Keeping the business in steady growth is challenging enough in a normal timeframe. But the COVID-19 pandemic created drastic changes that leave most entrepreneurs scratching their heads. It wasn’t only about fear of infection that hampered worldwide commerce. The collapse of the market, newly organized regulations, and changes in people’s buying power also became a major dilemma. Rigorous restrictions affected businesses of all ages and sizes because of the looming economic uncertainty.
Whether you are just starting a business or managing a long-existing one, the challenge is certainly there. So how do you keep abreast with the inevitable changes and get your business up and running? Here’s a score of ideas on how to keep your business thriving in the midst of the pandemic.
Increase Your Social Media Presence
Even before the pandemic, social media has already instituted changes in commercial dealings. The traditional brick-and-mortar businesses do not exist as your common street-side business anymore. Consumers today want a fast-paced and real-time result. Before visiting your store, they will appreciate a peek into its virtual presence. So snag a spot on the internet’s top social media sites to market your business efficiently.
An active social media posting affects your business by increasing your influence and popularity. And that means proactive interaction with your online audience aside from just posting products and services. Building your social media presence needs careful planning, creative advertisements, and collaboration. So go with the trend, increase your engagements, and build relationships in the online community. It will take a little effort to leverage your presence and become virtually popular, but it will all be worth it.
Get Creative with the Marketing Effort
Internet marketing strategies are effective ways of helping your business thrive even in adverse times. The term internet marketing is not always about SEO optimization or setting up your website and making it attractive. If you are new to online marketing, you will find out that Facebook or Instagram presence alone can reel in customers. But to fully redefine your business, you will need collaboration and tie-ups.
Affiliate marketing, for example, is an effective internet marketing strategy. It will even let you earn commission through the promotion of other products and services while selling yours. Ranking your page on the Google front page is also an aspiration for most virtual entrepreneurs. If you are not very keen on investing in analytics, cultivating your reputation is a good start. Reputation marketing is developing your business and encouraging reviews on platforms to increase customer interaction.
Manage Your Cash Carefully
With everyone going hard up with their earnings, cash inflow is critical in all businesses big or small. Proper monitoring and management of your cash inflow and outflow is a beneficial step in keeping your business afloat. Cost-cutting and downsizing become a common notion in this new normal business and trade. It pays to focus on your expenses and cut back on services that you deem unnecessary at the moment. Drop the impractical subscriptions and focus only on things that bring in the revenue.
It is also the perfect time to renegotiate the terms of your existing obligations. Most banks today are offering moratoriums on loans and restructuring for the advantage of small entrepreneurs. You can avail of these financial reliefs depending on your locality. You can avail of these government grants for small businesses that will contribute to the benefit of your firm.
Take Care of Your Employees
Your people are your investment in making the business thrive in uncertainties. But the coronavirus has also caused most businesses to discharge employees as a means of cutting costs. If your business status caused you to temporarily lay off employees, maintain your good relationship with them. Help them navigate and file for their unemployment claims to the state. If possible, allow them to maintain their benefit coverage until they get back to work. But who do you need to retain for work? Consider your employees’ seniority and profitable positions to avoid discrimination within the organization.
One alternative to staff cutting is the reduction of the number of workdays through the skeleton workforce. Another thing is the decrease and deferral of their retirement benefits. Surviving your business does not mean leaving your trusted employees behind. If the financial system improves, you can still thrive with your business without unpleasant issues with your people. Employee retention strategies are equally important if you want to keep your business breathing.
Reconsider Your Business Pursuit
There is no doubt that the world is diminished into the essential and non-essential businesses that the state allows for operation. If you think your business is infeasible for the pandemic market, make it an opportunity to consider other ventures. Assess your business and try alternative projects that bring in the cash flow. Consider investing in stock markets or sustainable online businesses that are profitable and reliable.
However, before delving into an investment, make sure that you understand how the stuff works. You need deeper knowledge to avoid potential losses in the process. Take time to read about the business, the trade-offs, and improve yourself before trying it out. It is your chance to upskill yourself or your employees, enhance your knowledge and gain new competencies.
Innovate with Your Business Ventures
If the online business model is not your forte, capitalize on your skills in line with your current business. Most employees who were laid-off find home-based jobs as their refuge and temporary cash cow. It channels their expertise while keeping them occupied and earning as they wait for the economy to stabilize. It is not wrong to do the same for your business as well.
For example, if you are in a photography service, you probably experience a problematic income due to restrictions. You can make use of the opportunity to host virtual tutorials and educational seminars for your audiences. It will not only earn you revenue but will also strengthen your reputation and further establish your business name.
Cultivate a Flexible Mindset
One of the things that the coronavirus taught the world is uncertainty and how fast changes can happen. Being quick to adapt to these changes will help you utilize your business potential without risking losses. A flexible mindset will get your business thriving by helping you focus more on alternatives than problematic situations. You can develop flexibility by being ready to cater to customer’s needs through unforeseen events or fallback in plans. It has helped many businesses thrive even before the crushing setbacks of the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses always have options and it is your job to look for them when things do not seem to go well. Remember that entrepreneurship is already full of risks and tradeoffs. So, not even the pandemic can hamper you if you always tend to look for alternative ideas. You can drive your sales objective by setting goals relevant to your current situation with measurable plans for achieving them.
Competition is still driving the entrepreneurial game in a more humane way people could afford in the past. It is hard to deny that some companies are suffering badly through the setback. You can use it to study and gain a lesson to avoid a similar scenario. Also, you should look at the standing competitors for their effective strategies in handling the business.
By observing your competitors, you can gain knowledge of what they have accomplished. Keep a tab of their innovations and use them to propel creative ideas for your business. You should also observe the trends of the customers and their preferences. It helps earn you insights on how to leverage your business once things have returned to normal.
Take Care of Yourself
Keeping your business thriving means staying on top of the game yourself. Being physically and mentally fit will enable you to cruise through a difficult situation with grace and valuable optimism. It starts with mindful and healthy eating, keeping yourself active, and taking breaks. The pandemic has changed the routine from hectic mornings and exasperating drives to the office into something more convenient. Take time to enjoy those little conveniences while it lasts.
Also, do not deprive yourself of the presence of your friends and loved ones. Continue cultivating your relationship despite the physical distancing for your mental well-being. Gaining a positive outlook in life coupled with healthy well-being is a good start for handling business against the odds. So, show up in virtual meetings more often and keep on collaborating to your advantage.
The coronavirus pandemic may have forced many changes in our daily lives. But it is also the perfect opportunity to create innovations to keep up with the changes. Managing your business in this trying time may prove to be a bit difficult. But through a positive mindset, innovative ideas, and proper managing skills, you can survive the ordeal.
When things revert to normal, everything will fall back into place – maybe a little different. However, the things that you learn today will become very valuable in your pursuit of tomorrow. So keep on going, hang in there, and try to stay afloat while seizing the opportunity to remain productive.