The American economy is set to re-open pretty soon and the business sector is about to get busy again following months of frozen operations. With the release of the guidelines for Open Up America Again, small business owners are still trying to figure out what constitutes the new normal in order to bounce back to the market and regain what they’ve lost from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What to expect?
Let’s face it, local small private businesses will have to brace new demands from their respective industries, along with the standards set by the government, in order to successfully resume operations
With all the lessons that COVID-19 taught us, it is clear that necessary adjustments should be applied in small business operations.
Survival always goes hand in hand with the concept of evolution in which you have to adapt in order to remain in the lead. This suits very well with small businesses considering they are the pedigree of the economy. Certain aspects have to be changed and it has to be done at the earliest time.
Here are some specific actions you can do to ensure that your small business will evolve towards resilience.
Boost your Online Presence
Everyone is going online and it will be a tragedy if your small business gets left behind. Evidently, consumer behavior has drastically changed especially with the limited movement outside.
Customers are nowhere to be found on the streets anymore. They are all in the virtual world of the internet. And the only way to reach them is to set up your own virtual location where they can reach you anytime, anywhere.
When nothing else works during the COVID-19 crisis, digital marketing became the last resort of many small businesses to continue their sales strategies and reach their respective market.
The likes of social media marketing, SEO, content marketing, PPC, etc., became the new vehicles to increase brand awareness, sustain delivery of services and products, and discover new means of income generation during a time where traditional strategies were ineffective.
And as physical transactions resume, it is still best to completely adopt digital marketing to get ahead of the competition.
What might have worked before, may not work today or tomorrow. It sounds cliché but in running a small business, innovation is a key player.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how products and services are altered and improved consistently; it is true now more than ever as the needs of the people are shifting.
The best thing to do is to explore industry-related services that have been paid little attention to.
Take, for instance, professional chefs that obviously couldn’t perform their functions in the restaurants. Some of them decided to do cooking videos or recipe blogs that have allowed them to create another source of income amidst their vague employment status.
This also applies to businesses that can’t carry out their deliverables the regular way. Find other creative ways to deliver products and services that fit the new demands on the market.
Establish an Employee Health Monitoring System
Safety and protection of workers are two of the priorities set by the government as employees go back to work. Hence, business owners are given the accountability to create policies on health monitoring within their workplace.
We have seen how health disruptions can create immense chaos in our society. It simply justifies that regular testing and screening, as well as check-ups, should certainly be part of the benefits employees get from the company.
Create a Crisis Management and Recovery Plan
In any given situation, those who have prepared ahead for any turmoil obviously will have the upper hand in the game. It’s a valuable lesson that we have to create an alternative system for compromising conditions along with sure-fire continuity strategies.
Secure an in-depth disaster/crisis management plan for all probable cases (e.g. pandemics, natural disasters, recession) that could pose a threat to your business. Avail of the necessary insurance to aid your recovery, and include a systematized assessment of internal and external factors that could influence your resumption.
Provide an Option for Remote Work
The internet is never short of means that could accommodate the needs of your small business. With the instability of the coronavirus transmission, there is no telling that remote work will be phased out soon. And as what we’ve seen first-hand during this crisis, it’s better ready than sorry.
In the spirit of crisis management, formulate a remote work policy that covers essential provisions from work arrangements, daily schedule, communications strategies, task managing apps, and programs to be used, to the individual deliverables and responsibilities of every employee.
Truly, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an eye-opener and a painful reminder that consistency does not bear equal results in every situation. This goes with the fact that countless industries have been severely affected by the public health emergency that restricted business transactions, sales, traditional marketing, and the general supply and demand chain in every area to the point of permanently closing up.
The world is obviously heading towards a future of technological advancement especially in terms of information. It has shifted the system in such a way that there’s no other choice but to succumb to change. Leave no stones unturned and figure out how your small business can ride along that stream.