It is evident that small businesses will experience the most hardships during a pandemic. While bigger, well-established businesses have a higher chance of surviving, entrepreneurs setting up small businesses may only have a few months of cash flow. As such, when something critical happens, it can prove to be devastating and detrimental to the success and growth of the upcoming business. This, in itself, has a trickling effect that falls on the employees who will also experience hardships. So the question that lies to be answered is how can new small businesses possibly survive during the pandemic? While it may be true that there isn’t a straightforward answer that suits all situations, there are several things business owners can do to ensure that their new business keeps running and weathers the hardships of the pandemic.
It’s natural for a new small business owner to experience high levels of stress within the first few months of opening. That stress has significantly heightened during the pandemic. In order for you to ensure that your business thrives, you have to have a clear mindset. Therefore, remember to care for yourself. That might be eating well, working out, getting enough sleep, or taking some time for yourself.
With a healthier mindset, business owners will be in a better position mentally to come up with innovative ways in which they can move forward. In what experts define as being a rapidly developing scenario, sometimes it pays to just take a step back, ask for opinions, and reassess the problem. In addition to that, business owners should practice their due diligence when it comes to their emotional health and shouldn’t shy away from the possibility of seeking professional services. Simply said, if you cut off the head, what happens to the rest of the body?
State and Federal Resources
Many governments around the world have already put initiatives in place to help small business owners. Therefore, ensure that you’re up to date with the ways in which the government can help to minimize expenses. Additionally, banks have a social responsibility and more than likely have programs in place to assist small business owners specifically. When it comes to PPE, you should be prepared with the things you are going to need, such as sanitizers, masks, plexiglass, or medical gloves.
90 Day Financial Plan
The prominent business magazine, Entrepreneur, states that most small businesses have the same expenses month after month, such as salaries, utility expenses, and office space rent. Ideally, business owners should contact individuals who they have to pay and determine if they can establish a plan to spread out the expenses. With everything that’s going on, they will more than likely have options in place to assist their customers as their success depends on their consumer’s ability to pay. Additionally, one should look at their personal finances to determine if there are areas in which they can minimize their expenses, such as entertainment. Business owners should evaluate their overall expenses to see which is a necessity and which can be placed on hold.
Increase Employee Efficiency and Productivity
One of the most effective things you can do is to improve the productivity and efficiency levels of your employees. There are numerous ways business owners can approach this. It can include music in the workroom, incorporate a reward system, or recognize their efforts regularly. Ideally, you can train your staff to acquire additional skills which will in turn make them more efficient and productive. This will also save businesses money in the long term as opposed to hiring new employees. For instance, a receptionist or customer care representative could be taught digital marketing or social media management which are two skill sets that can help to increase revenue.
While the morality behind capitalizing on situations that pop up during the pandemic may seem shaky at best, it can also serve as a wake-up call as to how you need to adapt to the current situation. Questions business owners should be asking themselves include:
- Can my current business model survive the pandemic? Should I change it?
- How will my customers react? Will they purchase more online?
- Should I digitize my services or products and create an online store?
- Can my business benefit from social media or search engine ads?
- Is my current way of promoting my business still viable?