Small Business vs Pandemic

Small Business vs Pandemic

Keeping your business intact in the wake of Covid-19 can be a struggle.

The Pandemic is affecting businesses for a variety of reasons.  Some of these reasons may be outside of your control:

  • Perhaps your business is one that cannot be converted to virtual or online, such a business where customers need to be able to see or touch products in person to make a purchase or perhaps you offer a personal service that you can only deliver in person.
  • Maybe your customers are part of a larger group or industry that has been impacted by the Pandemic by regulations or a perception of being unsafe such as the airline or cruise-ship companies.
  • Maybe people don’t view your business as a day-to-day need, but more as a luxury they can do without during tight times or your customers no longer need what you are selling such as not needing to buy new clothes when they are only working from home.

However, for many of us, there are things we can to survive and perhaps even thrive, and so we have gathered some tips that may you help get through some of the challenges for this time.

See if you can make a change to your business that will complement the current trends.  Maybe add something new to your offerings.  If you happen to sell services/products to an industry that is currently experiencing a down turn, maybe you can change or adapt the service to another industry that is still flourishing.  For example, when we saw our business changing due to Covid-19, we made the decision to formalize and expand to Virtual Conferences/Tradeshows.  We had a good track record working on tradeshows and livestreaming events, so for CCI it was a good place to start.

Take a look at your customers, see if they are making changes in their business and look for opportunities to help them during and after the crisis has passed.

Now may be a good time to look at your budget and change or reallocate where you are spending your money.

We contacted Susan Taylor, Senior Vice President and Commercial Relationship Executive of Community Bank of the South and here are some things to keep in mind about budgets whether there are good times or bad times.

A budget governs our overall business financial health and should influence the decisions we make daily. A budget gives us something to look at, in order to make changes or adjustments to the way we spend our money or resources. It is like a road map that we can adjust depending on what is happening in the world around us. The bottom line is…you must have a budget. And when the tide turns, and we return to more of a sense of normalcy; you still need to maintain a budget.

So, keep track of what you can learn from this crisis and figure out how this will help you plan for the next one.  No one likes to think this could happen again, but a crisis can be a weather incident like a hurricane or snow-storm, an internet hack, or the sudden loss of a large client. Having a plan will help you survive. Inc. Magazine points out during a down-turn businesses should review and fix their business model to meet changes, review processes for efficiency and consider automation, and evaluate the team carefully, especially if they are considering layoffs or furloughs.

At the same time, it is also important to stay in contact with your customers.  They may not be thinking about your services, but when this is over, you want to make sure your company name is the first one to come to mind when they need help.

And of course, don’t forget the effect all of this has on your employees.  You want to keep your employees safe and healthy. In addition to their work lives their home lives have also changed.  They may have to deal with home schooling, child care, working at home for extended periods of time. This can lead to a mentally stressful situation.

When we spoke with Lori Robinson, Business Liaison, at Career Source Brevard this is what she said about the changes CoVid has had on the workplace.

“No doubt the pandemic has negatively impacted employers and jobseekers. However, as a business liaison serving Brevard’s advanced manufacturing sector, a positive outcome during this time has been the organization’s ability to reframe its delivery of service to include many more virtual options. The engagement with local businesses and the participation rate, despite the challenges of COVID, has increased.”

As you can see, it is important to stay strong and take steps to keep moving forward.  Consider this as just one more roadblock on your path, and you will get through it like other roadblocks in the past.