Headlines in the times of COVID-19 remain bleak as the coronavirus spread places people in panic mode, and impacts small businesses. We will possibly be in the middle of a recession and 44% of our small businesses are unprepared for one with very disastrous consequences for businesses destabilised by all choppy waves of economic rise and fall. Unprepared business owners affected by the last recession, recall being totally clueless about remedies during economic decline. Let’s plan for all small business boats to remain afloat.
Escalate your marketing efforts
Most companies were gliding along on referrals for ages and suddenly they struggle to sustain themselves. Clients drop away like flies, unable to afford investing in our services. Spending drops down during recession and sales may decline. But why stop marketing instead of boosting it during these times? Marketing is done to secure customers for the future and today. Whatever’s working for you, continue to do more. Decent Marketing is not about selling your product but answering questions and meeting customer needs, without a big budget. If outsourcing is too costly, handle in-house, all email marketing, social media management, besides blog writing.
A Back-up plan for your finances
If your revenue is impacted, how to pay bills and employee wages? Can reserves carry a business through probably several months of financially difficult times? Apply for financing ASAP before you land in dire straits. Even if you don’t need money now (and loathe interest payments), you may be glad for a loan or line of credit. You may not need the money but securing a financial product can boost your business credit.
Review expenses critically
You may need to tighten the company’s belt, review all expenses and trim everything un-necessary. Though temporary, this exercise may uncover some expenses you were wasting money on, and streamline expenses by focussing only on essentials. If subscribing to software packages, do you really need current service levels? You could manage with a cheaper (or free) plan, at least for now. If you can’t afford to retain staff, consider their willingness to work part-time, temporarily. Hire freelancers or contractors for what you need, to cut down on employee benefit costs.
Focus on retaining existing customers
A recession is not a great time to attract new customers, so focus on retaining the ones you already have. These repeat customers will see your small business through challenging times. They know that your products and services sold, meet their needs. You must convince them that, even during recession, they buy from you. Consider launching loyalty programs that reward customers for enhanced buying. Offer discounts and sales suitable for each customer’s needs and past purchases. Closely review data you secure from marketing campaigns so that you continue to achieve targets.
Never forget the big picture
Costco and other supermarkets are full of people loading up on toilet paper. Panic buying encourages others to do so as people are freaking out under the threat of coronavirus. They are thinking about managing in their bathrooms if everything closes down but still remain unaware about the bigger picture. This gloomy threat of this illness too will pass. Also recession will subside. It’s important that you take care of immediate needs, and stay strong, knowing that your business can and will survive.