The spread of the Coronavirus in the past few months has had an almost paralyzing effect on the world. In the face of this new reality, many businesses have been forced to temporarily suspend their operations, while others have had to set up systems to allow their employees to work from home. These harsh circumstances have made small businesses and startups more vulnerable to failure.
However, this does not mean that these ventures must fail. The mark of a strategic entrepreneur is their ability to navigate a crisis, and Covid-19 is no different. With the right measures, these businesses will be able to return to near-normalcy after it subsides.
So what can entrepreneurs do?
1. Improve customer relations
One of the ways you can work this crisis to your favor is to improve how you relate with your customers. Find ways to prioritize them and let them know that you care. This can be done by offering them any form of support within your means.
Despite these hard economic times, do not hike your prices. Instead, offer discounts or additional services that you wouldn’t normally do.
If you’ll be forced to close down for a while or scale back, let your customers know but find other ways to keep them engaged. Share information about the virus, how they can keep safe and how your services may improve their lives during and after these unprecedented times.
This will leave a lasting impression on your customers and will instill a sense of loyalty to you and your brand.
2. Take control
Although this pandemic has caused a change in the economic landscape, your business does not have to be entirely at its mercy. Make use of your pre-set contingency plan or draft it if you don’t have one already. This plan can help protect you and your employees and help prevent you from bleeding resources. This plan should also include a back-to-business plan that will come in handy while navigating the business scene once order is restored.
Since bigger businesses operating in your industry have been forced to shut down, they’re directing less money to acquire new customers. Use this reduced competition to direct new customers your way.
If you can, create a work from home plan. Just because you cannot open your physical business premises doesn’t mean you should not be operational. Use resources such as Zoom to keep in touch with your employees and clients to ensure a smooth transition into this new business environment.
After the pandemic is controlled, having the ability to work remotely still gives you an edge over your competition. Set up your e-commerce store on platforms such as Shopify and keep offering products to your customers.
The faster you get back to business, the easier it will be for you to bounce back.
3. Innovate! Innovate! Innovate!
The reality is, the lull in the global economy might affect your business negatively. Even after the wave of infection passes, it may take you a while to get back to your old operational level. But amid a disaster, there is always room for new opportunities, which is why this is the best time to flex your innovative muscle.
That idea you have been ruminating over? Make it into an executable plan and implement it. Follow new leads, find new channels of revenue and improve existing products.
This can also be the best time to be disruptively innovative. The market will not remain unchanged at the end of this pandemic, and this may hurt your business once you resume operations. So, you can use this opportunity to rethink your whole business model and come out of this crisis a whole different business ready to offer more value to your customers.
4. Make use of social media and other digital platforms
Social media and content marketing are the new trends that have taken the business world by storm. If you have not established an internet presence for your business, this is the best time to do so. Now that most people are working from home, they have more time to scroll through their phones as they look to connect with their loved ones online or for entertainment.
The New York Times reports that there has been a 27% increase in Facebook usage since the virus broke out. Your customers now have the time to read your marketing emails and scroll through your posts on Instagram, so do not let this time go unutilized.
If your blog has become defunct, revive it and use it to post information relevant to the current situation. Drive up engagement and boost traffic to your social media pages. Find new ways to connect with your audience. Create a newsletter, a podcast or even a webinar.
Your efforts will not go unrewarded.
5. Communicate with stakeholders and investors
The financial panic associated with a global pandemic is not unfounded. Your stakeholders and investors will want to know how you plan on safeguarding their investment. Take a proactive approach and reach out to them. Explain your short term and long term plan to keep your business afloat.
Establishing an open channel of communication and trust will improve your future business relations.
Seeing how well you handle a crisis will make your current and potential investors more confident to invest their resources into your business even post-Covid-19.
6. Concentrate on safety in the workplace
Once your government gives the green-light to resume operations, do so with the utmost caution. There have been numerous reports of surges of infection after some countries reopened businesses.
Therefore, when your team finally resumes work from office, ensure that you are compliant with the stipulated safety measures to prevent endangering the lives of your employees and customers. You can do so by:
- Increasing the frequency of the cleaning of your premises
- Up on soap, disinfectant and sanitizers
- Giving your sick employees time off so they don’t infect others
- Preventing crowding within your premises
- Asking anyone who comes into your business to wash their hands frequently
Abiding by the set regulations will put your employees at ease and help them focus their collective energies on mitigating the effects of the pandemic on your business.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be felt long after it passes. Small businesses and startups should therefore brace themselves for tougher times ahead. However, with the right coping mechanisms, they can power through this difficult period and remain profitable.
Did you enjoy reading this blog?
This content has been written by top writers available on FastContent, Ureed.com’s newly launched content marketplace.
If you would like to order highly-converting and leads-generating content and receive it in 24 hours or less, click here to place a request.
Fast-order great content today!