Small businesses are taking a huge hit in the Coronavirus global pandemic. Many of them have to become more agile about the way they do business, while others have switched gears entirely. Many are closed—hopefully temporarily—as the crisis unfolds.
Small businesses have to adapt to the new normal. No matter how long we’ll face COVID-19—from months to years—there are many ways small businesses can survive (and even thrive). Here are a few ideas you can try on.
Has the Coronavirus crisis negatively impacted your business goals and profits? Connecting with your VIP clients is an effective way to keep your digital doors open. Nonprofits should give exclusive updates to major donors. Freelancers should check in with their most profitable contracts. E-commerce owners can send special offer emails to their frequent customers.
This could be the time to take risks, try new things and create new solutions. Often we see the possibility in innovation, but the risk outweighs the reward. But that’s not the case for many business owners right now. Think of the most drastic change to your business since the onslaught of COVID-19. What greater risks are there than this pandemic?
Making business decisions can be scary in the midst of the unknown and unpredictable. It’s important that you imagine all the scenarios to plan immediate and long term solutions. For example, if you own a restaurant, what is the impact on your staff? Will you conduct layoffs? Will you offer curbside takeout— and if yes can your customers place orders online? Thinking about how each scenario will affect your business will also boost your ability to respond quickly and calmly to unexpected stress and surprise roadblocks.
Redesign Your Website
Let's face it: most people find information on the web. That means your website is the first impression most people will have of your business. As the world changes and your business grows, you'll probably want to consider redesigning your company's website. You can take your online presence to the next level with a beautiful design, eye-catching images, on-brand colors, and a clean, easy-to-use layout. Add a little extra flair with interactive elements, animations, or image carousels. Last but not least, make sure your site looks great across all web browsers, like Chrome and Internet Explorer, and on mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
Adapt Your Marketing
As your business changes your marketing should, too. Now is the time to go for paid social ads. Due to the Coronavirus, the cost per conversion is very low right now on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other auction-based social media platforms. This is a good time to promote why your business is essential during this crisis or offer something for free to entice customers— while also doing something nice in a time that is financially tough for many.
Be an Entrepreneur
How can your business address a specific need or challenge presented by the Coronavirus? Do you own a car wash? Become a mobile detailing service. Are you a web designer? Charge for webinars on basic site maintenance, free graphic design tools and skill-specific tutorials. Many businesses have to think like an entrepreneur if they want to adapt successfully. The key to making this work— entrepreneurs are usually risk tolerant, meaning they aren’t as bothered by the possibility of failure.
Supporting Remote Work
Whether you are managing a staff who have all transitioned to remote, or you are transitioning to remote work for the first time, telecommuting has many advantages and disadvantages. For businesses with employees working from home, consider doing a weekly Zoom happy hour or exercise together. Start using a communication platform like Slack, Skype or Teams so that everyone can communicate in real time. Staying connected is key to a positive full-remote transition.
Surviving the Coronavirus crisis will only happen if we come together. The other side of this crisis could be really powerful for small businesses. Americans— the whole world— is taking a step back and slowing down. Use this time as an opportunity to improve your business. A slowing down is forced on all of us; how will you use it as a force for growth?