COVID-19 has effected almost all business
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 crisis has negatively affected everyone at a personal or professional level. In the past six weeks we have seen less of our loved ones due to the stay-at-home orders, longer lines at the grocery store and the weird obsession with stock piling toilet paper and pop-tarts.
One thing is for certain, we are going through this together. Every business has had to pivot in some way. Restaurants are being creative with curbside pick-up, retail shops have amped up their online presence.
Some things to help your business thrive
Whether you are a one-man (or lady) shop or have a full team, when faced with difficult decisions or situations you could either:
A) Curl up into a fetal position, cower in terror and leave yourself to fate and wait to pick up the pieces of whatever is left of your company after things have stabilized or
B) Roll up your sleeves and get to work.
If your choice is B… Great job!
Getting started is usually the hardest part. Even during the darkest of hours there is always something that can be done to keep your business viable and serving the community. I know you’re wondering how, considering you’ve experienced a significant cash flow crunch – how can you possibly improve your business without cash.
You’ve come to the right place for answers…
We’ve listed several items that have zero cost. Things you can do with just a small investment of time.
Marketing should be one of the largest investments a business makes in its own company. Given the tight budgets nowadays, it’s no surprise that companies are cutting back on their marketing budget. However, cutting back on budget and stopping your marketing efforts are two totally different things. You can easily do some marketing for little or no money at all.
When was the last time you updated and optimized your Google My Business listing? When was your last Instagram, Facebook or Twitter post? Have you hopped on the TikTok bandwagon yet? Have you updated the content on your website or written a blog post lately? When was the last time you loaded a how-to video for your customers on YouTube?
These are all things you can do on your own or have one of your staff do for you. Even better, if you have furloughed some employees, why not see if their willing to pitch in for a small fee.
According to Michael Pollaci, President of Stafford Technologies “…posting on any or all these channels on a regular basis is critical to surviving this crisis. Your customers need to know you’re still there. The best way to do that is to communicate with them.”
Let’s face it, the way we do business has changed. Never, in our wildest dreams did we think things would go this way and not have a Plan B in place. Now is the perfect time to document or adjust your processes. Alyson Caffrey, Founder & COO of Operations Agency has some very helpful tips.
When starting a process – look at it with the high-level overview of the following:
- What the process is
- How does it serve the Company
- How does it serve the customer
For more helpful resources click here.
Look at expenses
No matter what causes a cash flow issue, any financial crisis is a stressful time and they require added focus and attention to detail. Controlling costs and tightening up spending are the easiest ways for companies to quickly adjust.
Here are a few simple suggestions to help you to make it through.
- Consolidate your spending and negotiate better pricing. For example, if you direct mail to your customers consider changing your print and mail house services to one vendor.
- Shop around. If your current supplier is not able or willing to work with you on better pricing their competition will be. Call your vendors competitors and see what new customer deals they are offering. Get vendors to compete for your business.
- Look at your discretionary expenses. Can you do your job without it? If the answer is yes, pause or cancel your subscription.
Staying in touch with your customers
Even during these stressful and uncertain times, take time to connect with customers. Building honest and authentic relationships during times of trouble can lead to loyal customer relationships.
- Be transparent about the choices your company is making. Let your customers know what choices you are making during this time.
- Be real, authentic, and transparent about your efforts to serve your customers as best as you can and let them know how they can support you in return. Loyal customers are your champions.
- Continue to maintain a strong relationship with your clients whether directly, individually, in newsletters, or social media. Show them you care. More than ever, your customers need to hear from you.
It’s Not All Doom and Gloom
No doubt, across the globe COVID-19 has been extremely damaging to businesses. And although it’s tough, we will get through this. There is always a light at the end. We are strong, we must have courage, stand our ground and push through to continue to make our businesses succeed.