By | Olaila lee
Discover some helpful ideas on how to keep the small and medium businesses afloat during the COVID crisis. Click here to learn more about simple strategies.
Title: 8 Ways Small Businesses Can Withstand The Impact Of COVID-19
The coronavirus outbreak is undoubtedly one of the greatest human tragedies ever encountered. But it’s also not a secret how the pandemic will cause significant damage to the economy, the true scale of which has only just begun to emerge.
Small businesses have been scaling down and closing their operations indefinitely as consumers stay home to minimise the effect of this highly contagious virus. Without a steady revenue, many small businesses, especially restaurants and shops, may run the risk of closing down for good.
The outbreak has not only resulted in a major transformation in the way businesses operate, but it has also affected their workflows and strategies in the future. It’s true that much of the scenario is bleak as far as the global economy is concerned. However, the small business owners still have a fighting chance to keep themselves and their businesses afloat if they follow several simple rules.
- Gather any outstanding cash
Get in touch with those who owe you money and collect. It will be wise to not hold an invoice until the work was over, rather bill for the part of the work that was completed.
“You can also request your consumers for prepayment of future activity”, opines Shawn Kingsley, an academic expert offering assignment help in USA. The whole idea is to keep your business liquid, so you provide a discount on next year’s activity if people pay upfront.
- Update the Google My Business page
If you don’t have one yet, take a moment to claim your Google My Business listing now. It’s a free service by Google, and it’ll allow your target consumers to find your business online.
And if you have a Google My Business page, log in to your account, and you’ll find a new option on the homepage known as “Coronavirus (COVID-19).” Follow the link, and you’ll be directed to a page where you can make suggested modifications to your business information. You can change your business hours, incorporate extra services you’re offering to consumers or your local community, or inform them about delays in providing service.
- Keep an eye out for government aid
Around the world, governments have proposed measures to help ease the economic impact of deadly COVID-19. These measures range from various loan schemes and grants for SMEs.
For instance, the UK government has announced plans to provide various grants and loans like the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme for SMEs. In the US, many cities have accumulated funds to support the affected businesses, like the Boston Arts Relief Fund.
Also, the Australian government has plenty of strategies in place, from business investment incentives to cash flow support for employers. New Zealand’s measures involve wage subsidies for small and medium businesses with employees.
- Renegotiate the contracts
Pay close attention to your accounts payable. Check all your vendor contracts, prioritise them, and then you can begin negotiating things like reduced payments or extended terms. In this case, while some may not agree, some will.
Your suppliers would obviously don’t want you to go out of business. You can talk to your landlord to see if he/she can forgo rent payments for a certain amount of time.
- Stay active on social media
Most businesses are active on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to promote their products or services and interact with consumers. With more and more people practising the social distancing norms, these platforms can be a lifeline that helps establish a vital connection to the outside world.
Even if you’re forced to stop your business operations temporarily, you can still use these platforms to stay updated. Use your business’ social media profiles to show solidarity and keep in touch with your consumers regularly, and you’ll have an even stronger bond with them when the situation is back to normal.
- Work from home or take workplace precautions
Since the outbreak of this pandemic, businesses in most countries are following strict work from home rule. If you’re used to going to your office every day, then this can feel strange initially.
However, not everyone can work from home. But apart enforcing strict hygiene practices (keeping a safe distance from others, frequent hand washing, and disinfecting the office space) find ways to keep your social contact to a minimum.
- Enhance productivity
Right now you’re should rather be working longer hours with a less number of people than putting in fewer hours with more people at work.
The ideal way to deal with this situation for small businesses is to switch to remote working. Before the pandemic, most businesses hadn’t made the move because they didn’t trust it. In the traditional work setup, people can interact with each other in the office. Now businesses have been compelled to move to online platforms, but it has definitely helped keep productivity high.
- Look past the situation
During this time, you must ensure to treat your clients well so that they stick around once the situation is under control. Make sure to convey the status of your business and provide useful details. You can also ask the consumers for referrals.
We’re all faced with uncertainties about the future. So, it’s wise to be upfront with your customers and tell them what actions your business is taking. Are you closing your business processes temporarily, or operating with limited opening hours? You can include a FAQ section to your website which will allow your consumers all the details they require.
Winding it up,
The good news is that the business will resume sooner or later. It’s just unknown when that’ll happen. So, it’s imperative that you reduce your expenses, limit the cash outflows, keep all your suppliers and creditors involved, and try to maintain a solvent business.
Olaila lee is a senior operations manager for a notable multinational company in Australia. Bennett has completed his MBA in business management from Charles Sturt University. She is also associated with an education portal as a senior Assignment HelperShe loves travelling and blogging in his free time.