Crisis Tips for Entrepreneurs During COVID-19
Many small business owners have had to adapt quickly during the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Too few were prepared with insights and the toolkits necessary to manage a crisis and were therefore faced with crippling businesses, widespread lay-offs, and minimal cash flow.
As we continue to navigate these unchartered waters of the crisis, ask yourself: as an entrepreneur, how can you effectively respond to economic uncertainty and adapt your organization for the better? Here are some tips to help you mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 crisis on your business and manage future risk.
Expand online presence
If your physical office has been forced to close during the pandemic, you’ll need to rely on online interactions to stay in touch with customers and continue to offer your services or product. First, ensure your site is both mobile and desktop-friendly so potential customers won’t be turned away by poor user experience. Then, keep your blog copy and social media channels updated so you can regularly interact with customers and stay at the top of their minds. You should also ensure your users can easily access customer service online. Enlist the help of a live webchat service with expert agents who can interact with your customers to answer questions about your company, and help them place orders to make the experience positive at every turn.
Improve asset management
When your cash flow and revenue is in jeopardy, it’s critical that you maintain organization in your monetary and physical assets so you don’t become overwhelmed by payments and lose additional financial ground. To protect physical assets like vehicles, real estate, or equipment, minimize their usage, especially if your production is slowing, and only sell items as a last resort. For monetary assets, maintain a bookkeeper or accountant, and use a small business bank to keep your commercial finances organized and in tip-top shape. Though these steps may seem simple, they can help prevent financial chaos, set you up for a quick business turnaround once the crisis ends, and avoid any bottlenecks to getting back on your feet.
Once your assets are better managed, you can take a closer look at the way you’re spending money. How much do you expect to bring in during the crisis? Is that value less than what you’re planning to spend? Are there ways to cut expenses without affecting your business model or employees? Take a critical look at your expense reports, find the financial leaks, then use a budget program to create a strict financial plan and get your organization back to financial stability. Once the crisis passes, then you can reevaluate the way you spend to make room for growth.
Monitor changing trends
In order for your offerings to stay relevant in a crisis, it’s critical that you’re constantly staying up-to-date on the ways that consumer and industry trends are shifting. During the coronavirus, the largest consumer shift has been obvious: moving away from physical stores and into online usage. Therefore, it’s important to adapt your business accordingly and invest in remote capabilities. Whether it’s subscribing to a video conferencing platform for your employees to continue collaborative efforts, or trialing a remote reception option to continue customer service offerings from home, there are plenty of ways to shift your business model to support changing consumer trends. However, as certain industries begin to reopen, be sure to adjust your model accordingly.
What do you think? Are these feasible tasks to protect your business in a crisis like the coronavirus? Are there any additional actions that you’ve found to be beneficial in terms of personnel, financial, or product management?
It’s important to not only respond well to a crisis so you can ensure your business survives choppy waters, but also to plan for these emergency situations in the future so you have measures in place to stay successful in the long-term. Use these tips to keep your business afloat during COVID-19, and share your own keys to successful navigation to help other small business owners improve their responses.