People around the world are clutching their change purses and saving as much as possible. Spending has fallen drastically. It’s all due to severe financial stress and uncertainty instigated by the global coronavirus pandemic.
Corporations are also feeling the squeeze as restrictions on operations continue and spending hasn’t recovered.
So, what can you do to survive and thrive even in these stressful times?
Adapt Your Business Model
Right now, things are everything but business as normal. So, adapt! If you run a restaurant or establishment with food, invest in hygiene and sanitation so that you can continue to operate. Customers feel safe when they see your delivery driver with a mask on and hand sanitizer easily accessible. Other restaurants have opted to serve more meals in family portions as most families are at home together.
Or, change focus. For example, if you run a clothing factory, why not make cloth masks and gowns for medical staff? People may not be buying clothes, but they are purchasing masks and similar sanitation items.
A business that doesn’t adapt, won’t survive. So, find the angle and market need that you can fill, and do that. Ideally, you’ll find something related to what you already do.
Some tips for adaptation include:
- Focus on only the most important parts of your business. Put your money there.
- Celebrate ideas that are low in cost or free, but will help future growth.
- Use interns and apprenticeships to systemize processes without adding a lot of costs.
- Accelerate virtual and online options for your customers and clients.
- Consider offering delivery for your products, or advertise your delivery services.
Evolve Your Business With Technology
Evolve your business by organizing your projections, systematizing your operations, and modernizing your communications. Focus on having more clarity in your cash flow and the administration of your company. For example, accounting can be automated; collections, payments, and taxes as well. In addition, operationally, emails, and contracts can be automated. Also, meetings, projects, and customer data can all be in one database. You can also automate your marketing with social media, designs, and campaigns. Some companies to help you with these tasks include; Quickbooks, Paypal, Dropbox, Gsuite, Zoom, Basecamp, Buffer, and Canva, among others.
There are also virtual platforms, like Kiva, where you can raise funds from investors from your phone and receive news in minutes. There is also crowdfunding, which are companies that have investors interested in being part of the growth of your business (eg Seedcapital). All this without forgetting to protect your secure data and information in the cloud.
These tools can help improve control over your business, without adding a lot of cost. In fact, using these tools may reduce costs.
Consider Corporate Responsibility Projects
Do you want to boost your company’s profile? With the right corporate responsibility project, you can raise brand awareness and be thought of as a good, helpful business that people are ready to support once they’re ready to open their wallets again.
For example, hand out free facemasks, turn your large parking lot into a COVID testing site, give away food, or offer free virtual training and webinars. These are great opportunities that will bring potential customers closer to your company and give you a chance to show them who you are. The brand awareness you raise now can influence your future success.
When in doubt, set up a session with a certified financial planner to help you evaluate the best next move for your business. While you may spend a small amount of money upfront, the savings will be longterm! You’ll set your business up for success and even in this uncertain world. With a solid plan in place, you can make sure your business isn’t one of the many that will flounder and drown. Instead, you can come out on the other side of this ready to grow.
Elaine King is a certified financial planner with extensive experience working with large corporations and family businesses. Set up a workshop or planning session with her today and fortify the future of your company!