Ten business survival tips on back of Covid-19 pandemic
Traders have been struggling and focusing on restructuring due to the constraints the government has put in place to flatten the Covid-19 curve. Many have had to rethink the way they do business in these unusual times. To get a bearing into the future, here are 10 tips to think through as you strategise for the next phase for your firm.
Whatever it takes, cut cost
To remain afloat during this period of uncertainty you must minimise cost of doing business. Check your overheads and learn what you do not need then let it go. Tough times call for tough measures.
Go ahead and right size, and do without the frills, be it transport of entertainment allowance, or the above the line marketing budgets, just cut costs to enable the firm survive the tough period.
Get a strategic plan
This is perhaps one of the most important steps to take. Write everything down and do a projection of where you want the company to be in 5 - 10 years.
Once you do that, evaluate opportunities that you can engage in immediately in order to generate an income, look for new opportunities and expand your horizons putting into consideration the prevailing circumstances.
If you have a strategic plan re-write it afresh keeping in mind the new normal.
Diversify product range
Increase product range to tap more money. Most products and brands have a target market.
Due to the changing times and the dip in spending, brands should broaden their target market and where possible increase their bouquet of offerings.
For instance, textile companies have started making and marketing masks while hotels are moving from marketing to foreign tourists to targeting local tourists.
This should be the thinking for most companies now and the duriong the post-Covid-19 era.
Negotiate with creditors
Meet with creditors who will include suppliers and banks to see if they can extend payment periods and terms.
This will help your bottom line as you will have more money to deal with the crisis.
On the other hand, talk to your debtors and encourage them to pay. You can even offer discounts for those who pay now, this will increase your cash flow and cushion you against the ravages of the pandemic.
Talk business to your customers and employees
Build a strong rapport with both your team and customers during this period. Create a working plan with clear expectations for your team to guide them espoecially if they work remotely.
Reach out to your customers with messages of goodwill and time specific offers that will hopefully close sales for you.
The good thing is that even if you do not get any sales, you will at least be the top of mind brand to them.
Be innovative and re-invent services and operations
This is a new normal and companies must invent new ways of doing business since things will never be the same again after the pandemic.
You realise most sit-in restaurants are now delivering to customers. Bars have started focusing more on food offerings while most agencies are now focusing on giving their clients digital-based media plans and communication strategies. It is a new order, take it in your strides and move on.
Form creative partnerships
A recent projection indicated most micro, small and medium enterprises will not survive another thirty days if the economy will not open up.
To enhance their chances of survival, enterprises can partner to push each other’s products.
This is the time for say, a makeup company working with an eatery to offer discounted meals, with the purchase of select cosmetic products for instance.
Whatever it takes, leverage on partnerships in your circles, and make money from them.
Watch your earnings
Gauge your preparedness to upheaval in the economic environment and the pace of your reaction and adaptive strategies.
Were the emergency funds enough or did you underquote on what you and your business would need to survive during hard times?
Maybe you did not even have an emergency fund. Do you have business interruption insurance in place? Learn from this period and do better next time.
Embrace new sales channels
Demand for goods and services will continue despite the pandemic creating opportunities to serve your market via alternative sales channels.
Change tack. For example, if coronavirus is cutting down on foot traffic to your retail business, look to expand your e-commerce offerings.
Boost your online-marketing efforts and e-commerce sales, generate conversations on social media instead of in-person sales meetings.
Many B2B companies are already well-positioned for this, especially if they sell software or other digital services and solutions.
Coronavirus might be the opportunity to make some longer-term investments.
Especially if you’re seeing a short-term slowdown, this is the time to re-evaluate your operations, platforms and processes and do some long-term strategic planning.
Keep checking in with your leads, reassure them if needed, and let them know that you are planning for contingencies and you’re ready to help.