The COVID-19 pandemic has, without any doubt, hit the small and medium-sized businesses hard, and such businesses are hovering and looking for ways to stand up strong to the current situations. Small and medium sized businesses generally tend to survive on lesser months of cash flow. Hence, when some crisis as huge as the current one hits it becomes a devastating scenario for both such businesses and also their employees.
But SURVIVAL is NECESSARY. Hence, small businesses need to figure out ways to survive through these hard times. There is no full-proof answer for this if we have to be honest with you. But there are definitely possible ways that small business owners can adopt to survive and at least reduce the adversities.
Following is a list of tips and suggestions that can help your business at least in the next three months of quarantine.
- Avoid panicking. Stay calm, patient, and positive:
Keeping your calm can be very difficult when all your cash is running out. Even under such conditions the best you can do is to take care of yourself. Good care will help you keep calm and stay fit and healthy. A healthy mental state always helps in coming up with innovative ideas. This is a time when you will have to take a few tough business decisions. Hence, you will need to balance your mind before making drastic decisions. You need to take a step back to reassess things and communicate with important and trusted members in your organizations for opinions and suggestions.
- Look into the resources that the Government and various financial organizations are providing to help:
Governments all over the world are doing their best and taking the best possible initiatives for supporting small-business owners.
As a small-business owner, you must stay informed and updated about how your government can help in cutting costs. Check how financial institutions that hold a social responsibility are trying to help small organizations.
If your business is registered in more than one markets, look for all the available support options in both the markets.
- Devise a three-month financial plan for your business:
As a small business, you must have some key business expenses that include employee salaries, office rent, utility bills, and the like.
You will need to speak to the people that you will need to make payments to in the nest three months and discuss the options available so that you can spread out the costs effectively. There could be potential chances that some of them will be understanding enough and already have a few options in place, keeping in mind the current crisis.
Also, you will need to have a look at your personal financial expenses. Speak to the people who are likely to help you make a make a realistic decision regarding your personal expenses in the next three months. Note down the expenses that are necessary and cannot be avoided under any circumstances. Also, list the expenses that you can potentially postpone
The main and biggest expenses for your business would predominantly be your staff salaries and your office rent. You can freeze hiring new employees for the time being and try avoiding working with full-time employees. Go for freelancers and consider downsizing your office. Try getting a co-working space to make payments more affordable and flexible.
- Study the opportunities:
Study your won business model and see if your business model is competent enough to survive through the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Find answers to questions like- How are your customers likely to respond under such circumstances and also after the pandemic ends? What are the factors that will impact their behaviour and what factors will not? How will your organization be able to accommodate a new type of customer if any? Will you be able to digitize your products or services and start selling online? Are you in a position to implement technology and digitization to balance loss of earnings via new communication methods?
- Try to upskill your current existing staff:
Try your best to not lay-off your employees because they rely on you. If you have had a good team, they are likely to support you in such conditions, and they will be expecting the same from you as well.
So, instead of laying them off and taking away their livelihood, what you can do is you can train your current employees to gain additional skills, that will significantly increase their productivity and efficiency and also, you will not have the need to hire new employees.
You will find several affordable online courses that will help them add value to other sections of your business when their department will be down for assistance. For example, you could train and use your sales team to help with your marketing team, and gain business benefits from combined efforts of both the teams.
You can train your on-field marketers to learn digital marketing to be able to continue their marketing efforts even if they are not being able to make cold visits to take up projects for your business. This will benefit both your employees and your business.
Situations and crisis like the current one is inevitable. You cannot avoid them and all you can do is to face such adverse situations bravely, with strength, positivity, and empathy. Hence, try adopting the above-mentioned measures if you are a small or medium-sized business owner. These measures are likely to help you and your businesses survive through such hard times.