Tips to help small businesses in today’s tumultuous world
Owning a small business during the COVID-19 pandemic and civil unrest is extremely challenging for any small business owner and its employees. Unlike technology companies, most small businesses do not have the technical infrastructure to support virtual business operations during a complete shutdown.
Small business owners had no idea how disruptive a pandemic would be — literally destroying businesses and livelihoods overnight. How does a small business survive during a deadly pandemic? Here are five suggestions to help save small businesses.
ADJUST BUSINESS OPERATIONS
As a small business owner, you may have to pivot from your business model. It is critical to be agile and proactive during this time and any changes need to be swift, immediate and measured. For example, contacting vendors and creditors, staying connected to customers, making a digital transformation and taking advantage of any state and federal government resources that could help ease some financial pressure. Considering these changes may help your business maintain during mandated closures and help in a speedy recovery when your business returns to full operations.
STAY CONNECTED WITH CUSTOMERS
If your business has never used online selling as a strategy, it is time to consider making an immediate change. Start with marketing to your mailing list. Stay connected by sending updates on what the business is doing to remain open or how your business is helping in the community during the outbreak. Also, be prepared to receive orders from all over the country. The goal is to continue meeting customer demand and in meeting that demand, your business may pick up new customers.
It is critical to be agile and proactive during this time and any changes need to be swift, immediate and measured. For example, contacting vendors and creditors, staying connected to customers, making a digital transformation and taking advantage of any state and federal government resources that could help ease some financial pressure.
CONTACT VENDORS AND CREDITORS
The one thing vendors and creditors do not want is to lose you as a customer. Many small businesses operate financially from month to month. When the COVID-19 outbreak hit the United States, many small businesses closed their doors permanently. It is important to remember that you may have signed agreements and supplier terms that remain valid even if you close your doors. If this is the case, contact your vendors and creditors to work out a late payment or termination agreement.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEALTH
If you are like most small business owners, you work long hours. If your goal is to grow your business, then your health must be a part of the business strategy. Yes, this sounds silly and out of place. But consider this, if you are home sick with the flu for three days, who is running your business?
MAKE DIGITAL TRANSFORMATIONS
To have your company remain viable during difficult times, it is imperative to have a digital transformation strategy. Integrating digital technology in every area of your company will bring value to your customers and allow your company to remain competitive.
President, Treasure Coast Black Chamber of Commerce
Chauncelor Howell is a retired Marine gunnery sergeant and is co-owner of Stick & Move Cigar Enthusiasts. He also has a master’s from Colorado Technical University and is an Independent Scholar enrolled in Walden University’s Doctor of Business Administration program.
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