Author: Content Team Blog Posting
Saturday 24th July 2021 09:09 PM
5 tips for small businesses to survive in a pandemic
5 tips for small businesses to survive in a pandemic
The pandemic has been tough for everyone around the world. Unexpected and unprecedented, quarantine and the shift of the new normal has made it hard for businesses to operate under the pandemic. New rules and regulations have choked businesses, and brick and mortar shops have closed. Some 60% of business closures due to the pandemic have become permanent, too.
For entrepreneurs: don’t become complacent! Waiting and hoping the pandemic will not affect your business will end up making your company become the next casualty.
Large businesses certainly have the money to cushion themselves during this pandemic, but smaller businesses and startups may not. Because of this, here are a few tips for how small businesses can survive during this pandemic.
Learn how to speak online
Because of the pandemic, a business’ physical presence becomes scarcer as more people are quarantined at home. Due to this, online conferencing and digital platforms have received a major boom, with the Zoom app’s daily usage up by more than 370% in March 22, 2020. Microsoft Teams also saw almost 95 million users join their subscriptions in 2020, so video conferencing won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Entrepreneurs will have to learn how to master the art of video conferencing. Learning how to effectively pitch their sales online, provide informative customer service, and exercise online etiquette when necessary will be important both during the pandemic and post-pandemic, as the benefits of online conferencing becomes more well-known.
More potential customers may also be interested to see demos online, so online services such as website builders will have to reinvent physical demonstrations to online screen-sharing. Get comfortable with learning how to chat online, and make sure your internet is strong enough for smooth conversations!
A change in attitude
Before anything else, an entrepreneur should understand what they can change, and what they cannot. Risk and reward have always been a primary factor for an entrepreneur’s sink-or-swim relationship with business, so one must focus on the things that they can control.
• The pandemic cannot be controlled. However, you can control how well-equipped your employees and store is to keep yourselves safe from the disease.
• Customers have the right to stop going to brick-and-mortar shops due to the pandemic. However, you can provide alternatives to physical goods to still retain their business.
• The economy may provide challenges during this time. However, you can put the effort into changing your business strategies and save it from the circumstances.
This mindset change can kickstart some new motivation in recently-depressed entrepreneurs, and help focus one’s efforts on solutions, rather than obsessing over the obstacles.
Besides this, small businesses that hire employees should take care to safeguard the morale of their employees, such as stringent sanitisation periods, remote working schedules, or by being honest about the state of the business and what plans are made for the future.
Now, without further ado, here are the practical tips for how small businesses can survive during this pandemic.
Improve and innovate
Is there equipment rented that will end up becoming unused? Are there any physical stock that can still be returned? Can bills be put on hold temporarily?
During the pandemic, a lot of the norm for businesses are going to be disrupted, such as remote work, terminated supply chains, and stacking invoices. Check whether the vendors you rely on for your business are open to renegotiation, or switch to other vendors that offer more affordable prices. This way, your business can still live off your cash flow before the pandemic.
With the newfound expenses, invest the money into other means of service. Restaurants that cannot provide face-to-face table services have implemented more budget into takeout and delivery, in order to keep business going. Event halls have turned to livestreaming and online concerts to keep their reputation going, and to support the local arts.
Can your business do the same? Try innovating creative ways to go around the pandemic restrictions, while being safe and maintaining social distancing. For example, KX Pilates, a fitness brand, allows personal trainers to connect and do workouts with their clients through Zoom, which helps maintain the personal relationships they have built, and their customer loyalty. Trainers and customers can find workout buddies together on Facebook, and it has helped create a great overall community spirit.
Prioritise your employees
A business is only as good as it’s employees. Entrepreneurs simply cannot do everything at once, and good employees can make or break a company. Because of this, take careful consideration before deciding to lay off staff during the pandemic, especially in departments that may be hard to replace in your industry.
Entrepreneurs could consider letting themselves and their employees work from home, even if one is sceptical about its effectiveness. Despite concerns about employees mixing personal responsibilities at work or a fall in working ethic, statistics show the opposite, with a 4.4% rise in productivity. A 2015 study in a Chinese travel agency even shows that call-center employees that worked from home had feedback of reduced break times, sick days, and an increase of 13% of performance due to a more comfortable work environment.
The topic of “working from anywhere”, or “anywhere with a reliable internet connection”, has also been brought up. Work-from-anywhere (WFA) programs can be found in firms like SAP, a software company, and Akamai Technologies. Remote work seems to work, however, micromanagement by employers work negatively with performance, instead of positively, when it comes to remote work. It “reduces productivity, saps morale, sabotages collaboration and destroys both initiative and innovation.”
Besides that, due to the pandemic, it is a good practice to sanitise and wipe everything down in the office for anyone that still works on-site. Keep both yourself and your employees safe, and it builds trust, morale, and even customer trust!
Above all else, despite the world seemingly grinding to a halt in the wake of the pandemic, it doesn’t mean you should too. Learning never stops, and an entrepreneur should always be hungry for knowledge.
There are countless courses to be found online for free, with the majority of well-made, informative videos found on sites like YouTube. A lot of young entrepreneurs have documented their rise to success in video blogs (or vlogs), and there are always new skills, strategies, and ideas to be learned from them. Check out the current popular business self-help influencers, or watch some smaller channels, in order to gather as much information as you can and cross-reference them with each other.
E-books and literature can also be a great way to upskill yourself, especially if you prefer a more hands-on approach. Almost every entrepreneur has a book that they highly recommend, and I would suggest skimming through the lists and picking out books that are within your niche, industry, or weaknesses, to read online.
Robert T. Kiyosaki, author of the infamous Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, quotes: “The single most powerful asset we have is our mind. If it is trained well, it can create enormous wealth in what seems to be an instant.”
The pandemic has been one of the worst things that has happened to the world in decades. Everyone is still reeling from its impact despite it being nowhere close to slowing down.
There are still countless opportunities in the face of adversity, and small businesses should seize the opportunity to explore them during this time. With time, one should surely see their business flourishing again!
Get your small business up and running online with Tronserve today.