5 Tips for Small Business Owners to Stay Afloat During a Crisis
The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 has caused millions of people to feel anxious and unprepared, and small and mid-sized business owners seem to be taking the brunt of this stressful situation. Trying to manage your business while protecting your family and your employees can feel terribly overwhelming, especially if you don’t know if you’ll be able to sell your products or pay your valued workers when you have to close up your physical shop for an unspecified length of time.
It’s perfectly understandable if you feel lost, unsure, and concerned about the future. However, not all hope is lost. There are plenty of resources available for business owners just like you, and there are steps you can take today to begin minimizing the negative impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the top 5 tips that entrepreneurs should consider right now:
1. Brainstorm new ways to offer support.
Since certain products, such as face masks and hand sanitizers, have seen dramatic increases in demand, other companies are quickly stepping in to assist consumers to get the items they need. For instance, several distilleries have refocused their efforts away from making alcoholic beverages in favor of making hand sanitizer. Fashion brands have started to sew face masks and medical gowns to assist healthcare workers on the front lines. Even tech companies, such as HP, have begun to provide 3D printing resources to create masks, face shields, ventilators, and more. Look around your own community for inspiration and unique opportunities for your business to expand into new avenues!
2. Prioritize your employees’ well-being.
Your employees’ stress levels will go up during this time, and some may seem uncommitted due to concerns about their loved ones, homeschooling their children, or managing other responsibilities. The key to helping your workers is to maintain clear expectations and open communication channels. Provide employees with as much information as you can about ways to stay safe, flexibility with their work assignments, and which tasks they need to prioritize. Be patient, readily available, and optimistic; your team will thank you.
3. Reach out to loyal customers.
Even if your store is closed, you can continue reaching out to your loyal audience through email marketing, social media posts, special deals on your eCommerce site, or other exclusive offers. You can offer gift cards for future services, post informative videos to engage with your audience, or offer payment plans to entice people to continue their regular spending habits. Small changes can make a big difference, and your customers will remember how your company responded to the coronavirus crisis. Be engaging, encouraging, and present, no matter which platform or online channel you choose to utilize.
4. Start looking for financial aid now.
Government relief packages are still in the works, but it might take some time before you’ll actually see these funds. In the meantime, you might find it valuable to search for other solutions to keep your business afloat. Some helpful resources include:
5. Step up your eCommerce game.
There’s no better time than now to prioritize your online presence, especially if you’ve been putting your website’s needs on the back burner. Use the time and resources you were allocating elsewhere to step up your eCommerce game! Not to mention, there’s never been another era in history where the internet has risen to such uncontested importance! Tap into the trend, and get your site up to speed.
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