Coronavirus has impacted businesses in a way that was unthinkable just weeks ago. No business will have planned for this and the smaller ones will be more vulnerable.
I believe though that when we get through this crisis it will be those that have used this period of forced isolation and closure to prepared themselves that will rise fastest and even make gains on competition that have not been proactive.
What you can do:
Secure the business:
- Keep safe and don’t be tempted to find ways to get around isolating, Sports Direct have already suffered public condemnation for needlessly trying to stay open.
- Ensure any workers are reassured and supported.
- Contact your customers to explain your position and what you are doing to support them at this time.
- Suspend all costs that it is possible to do so and look carefully at cash-flow for the next few months. Talk to your bank about how they can help you.
- The government are bringing in measures seemingly every day that may assist small businesses and hopefully sole traders. Get on top of what assistance you are able to claim. If you have an Accountant, now is the time for them to earn their fee, talk to them.
Plan for the future:
- If you could provide goods or services on-line, but haven’t yet explored that option – start looking. Those that already do, see how it can be expanded or made better.
- Use this chance to re-examine your business, think about your goals and how you will put in place actions to reach them. Dare I say, now you have time, do a Business Plan.
- Some restrictions are likely to be in place for a while, how can your business best operate once the immediate lock-down is lifted.
- Consider how the public mind-set may be altered over the next year and find ways of communicating in future marketing a reassurance of working practices and care for your customers. Good PR can come from your good intentions, helping both you and your customers. It’s not cynical, it’s understanding what now is important to potential customers.
- Keep positive. Every crisis eventually passes, position yourself for growth when it does.