No Cash, No Supplies, and No Customers? Don’t give up because you can still survive this pandemic from hell.
Not to toot my own horn, but I work with an organization that helps small businesses with financial management, and we have successfully helped many businesses stay afloat even during the worse economies. Therefore, I have it on good authority that you, too, can survive the pandemic if you follow a few simple steps.
1. Stay Realistic
Take a deep breath and understand that the crisis is global. It is not just your business that is affected. Every small business on earth is facing the same situation. Therefore, you can expect leniency and leave from your clients, suppliers, vendors, and other businesses.
For instance, reach out to your landlord and ask for deferred payment on rent, since he knows it’s a pandemic, chances are they will understand and accept deferred payment. Similarly, you can get supplies at credit, discounted practices, or installments as your supplier will probably be happy to keep you as a client after the pandemic is over.
The key is to remain calm and arm yourself with survival strategies, however short-term, with rather than panicking and losing hope.
2. Get Ready for a New Way of Doing Business
Stop trying to make your pre-COVID strategies work for you during the pandemic; they are not giving to give you any benefits today. Start from scratch, called “zero-based planning.” Consider as if you are starting a new business with the present assets in hand. The virus is so unpredictable that it’s better to prepare for every possible scenario and not rely on hopes of betterment anytime soon. Get ready for the worse situation and plan accordingly. I would suggest that you plan a thoroughly new strategy from day one instead of trying to trim your old strategy and adapt it to the current situation.
3. Seek Out Government Resources
Every government is now taking steps to support small business owners. I know this is a stressful situation, but your government is trying to help you. Therefore, instead of panicking, get up and start researching for financial support by local, state, and the federal government.
In the USA, SBA offered a bailout package to small business owners to help them survive the pandemic. Similarly, the government is also offering 0% interest loan for SMEs to tide them over till they get back on their feet.
Similarly, governments around the world have passed bills to help small businesses stay afloat. They have allowed SMEs to:
- Pay deferred utility bills
- Pay bills in installments
- Extended the tax deadline
- Waived taxes for this year altogether
- Extended a payroll tax holiday
4. Look for New Opportunities
The virus might be an opportunity for you to explore new things. Put most of your efforts into designing new cost-cutting strategies—research for the machinery that can cut down costs. Try offering your products via digital means. This will automatically trim your cost and make you visible in front of potential clients.
For instance, investing in an e-commerce store and developing an online retail strategy is a great example. You can also consider social media for promoting your website and generating leads. Consider digital marketing and look for online ads for promoting your products.
5. Train Your Staff
Not only the work, but the way we work has also changed and so upskilling the staff is essential. The business cannot rely on in-store sales. Thus, the staff needs to be trained in online selling. For instance, if you are setting up an e-commerce store, train the staff for giving exceptional online customer service.
Similarly, you should have a skilled team for boosting the sales of your online store. There should be a person handling your social media accounts, recording online orders, and placing new products on the store. All such training can be given via Skype or Zoom. Apart from it, YouTube channels are also a reliable source to provide training in different domains.
6. Look at Your Competitor’s Strategy
One smart way to come up with a robust plan is to look at industry practices – see what your competitors are doing and then develop a rivaling plan. Notice their social media presence and see how they are coping with the current crises. Similarly, have a look at their pricing strategy. If they have recently decreased their prices, you also have to do the same for staying on the same track. Likewise, see if they are providing any free service or add-ons. You should have a good knowledge of what is going on in the market to survive.
7. Create a Survival Plan
Finally, develop a plan for survival by identifying the specific problems your business faces, the possible options to overcome these problems, and make strategic choices. Here a few things you should consider:
– Redesign the Business
If there is no demand for your current business in the market shaped by COVID, then change your business model. An excellent example of redesigning business is in the cleaning industry. During COVID, residential cleaning businesses took a hard hit as people stopped booking professional cleaners for fear of infection and lockdown.
On the other hand, the demand for commercial cleaning businesses soared as hospitals, nursing homes, government buildings, and other public places required more rigorous cleaning than ever before. Recognizing this opportunity, many residential cleaning businesses acquired commercial cleaning licenses to remain afloat.
A representative from a Carpet Cleaning Kent facility shared that residential businesses who had the foresight to obtain a commercial contract have survived the worst of the economic woes. What is more, they have developed a new business side under pressure, and they can expand it once the pandemic is over.
– Set A New Budget
Things are no more the same, so you need a new budget. You need to revamp your financial plans. So, create your financial statements for the crisis period.
From cost-cutting steps and overdue bills to decreasing cash flow and financial projections, you need to plan everything from scratch. A coherent survival plan is enough to safeguard your small business during these tough times. Here are the key things that should be on your fingertips:
- Solid digital strategies
- Cost-cutting methods
- Securing capital to run the business
- Consumer-engagement methods
- A well-trained team
Survival is not impossible when you have a competent plan to fight with the crises. Instead of using your assets, try investing in digital strategies by cutting your costs. Keep trying consistently, and your business will survive for sure!