So we find ourselves within an extended lockdown period and none of us are sure what the future holds at this point. To be honest, I have stopped counting the days. Personally, I am focused on my business and keeping it afloat. Being there for my clients and assisting others where I can, as well as pitting my brain against what this pandemic means to small business owners and how we can all survive this.
I have read so many articles on the impact this pandemic is having on economies worldwide as well as some wonderful tips and advice on how to stay relevant during this time and not fade into the background. So I decided to sit down and summarise what I’ve learned in the hopes that it will help you plan for business post-COVID19. Note that this is my point of view, and topics/issues I feel is important to give serious attention to going forward.
What it all boils down to is planning for the future. In a nutshell: with the information and experience you have now, what measures would you put in place to safeguard your business should another pandemic hit our country or the world at large? Let’s take it step by step to help with the process.
Online Presence: This must not be left unattended. You absolutely have to stay in the minds of your audience. Whether you do it yourself or you have a company that assists, keep going! Like I said in a previous blog, think about the tortoise and the hare story. The hare took a break and the tortoise won the race! It is much easier and less costly to market to existing customers than to try and acquire new customers.
Customer Communication: How well did you adjust communication to your existing customer base during the national lockdown? Did you send short messages, newsletters or made calls? If not, it is crucial to start doing this without delay and have measures in place to keep this up pandemic or no pandemic. It not only shows you care, but is a brilliant way to communicate to customers what measures you have put in place to safeguard their health when visiting your establishment or purchasing from you online once we have the go ahead to resume with business.
Post-COVID 19 business measures: I am a mom of a pre-teen, and just based on that fact I will be looking at places that I feel is safe to visit once we have the go-ahead to do so. And to be very honest, I will base my decision on what measures an establishment has put in place to ensure my health and safety while visiting them. If we’re honest, COVID 19 won’t just magically disappear. So businesses will have to keep this in mind when opening their doors. I strongly feel that whatever measures you put in place now should to some extent be taken over till long after lockdown. Write all your ideas down, work out a plan of implementation and get to work.
Staff Training: Should you employ staff, they should all undergo training on personal hygiene and safety measures to ensure the safety of your patrons. Whatever measures you have put in place for your business, you will have to present a manual to staff and provide training. This is essential so that everyone is on board with how business will be conducted in the future and will also form a great base should we ever face a similar pandemic/lockdown situation.
Adding Services: By now you would have realized that many businesses have branched out to offer some kind of service or product online. Put on your thinking cap and start thinking of ways you can ensure a small income should your business ever again be forced to close doors. It should compliment or be in line with your core business, if at all possible. Or what about a side hustle?
Financial Security: To say small business is struggling is an understatement of note. That being said, once the dust settles and you’re are able to do so, speak to a financial advisor to set in place an investment portfolio that you can draw from in future should the need arise. Also discuss possible saving plans for your employees and discuss these options with them.
I am certain that there are many more ideas, tips and advice out there. These are just a few that I think could greatly benefit you in the long run. Give it some serious thought. One thing’s for sure, the next couple of months will not be easy. However, I firmly believe that if we don’t panic and start thinking about ways to survive this, we can! Not just that, but we will be equipped to face another lockdown situation with confidence.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
“Prepare and Prevent. Don’t Repair and Repent.” Author Unknown
“It is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.” Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee
“To be prepared is half the victory.” Miquel De Cervantes
“It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Howard Ruff