For many small business owners, 2020 is the most unpredictable and challenging year they’ve ever witnessed. Coming to terms that their business will be on lockdown for two to three months, was a thought that never crossed their minds: not even for a second. The pandemic lockdown came unexpectedly.
However, the effect of the lockdown its most devastating on small business owners because most of them depend on daily income flow to fulfill financial obligations to their families, government, and employees. And the worst thing about the pandemic is that there’s no sign of it ending soon as the confirmed cases keep rising daily.
Keep reading if you’re looking for practical tips on both surviving and thriving during the pandemic lockdown. And you’ll find direction for navigating your business through the storms of the lockdown.
1. Prioritize your mental health
The pandemic situation in the world can be overwhelming and almost depressing for small business owners, especially those that have many responsibilities to keep up with. It can be tough and challenging. However, it’s at this point you must take your mental health seriously.
Worrying has never solved any problem in history, and won’t start now. Instead, “take time to pause, maintain a healthy routine, connect with loved ones, empathize with yourself, and reach out for help when needed,” as instructed by the World Health Organisation. It’s only a sound mind that restrategizes and rebuilds a business, prioritizes your mind, and the rest will fall in place.
2. Stay Updated with news about government intervention funds.
Small businesses play a crucial role in the development of every nation’s economy, as they contribute significantly to the overall GDP growth. Recently, the government of many nations, including some concerned private organizations, are creating intervention programs targeted toward helping small businesses.
As a business owner, you need to stay aware and keep up with the trends of intervention programs happening around your country. From tax holidays to small business loans, these programs could assist in raising funds for your business. For instance, the Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced a ₦50 billion COVID intervention fund for small businesses. Staying updated will enable you to take advantage of the opportunities when it comes.
3. Build an online presence for your business
In a study by Telecompaper, it was discovered that there is a whopping 60% increase in internet traffic usage during the pandemic crisis. These statistics suggest that more people are using the internet to seek information, which presents an opportunity for small businesses.
Instead of worrying about when the economy is reopening, you can focus on building your online presence. If you don’t have a website, its time to create one, and if your business doesn’t have a social media presence, its time to start growing one. Building an online presence will give your business a long-term advantage and enable you to acquire new customers.
4. Connecting with existing clients
Reaching out to your existing clientele is an excellent way of getting new business and inspiring sales for your small business. Your current clients are people that encountered your business in the past, people that have acknowledged the quality of your service and products, so they trust your company. Research suggests that it is easier to sell to existing clients than a new client.
Therefore, your task is simple. Reach out to your database of contacts, start messaging, texting or calling them, and urging them to stay safe as well as remind them of your new products. This little exercise will increase your chances of making sales, and also enhance customer loyalty to your brand.
5. Explore new opportunities
It was Whiston Churchill that said, “never let a good crisis waste.” Despite how devastating the pandemic lockdown may be to your business, it still opened some opportunities. You need to train your mind to see the beauty in every ache.
This lockdown might be the right time to scrutinize your current business model, your finance, your operations, and other aspects of your business. If your present business model won’t let your business survive one extra year of lockdown, then it’s worth reviewing. Seek out opportunities in recent technologies, learn and apply ruthlessly.
The tips, as mentioned earlier, are survival strategies that can assist your business in scaling through these tough times. Above all, staying glued to your existing business operations strategy won’t help, things have changed, change with it. Start thinking of ways to evolve and adapt. Be creative and keep an open mind, only then can you make the most of out this pandemic lockdown.