The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, and it has already made a major impact on small businesses across the U.S. Essential businesses have had to make significant changes in order to meet demand and keep things running as smoothly as possible, but nonessential businesses are the ones that have been hit particularly hard. While some have been forced to close their doors for good, others are scrambling to come up with strategies to survive the lockdown.
If your small business falls in the latter category, there are ways to put your company in a position to thrive—now, as restrictions are loosened, and once the lockdown is over. Below, you will find some advice and information to help you get started.
Revisit Your Business Model
The first order of business is to take a look at your business plan so that you can determine what steps you need to take in order to grow.
- Being willing to adjust to a new normal is crucial. Changing your delivery methods, adding or removing products/services, and modifying your marketing are all things that can benefit you both now and in the future.
- Looking at what competitors in your industry are doing is a great way to determine how to adjust your strategy.
- Scaling back a little bit and making your business goals more realistic can also help you stay afloat in these difficult times.
Permit Remote Work
For years, more and more businesses have been adding remote work to their business models. The pandemic has made it all the more clear that companies should consider allowing employees to work remotely.
- If struggling to survive amid the limitations placed on nonessential businesses isn’t enough, taking a look at the benefits might motivate you to transition into allowing your employees to work remotely.
- However, if you decide to transition into permitting your employees to work from home, you will need to get a firm grasp on how to collaborate with one another.
- And you will need to equip your employees with the best tools so that they can work productively and help your business move forward.
Find Financial Assistance
Countless small businesses across the country are struggling right now, many of which are turning to financial assistance offered by government and private organizations.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) is providing a number of relief programs to companies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- States and local governments are also taking steps to help small businesses survive through grants, loans, tax deferrals, and other methods.
- Additionally, some businesses are even offering grants to assist small businesses, such as the ZenBusiness Grant Program.
Adjust Your Marketing and Budget
Seeing how marketing and budgeting are two of the most essential elements in running a successful business, it’s important to pay special attention to how you can make adjustments in those areas.
- By listening to your customers, you can get a pretty clear picture of what kinds of changes you need to make during the pandemic (and perhaps thereafter).
- Some marketing changes to consider are to modify the products/services you offer, personalize your messaging, and figure out how you can benefit the public.
- Taking into account your current financial standing, cash-flow projections, relief options, and the like, rework your budget and come up with a solid financial plan that can see you through this difficult time.
There’s no question that the COVID-19 pandemic has rattled virtually every industry, and nonessential businesses have received the brunt of the hardship. But if you commit to making the necessary adjustments, you can get through this time and come out stronger than ever. Remember to rework your business model, consider allowing your employees to work remotely, look at your financial assistance options, and make the appropriate changes to your marketing strategy and budget.
Elena Stewart is a certified life coach who specializes in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. She successfully transitioned from the corporate world to running her own business, and she now helps others achieve their career goals and dreams.