Need extra manpower? Why not hire remote workers from Upwork? It’s all a matter of trying to connect with people online.
Third, if you want to continue selling physical or digital products, maybe it’s time to set-up an ecommerce website. This will serve as your online store. Ask help from a web developer to set-up an ecommerce website for you. If you don’t know anyone to help you, there are website builders like Wix that are very easy to use; simply drag-and-drop to design your own website! Our partners at Social Geeks are even offering FREE websites to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis, so check them out.
Was your restaurant forced to stop accommodating customers to eat-in? Luckily you can still deliver your food to your customers! Make your products available in food delivery apps like Menulog and Uber Eats so your customers can continue enjoying them at the comfort of your homes!
These are just some of the ways you can continue operating your business online! You can research for additional tools that you may need for your business. There is always something out there; take our word for it!
Be Transparent and Communicate!
Communication, both within your team, with your customers and clients, is very important. Think of your business as the human body: your cash flow is your blood that circulates within your body to keep you alive, while communication is your nervous system sends and receives vital information for your body to function properly. If you stop communicating with your stakeholders, your business is considered non-functioning. Let your customers and clients know that you’re still operating by issuing a public statement or even as simple as a social media post. Let them know the changes in your operations and its implications to them. When it comes to internal communication, be transparent with your teammates: how your business is doing, what the crisis means for your team, and how you plan to deal with the situation.
Businesses are now under scrutiny with regards to how we treat our employees and clients. Show your stakeholders that you care. Your teammates might have special needs that your business can provide: do they need flexible working hours? Do they need advance payment of their salaries? How about your clients, do you need to lend a hand with their special needs as well? Being able to respond with compassion during the crisis says a lot about you and your values as a business.
Run Special Promotions
A lot of business owners are tempted to stay silent during the crisis, but that is something we strongly do not recommend. Take this opportunity to make some noise in your market and offer special promotions. Offer discounts to your first time customers in your ecommerce website to encourage online sales. Give away gift vouchers to your service to encourage comeback of clients when normal operations resumes.
…However, Be Sensitive
It is important to note that people are very sensitive these days. Be careful with your content and prevent triggering negative feelings about the pandemic and your business. Make sure your tone is appropriate, does not encourage risky behavior, does not cause panic, and does provide value to your audience. While we recommend running special promotions, we want you to make sure that you don’t run insensitive promotions like “Covid-19 Sale”. That is completely inappropriate! If you have existing campaigns that might cause backlash like KFC’s “Finger Lickin’ Good”, it is safe to halt it in the meantime.
Rise to The Occasion
Lastly, in addition to showing compassion to your stakeholders, make a lasting impression about your business by making a positive impact. Support to causes by donating money, goods, facemasks or protective suits. Share valuable information in your website like infographics and articles about the crisis. You can even launch an extensive campaign on stopping the spread of the virus.
The Bottomline: These are just some of the ways you can survive your business during the pandemic. There are still a lot of tools and best practices out there that can be useful to your business. It’s all a matter of being resourceful. Cliche as it is but “if there’s a will, there’s a way!”
We hope you learned a lot from this article and we wish your business and your health well! If you know other ways to help business owners to continue operating during the crisis, comment them down below!