The world we once knew has forever changed. Whether directly or inadvertently, both individuals and businesses alike have been hit in one form or another.
Whilst large corporations may have seen staff cuts, other small brands have been forced to remodel their businesses. What’s more, well-known and much-loved corporations such as Virgin Airlines have faced bankruptcy due to the unforeseen challenges that Covid-19 has brought with it.
However, whilst it’s important to recognise the current climate permeating our everyday, both professionally and personally, the good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom. Thankfully, we have seen governments around the world helping in various capacities. In the form of financial support, businesses have been offered great relief which has effectively helped to keep brands afloat. For example, under Scott Morrison’s leadership, Australia has introduced the Job Keeper Payment to allow employees and employers alike to achieve some form of financial stability, despite the current circumstances.
However, it could be argued that a large percentage of the onus is on business owners to take the necessary steps to ensure that their businesses stay afloat.
Changes have to be made, either in the business models we choose or the operations we adhere to. And, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with. Our aim is to offer you some simple tips on how you can effectively deal with all that Covid-19 presents to ensure your business stays afloat during and long after the global pandemic.
Communicate With Your Partners
Coronavirus will have likely impacted and altered the lives of your business partners including your creditors, debtors, suppliers, and customers. Reach out to them for help and support. Be honest about how the pandemic has affected your business; they will be more likely to help in any way they can, because if there’s one thing that’s become clear during this period, it’s that we’re all in this together.
Your landlord, creditors, and suppliers will be willing to give you more time to pay your rent or any money owed. Depending on the nature of your business, your customers may even be willing to pay you in advance for your services or make bulk purchases from you. All you have to do is communicate honestly. Now is not the time to deploy any ‘avoidance’ tactics with your creditors. Speak to them openly. There are others out there who understand your struggle and will do what they can to help you.
Don’t Be Scared To Make Cuts Where Necessary
Whilst it’s an unwelcome reality, your business may need to make cuts within your team. To make the process achievable, start with a thorough assessment of your business to find areas where you can reduce staff. Be creative about reducing your operation costs. Consider saving revenue by taking on tasks yourself, wherever possible.
Whilst it may be tough to let members of your team go, that may be your only option. However, before you do so, try to find ways in which you could reduce the amount you pay in salaries without having to make immediate cuts. One option is to reduce work hours. If that’s not viable, then reducing the size of your team may be what allows your business to sustain itself.
When assessing staff cuts, remember that if you do decide to keep everyone and that results in your business collapsing, you could have caused more damage than good.
Trading on the stock market requires a rational rather than emotional approach for success, and the same principle rings true for this point.
Adapt Is The Name of the Game
We’re living in a strange new world; social distancing and self-isolation are the new norms. Consequently, you need to find a way to navigate the current climate. If your business will survive, then you have to find alternative ways to serve your customers. Focus on studying the current behavior of your market, and adjust your services accordingly. Try asking your customers how the pandemic has affected them and their everyday. From the information you gather, you can then go ahead to find ways in which you can deliver value to your customers to meet their newfound demands and challenges.
Let’s apply this concept with a practical example. Many restaurants are now including delivery services within their business model and have simultaneously optimised their brand online. What’s more, movie studios have taken advantage of streaming platforms to distribute their content. The basic principle is that everyone has had to adapt and those businesses adapting more readily are finding it easier to stay afloat.
Try focussing on the activities that have a direct impact on your bottom-line. Cut back on certain projects and lay emphasis on those that can yield returns as quickly as possible. Reduce your advertising budget, find cheaper ways to reach your customers and if necessary, be open to remodeling your business. Whilst you may stop offering some services, such as seating guests in a restaurant, you may find new opportunities present themselves such as selling pre-packaged meals. Consider prioritising services that are more profitable and less costly to deliver.
Another approach that could help to reduce your risk is diversification. See if you can offer those products and services that are closely related to yours. Your foray into alternate niches may be temporary so be open to change and adapting.
Time is your Friend
Instead of dwelling on the negative, why not take advantage of the newfound time you have? If you see this period as an opportunity for growth and development, you can future-proof your business for the post covid-19 world.
Be sure to understudy your competition, dive deep into the success stories in your niche and determine how you can match, or even surpass, the current industry leaders in your field.
Look to other businesses that have somehow managed to stay afloat. What strategies did they deploy? What’s more, figure out measures others are taking in preparation for the future. Learn what you can and apply the strategies that best suit your business.
Act Sooner Rather Than Later
Whatever approach you decide on, be sure to implement it quickly. How quickly your business responds and acts may be the determining factor to its ultimate survival. The sooner you cut costs or pivot your operations, the better.
The same applies to the strategies we’ve mentioned thus far. Whilst it may seem overwhelming, implementing changes sooner rather than later will be sure to help, rather than hinder your businesses long-term success.
Don’t let indecision get the better of you. Pick a move and execute. You may need to change direction which is where the advantage lies in implementing changes immediately; leeway and room for error. As the age old saying suggests, ‘Keep on keeping on’. Don’t let the global pandemic mark the demise of your business but rather, see it as an opportunity for growth, development and company strength.
In assessing the ways in which your business can stay afloat during this time, a fundamental principle is to remain proactive. Rather than relying solely on government support, recognise your assets and play to them whilst simultaneously learning from other industry leaders.
Most importantly, remember to take good care of yourself. Health is wealth so follow the social distancing rules as per government guidelines, wash your hands regularly and stay as safe as possible. Your business will thank you!
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