In just a matter of days, the world has gone from a “no panic” situation to complete lockdown. Coronavirus is spreading everywhere at an alarming rate pushing the panic button heavily especially for the economic market. Today, more than 3 million people are affected by the virus globally with hundreds of cases emerging every hour.
The COVID-19 virus pandemic has hit the business at a scale, all around the globe. It has affected business and consumer behavior on a massive scale. You all are facing travel bans, restrictions on movements, frozen day-to-day life—all of which have shaken both small and large businesses. As people are practicing social distancing and there are no movements, stock markets have shown huge fluctuations, and businesses are on the downward spiral.
Moreover, people are locked at home leading to a sharp fall of the demand and supply curves, thus recessions. Much of the talk has now been shifted from pandemic crisis to how to handle your business during this crisis. While the virus has shaken everything, there are some aspects that SMBs should keep in mind. It is an unprecedented challenge for people to run their businesses without risking their health and manage better cash flow. While no one knows how long this will last, the business owners must use some tactics to ship through this time.
This Post will provide you a list of tips SMBs can use to carry out to steer their business in the right direction and improve their cash flow.
1. Avail Digitizing Opportunities
During this pandemic, while every business has gone down, the digital market graph showed incredible upliftment. Most of the businesses that avoided e-marketing in the past are now seeking digital marketing services so that their business can go live and they can stay in touch with the community. Being a business owner, you must realize that your business needs an online presence as there is no other way to connect with your customers right now.
SMBs must incorporate e-wallets, online banking, UPI and other online payment methods to provide their customers seamless and hassle-free payment methods.
2. Provide Pick-up & Delivery Services
Retailers and customers, both have been affected by the lockdown restrictions. Customers are now looking for service providers that are offering pick-up and delivery services. If you have an e-market platform where you can interact with your customers, you should put some effort to provide delivery services in your regions.
If you have these services in place, you must promote it through your social media channels to let people know about your safe pick-up and delivery facility. To transition to delivery services, you can manage a small group of working people, providing that they take all necessary measures. You may also want to review security instructions and CDC websites for guidance on how to offer delivery services while not risking safety.
3. Connect Your Customers Through Emails
If you haven’t adopted digital platforms, look for email addresses of the customers you might have collected in the past. If you decided to provide services virtually via pick-up and delivery, you can use email addresses to let your customers know about your new offering and services.
You can also send gift cards with no expiry dates to improve your cash flow needs. When the Coronavirus pandemic will be over, people can use these gift cards and your business will see a sudden increase in the cash flow. You should stay in contact with your customers regularly to stay at the top of their minds. This will keep your brand or service linked with the customers even though they can’t visit your store physically.
4. Look Into Available Finance
There are a number of local states, governments announcing valuable business support programs. Whether you are a startup or running a small-medium business, chances are that you will get some financial support to ship your business to deal with the fallouts from the COVID-19 lockdown.
The recently passed CARES Act aims to support SMBs impacted by COVID-19, helping them keep their employees on the payroll.
5. Develop Your Own New Products
While the lockdown continues, there is an opportunity for your business to utilize skills differently and develop products suitable for the current situation. If you are a developer, you can create mobile apps to keep people aware of the health risks and coronavirus updates.
When you design your product, the margin is bigger. All you need to do is to look into trending data and analyze different sectors. Look out for those products and services which have higher demand even during the pandemic. You need to figure out which sectors are still thriving and how your business can take advantage of it.
6. Stay In Touch With Online Community
Most of the businesses have implemented online conference software with CRM integration to support work from home schedules in the best possible manner. Such software gives employees and customers a feeling of real-life interaction as they talk and see faces in video chats clearly.
Additionally, keep your social media profile updates and send messages to your clients more often. It is important to know what your customers are doing and what their requirements are so you can plan around your business strategies accordingly.
7. Prepare For Life After COVID-19
There is no doubt that various things have changed in our lives in a short period of time. Though it is hard right now, everyone must prepare for life after COVID-19. However, small and midsize businesses must realize that they need to change the way they do business.
The Pandemic has taught business experts that things can go in any direction anytime. One who wants to be successful must realize the importance of digitizing their business. Unless your products/services have an online appearance, which most of the startups don’t, you will not be able to meet the new global market trends.
Maintaining a healthy business cash flow is a challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. However, it’s important for business owners to stay focused and positive. There are some bumps on the road but we will get through this together as an industry.