Most business owners are dreaming about the world going back to normal. It’s hard on a lot of people right now – many businesses are losing money due to the downtime, and without a clear idea of when things will have some semblance of normality, many are feeling quite stressed about the whole thing. Of course, the most important thing right now is that everybody stays safe – however, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a few things up your sleeve for your business. Don’t wait until everything has gone back to normal, though – start now. Here, we’ll give you a list of 9 things you should do for your business before the world goes back to normal.
Take a look and see what you can do:
1. Give Everybody A Discount
You may not be able to ship items out right now or even perform your services, but you could offer a discount for people to give them an incentive to buy from you now. Not only will this give them a better incentive to purchase from you, it’ll help to improve your cash flow in the meantime. Just ensure you’re prepared to offer your services as soon as you can or send out the items ordered ASAP – give people a good idea of when this might be, too, but don’t make any promises. You may be one of the lucky businesses that can still send out items during this time. If you are, then try to send them out ASAP, but ensure you still inform buyers on how you are taking the steps to protect them and their items.
This is also your chance to give people a gift and show that you care before the crisis is over – everybody deserves something nice right now, so this could be a great idea.
2. Make Videos To Market Your Business
Making videos to market your business is something you can use this time to get to grips with if you haven’t previously thought about it. Video marketing has truly taken off, and is one of the most effective things you can do right now for your business.
You could start by making short but engaging videos talking about how to use a product of yours, or give how-tos on industry-related subjects. Whatever you decide to do, make sure your videos are valuable, shareable, engaging, and well-edited (there shouldn’t be any long pauses, for example). When you do this, people will be more likely to share your videos, and you could have a chance at going viral!
On top of this advice, make sure you consider the platform you’re posting to. You will post much shorter videos on TikTok than you would on YouTube, for example. Ensure you know the ins and outs of each platform before posting.
3. Figure Out What You Can Carry Forward
If your team working from home has worked really well, how will you make this work when this is all over? If people can save money on travel and work from home in their pyjamas, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to ask them to come into the office 5 days a week. Instead, you may add in some ‘work from home days’. Ask your team what they would like to do and see how they feel about it. You may still be ironing a few things out right now, and that’s to be expected. However, once you have most issues sorted, you’ll likely find that working this way is beneficial to your business.
The idea of making changes like this might scare you, but it has become apparent that things we once thought weren’t possible for certain businesses are in fact, possible. If it makes your employees happier, there’s a good chance your business will improve overall.
4. Give A Permanent Discount To Health Workers
Health workers have been the ultimate heroes during this crisis. They continue to work hard each and every day, whether on the front line or not. You could consider giving a permanent discount to health workers to show your appreciation. Not only will you show your gratitude, you’ll give an incentive for health workers to work with you, and develop a reputation as a business that cares.
5. Look Over Contracts With Your Suppliers And Vendors
Now could be a great time to look over contracts and suppliers with your vendors. They might be struggling, too. Can you get better pricing or payment terms? Perhaps you could even negotiate a “payment holiday”? You could even see if they would increase the services they are providing for you for a period of time at no extra cost. You won’t know if you don’t ask!
If a previous contract with a vendor hasn’t been great or satisfactory, then it could be time to look at striking up a relationship with a new one. Companies like Beck Evans could be worth a look for your commercial vehicles, for example.
6. Educate Your Customers on The Steps You’re Taking to Keep Them Safe
Now is a great time to educate your customers on how you are keeping them safe. The better you can alleviate their fears and anxieties, the easier it will be for you to retain their business during this crisis and once it is all over. You should also educate your staff on best practices so you can all stay healthy at home and at work. Make sure you stay in regular contact with both your staff and your loyal customers so you can stay in the forefront of their minds and reassure them that you aren’t going anywhere.
7. Try Scenario Planning For Market Changes
There’s no denying that there are likely to be market changes that impact your business once this is all over. People may not be able to travel to your events, for instance. How will you cope with these market changes and ensure you come through the otherside as unscathed as possible?
8. Plan Out Your Cash Flow
Make sure you do your due diligence and plan out your cash flow now. Is there a way you could sell on old equipment you no longer use, or sell stock at a discounted price to increase cash flow?
You may need to see if you can increase your lines of credit, just in case. Credit card companies may give you an increase while it’s still fairly early on. You don’t need to use them, but having them there could give you peace of mind.
If you still need money after all of this , make sure you check out any loans, debt forgiveness, and emergency grants that may be available for small businesses. Also make sure you check out and apply for any funding available from the government. These things can take a while to put into place, but they could be a huge help.
9. Communicate With Your Staff
You need to make sure that you’re on the same page as your staff, and that you can openly talk with your employees about the situation and how it is impacting your business. You’ll also need to have open and candid conversations about what it means for them. Doing this before they have a chance to let their imaginations run wild will enable you to give them a more positive and empowering narrative about what is going on and how it will impact them. The last thing you want is to have them sitting at home worrying that they are going to lose their jobs if this is not the case!