What COVID-19 taught us: How to secure your small business’ viability through times of crisis
The pandemic hit many businesses hard. None of us could have known what was coming, and we were wholly unprepared for the havoc it wreaked on our lives. Especially for small businesses, the hit was devastating, and those who made it through struggled immensely. Some are still dealing with the consequences today.
While the pandemic is not over, we have nonetheless found a sense of normalcy. Consumers have resumed a lot of their previous spending habits, providing an opportunity for especially retail businesses to boost sales and strengthen their viability for the future.
Times are still uncertain, and with Russia’s aggressions towards Ukraine now also affecting the economy, you can never be too careful. Read on for our best tips to selling as much as you can while you can and preparing your business for all possible futures – so that you’ll be ready and able to stay afloat, should another crisis hit.
Keep up with your customers
Maintaining a strong connection with your customers is what will keep them coming back. If you run a physical store, this of course means greeting them with a smile, helpful advice and great customer service. But besides this, staying active and engaging with your followers on social media platforms is also a great way to stay connected. Post about new products, make guides, answer questions and ask for opinions.
This allows your customers to build a personal connection with you. Some might even start viewing you as a friend and come by to just browse and chat. And when you ask potential customers what they’d like from you directly, you’ll be able to adapt to their changing tastes – instead of just losing sales without knowing which need you’re no longer fulfilling.
Create a strong online presence
Many startups today assume that they can just use an Instagram or Facebook account as their main platform. While DMing you to order does give your customers a personal, boutique-esque shopping experience, this doesn’t come without its dangers. As we’ve seen time and time again, social media accounts are hacked constantly – and if just one person (a competitor, e.g.) decides to report you, both Facebook and Instagram are often quick to exclude you from their platform without allowing you to argue your case.
To avoid leaving the fate of your livelihood up to big tech corporations, having a website to run your business from is a must. If you’re not confident that you’ll be able to create one that lives up to your standards yourself, there’s plenty of help to be found. While a good programmer is an extra expense, it’s money well spent. The same can be said for marketing agencies like https://wedigitize.dk/en/, which can help you boost your Google ranking and create strong copy for your website.
Start planning – for now and the future
Last, but certainly not least: Sit down and create a detailed plan of action for the future. Start with the steps that need to be taken immediately, e.g. like the amount of money you need to put into savings every month. Then move on to possible future scenarios: Take stock of your expenses so that you know which are necessary and which can be cut if need be. If the situation is dire, prepare your employees for the steps you may need to take. Look into options like loans, grants, subsidies, etc. This way, you can stay calm and know what to do no matter what happens.
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