The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly caused a lot of trouble for small and medium-sized businesses worldwide. Operating under these conditions was impossible for long periods of time in certain regions, and even now, many businesses continue to operate at a limited capacity. Undoubtedly, the economic downfall caused by the pandemic is very, very troublesome, but this does not mean that the situation is hopeless. Plenty of bold and progressive business owners managed to view the pandemic from a different perspective – instead of focusing on the negativity and uncertainty, they tried to view it as an opportunity to explore new possibilities. Even those who have experienced the quarantine time tried to stay productive and devised new strategies to get back to their business with a new approach.
The most certain way to take your business down in these times is to have a reactionary mindset. What did many businesses do as soon as they realized what was going on? They tried to keep operating in the same way, while cutting costs in the meantime – laying off people, purchasing lower-quality products, and exploring every single opportunity to save a few dollars. You may be surprised to find out that this is not the recommended course of action – uncertain times are a great moment to go a step above your competitors and to experiment with new ways to grow your business. To put it short, being bolder is better than being scared when it comes to business management in uncertain times.
We have gathered some tips and strategies to grow your business during a crisis or pandemic, and we sincerely hope that they will give you some inspiration on how to make the best out of the current situation.
Now is the Time to go Online
Modern businesses that can be operated online need to operate online. Even if you had not considered this opportunity before because of various reasons, the pandemic is certainly the best time to get your online presence going. Regardless of what kinds of services and products you are offering, making your portfolio available online is a great way to build a reputation, connect with more clients, and build a stronger relationship with your current customer base.
Even if you are a small restaurant offering food and beverages, you can take your business online without a big investment – plenty of delivery services co-operate with restaurants of all sizes, and you can work with them to keep your clients happy.
Small, local businesses should not ignore this step either – you can make the quarantine of your clients much more comfortable by offering quick deliveries on the products they need. You can rest assured that they will keep coming back and back to your business when they see that you actually care about their well-being.
Stay Flexible, and Try Out Different Strategies
No entrepreneur knows the winning formula – you will need to experiment a lot, and hit or miss is often the best strategy to find what tricks work for your business. What better time to experiment than the turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? Plenty of businesses are struggling, and one good choice may just allow your company to lift off! Do not get discouraged if you fail, because it is impossible to pinpoint the right formula from the first try – plenty of today's largest companies had dozens of fails in their history. Expect failure, and definitely analyze it – but never ever let it discourage you from exploring new opportunities for your business' development. Your effort and persistence will pay off when you inevitably go in the right direction.
Optimize Your Team
Training your team to adapt to the current situation and keep your customers happy is of essential importance. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic might be the right time to consider letting go of employees who are underperforming or slacking off – their lack of commitment and desire to improve may cost you greatly in these risky economic conditions.
Of course, focus on the best employees you have too! Make sure that they feel valued and loved, and undoubtedly do your best to reassure them that you will stick together during the crisis. Making the mistake of dropping even one good employee may have a terrible effect on your team's motivation and morale – they will not feel safe in their current position.
Take Care of Your Customers in High-risk Areas
Building a trusty relationship with your customers should be the goal of every entrepreneur, and the pandemic is a great opportunity to do this. Of course, your interest is to not just grow your business – you wholeheartedly want to help customers in affected areas and make them feel more comfortable and safe in these uncertain times. Many business are 'riding the wave' and pretending to care, but you can be one of the few to make a real difference and back your words with actions.
Focus on Your Customers with Discounts and Special Offers
Remember that the economic downfall caused by the pandemic is not only affecting you – your customers are also likely to be going through some hard times. Now is the perfect time to show your loyal clients that you care about them by treating them with special offers, discounts, and even cash back opportunities. But do not forget that this will not just make your current customers like you more – beating the offers of your competitors means that you will be able to hijack some of their customers and, needless to say, your current clients will have a lot of great things to say about you!
Be Bold! Experiment with Different Strategies, but Always Calculate the Potential Risk
As we mentioned in the introductory paragraph, times of turmoil are often a great opportunity to experiment. Do not necessarily assume a defensive position because of the ongoing pandemic – instead, be bold and opportunistic! Work with your team to develop different strategies, calculate the risks, and turn as many ideas as possible into reality. Not all of them will succeed, but do not forget that failure is a part of the learning process. Each failure will take you one step closer to success, so try to be persistent and smart about your choices.
Unfortunately, there is not a guaranteed way to escape the recession and the negative effects it can have on your business. However, being passive and not pro-active will certainly not help the situation at all – try to adopt some of the tips and strategies above and, hopefully, they will help you find a strategy to survive through the pandemic.