The effects of the coronavirus pandemic on our daily life are many, not to mention that there is no industry or sector that hasn’t been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. All kinds of businesses have been impacted, mostly negatively, by the outbreak of novel coronavirus, but it’s safe to say that micro and small businesses have been affected the most.
If you’re the owner of one such small business, you know all the struggles. While we don’t know whether the pandemic is over, or if it will be soon, it’s time to look forward. It’s time to get your small business back on track.
Here are some of the ways to get your business back on track as soon as the pandemic ends.
1. Evaluate the financial and other damage
The first step in getting your small business back on track after the pandemic should be the evaluation of all the damage. How deeply was your business affected by the COVID-19?
Start by comparing the numbers with those from 2019, then update your financial statements – sales, profits, cash flow, and so on.
But don’t just evaluate the hard numbers, take into consideration all the aspects of your business that have been affected by the pandemic. Things like cutting down on marketing budget, laying off employees, losing customers are all part of the damage done by the pandemic.
You need to factor in all the damage in order to rebuild and get your business back on track.
2. Create a new relationship with your customers
Your relationship with the audience and customers will be amongst many things affected by the pandemic. When it comes to customer and audience relationships, be prepared for anything. You’ll lose some customers, you’ll gain others – simply, changes are inevitable.
Once the pandemic ends, be prepared for all kinds of changes, but mostly be aware that there will be no such thing as “the average customer” as consumer behavior will also be very different. You’ll need to think about creating a new relationship with your customers and audience and probably even speak directly to them.
3. Accept market changes
We must reiterate that everything was affected by the pandemic, especially the market. Many changes happened over the night and that means that the market won’t be the same as one from a couple of years ago.
It will probably take years for the market to recover, and in the meantime, you should accept the current market changes and trends. Even after the pandemic subsides, people will probably continue to do most of the things online – shopping, learning, working, and so on, and that’s why you should prepare for these new market conditions.
4. Accept digital transformation
With the outbreak of the pandemic, we had to start working from home and transfer our lives and businesses online. With remote online working, new trends surfaced, trends that are worth knowing and even implementing in your own business.
Even before the pandemic, technology was an important part of the workforce. However, during the outbreak without the in-person meetings, this technology has become irreplaceable and the adoption of the technologies has become accelerated. Almost every type of business had to find digital solutions to keep their business going.
For example, one of such digital technologies includes platformification. Many organizations, institutions, and businesses use all kinds of digital platforms to keep their business afloat during the pandemic. Online trading, online classes, live event streaming, streaming of large-scale conferences and so much more.
As you have seen, digital transformation is necessary if you want business longevity. There is no going back to traditional methods once the pandemic ends. The benefits of digital transformation are too great not to be recognized.
5. You may need funding to recover
Don’t be afraid to admit that you need some financial help to get back on track and to recover your business. According to the NFIB, 92% of small businesses are negatively impacted by the outbreak of coronavirus. This means that you’re not alone and that there are options that can help you with money after the pandemic.
Do a bit of research on all the possible loans (there are many), consider all pros and cons, and only then apply for a loan. And don’t forget – you’ve got options.
6. Develop a contingency plan for the next crisis
The pandemic may come to an end, but it also may come back. And not just the pandemic, many other disasters, and emergencies may affect your business. The good thing is that we can use what we’ve learned from this unexpected global disaster and develop a contingency plan for whatever may come in the future.
For example, now you know that you need to be ready to go online if need be, that your employees should be able to work remotely, learn how to cut costs, have enough liquid cash savings to get through another crisis, and many other similar contingency plans.
For many small business owners, this crisis was and still is a huge wake-up call. This pandemic won’t last forever, but it won’t end over the night either.
It will take years for the market to recover, for customers and audience to get used to the new normal – and that’s exactly why you’ll need to follow the industry and market changes, be in touch with your customers, follow trends and adapt your business to all of the changes.
It will take time, a lot of planning, thinking, and rethinking but eventually, you’ll get your business back on track!