The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the world to its knees. It has significantly impacted not only the daily lives of people but also the economy and businesses. Travel bans, day-to-day restrictions, and more safety measures are put in place to prevent the further spread of the virus.
This uncertain situation brings many challenges for small business owners, such as keeping the customers safe, keeping your staff employed, and keeping the revenue flowing. Given this, businesses must evaluate their strategies and adjust their operations to adapt to the prolonged lockdowns, economic dip, and the pandemic's disruption of their businesses.
Reallocate your budget
Keeping your business operations going despite lockdown restrictions means redistributing cash towards essential business expenses. Things don't look like it's going back to normal anytime soon, so it's essential to evaluate your cash and the revenue coming in and see where you can cut costs and move the budget around.
For instance, you can let go of your physical office space and manage your business remotely in the meantime.
Bring your business online
With lockdowns and social distancing guidelines, small businesses dependent on foot traffic and in-store sales have been hit the hard. The effects on their cash flow were devastating. Thankfully, there are digital solutions available that can help your small business survive throughout this pandemic.
Consider offering your products and services virtually. For instance, if you're a professional services firm, you can conduct consulting services via phone, email, or video conferencing. The same goes for fitness studios; you can provide training sessions via video chat.
If you're a small cafe, consider selling your coffee beans on online marketplaces or set up your own online store and see your e-commerce sales grow.
Use digital marketing
Since you're bringing your business online, it's crucial to establish your online presence on digital platforms to draw your target audience's attention. People use Google, Instagram, Facebook, and other channels to search about anything and everything—from coronavirus facts to any available food for deliveries in their location.
Reallocate your marketing budget to digital marketing to optimize your social media presence and reputation and improve the content on your blog and/or online store, among others. Your business needs marketing to survive, and digital marketing is the way to do it today.
Offer pickup and delivery
Depending on the restrictions in your region, retailers and food businesses can consider offering pickup and delivery services to customers to overcome the lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures.
You can retrain your current employees to take orders and offer delivery services through phone or email. Make sure to review your national health department and labor department's guidance and safety protocols to maintain safety for both your employees and customers.
Stay in touch with customers via different channels
If you already have a list of your customers' email addresses, now is the best time to take advantage of email marketing. You can promote your existing services, new offerings, and exclusive promos, discounts, or gift cards. This can help with your cash flow needs.
You can apply the same concept to your SMS marketing. Send out campaigns and promotional messages that encourage your patronage to take action.
Moreover, produce content and consistently promote them and your product and service offerings on your social media channels. This way, you remain on top of your customers' minds, and you can keep them engaged with your brand even when they can't visit your stores.
Look into financial assistance programs
If you're still facing challenges in keeping your business cash flow healthy during this trying time, don't hesitate to apply for financial help. Review your local, state, and federal assistance programs that help small businesses manage the impact of the pandemic. You can also apply for wage subsidy programs for your employees.
Wrapping it up
In unforeseen circumstances like this pandemic, cash flow problems can cause a lot of stress. As a business owner, review the money coming in and out of your business, take a look at your inventory, map out your options, and see what you can do to adjust and optimize your revenue stream.
Don't be afraid to adapt to the changes brought about by this pandemic. Otherwise, you'll risk lagging behind.