Incredibly high unemployment figures. Businesses filing for bankruptcy. The economy paralyzed and people locked in their homes, saving every penny so they can put food on the table and pay their debts. That’s the reality we’re living in right now, when will this change? How long can we hold out in this situation?
We don’t have the answers to these questions yet, but the reality is that your small business doesn’t have to fail, these are not easy times, but it’s not impossible. The important thing is to keep your head up and look for ways to stay afloat. Here are some recommendations to help you keep your business alive until we can get back to normal.
1. Find the best way to connect with your customers virtually
Most large U.S. cities, and even some entire states, have ordered non-essential businesses to close their doors and have their employees work from home if possible, in order to decrease the speed at which this virus spreads. What can you do? You need to evaluate how to find ways to contact and reach new customers virtually.
For some businesses this is more difficult than for others, especially those who provide services, so you have to ask yourself, what services can you provide virtually? Should you make phone calls or maybe you’d better use a video-call? Can you do live streams to reach out more customers?
“A diamond is a chunk of coal that did well under pressure.”Henry Kissinger
2. Reinvent your business
This situation is new to everyone, and perhaps you never had the need to look for other sources of income or transform the ones you already own, but now it’s time to be creative and continue to generate sales.
It’s important to take a step back and evaluate your business from a global perspective. What is your business doing right now that you could do differently? How can you transform a product that has been affected into one that is in higher demand? Can you use any waste, which you used to dispose of, to make a new product?
We are seeing examples of this in all industries, like: car manufacturers are starting to build ventilators to assist the sick; companies in the textile area have started to manufacture protective masks for health workers; some breweries are using their alcohol and other chemicals to manufacture antibacterial gel. You can use all these examples to evaluate how you can change the dynamics of your business; you may not receive monetary compensation for these efforts, but it will create a strong community and positive outlook around your business.
Another option is to sell online, you may have considered it before but you didn’t have the time to set up your online store. Now is the ideal time to do it! As long as people continue to avoid personal contact, selling online will be the best option.
This simple action can create a new source of income that allows you to pay your employees and avoid closing your business completely.
3. Watch what others do
Your business is not the only one in this situation. If you have been affected, it is highly likely that your competitors in the industry are in the same situation. See and analyze what others are doing, how you can adapt it to your business, and take advantage of it. Use your social networks to communicate with your customers and receive feedback, “How can we improve?” “What can we do to help you?”