Don't Let COVID-19 Kill Your Business
We know a lot of business owners are pretty scared right now. Real talk? We are too. There’s a lot of uncertainty out there and challenges in the marketplace that we’ve never had to deal with before. Being a bit freaked out is a natural reaction to the scenario in which we find ourselves. So, let’s all have a quick freak out, let out a primal scream and shake ourselves about before we get into how we’re going to solve the challenges.
-Primal Scream Break-
Okay, so now that’s out of our systems, let’s look at what we can do to make this better. Here are four positive and practical steps you can take for your business right now and they won’t cost you a thing – except your time, which you may find you have a little more on your hands right now.
LOOK YOUR THREATS SQUARE IN THE EYE
We need you to be brave and honest during this step. It’s a great idea to collaborate with your team rather than going it alone. Conduct a thorough and honest SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - analysis of your business in the current climate.
HERE ARE FOUR PRACTICAL STEPS YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW ON ZERO BUDGET
Strengths are attributes within your business that you control so start by listing everything you’re really good at. Weaknesses are also within your control and are areas where you could improve as a business, a team or as individuals. Now is not the time to pick on each other, so make it clear the conversation needs to be polite, honest and positive. Allow people to submit anonymous answers if you think there could be friction in the team. Opportunities should list anything outside your control that you could capitalise on, for example, a local café could start offering contactless delivery. Threats are things outside your control that threaten your business or the way you used to operate your business up until now.
TURN THE THREATS INTO OPPORTUNITIES
Can’t meet your bookkeeping clients in person anymore? Take this opportunity to move your business online and save yourselves the commute. Do regulations make it impossible to deliver your service at all right now? Incentivise post-corona bookings that are paid in advance with a value add, e.g. book and pay for a post-corona back massage and we’ll throw in a complimentary foot massage. Is there no system set up for your team to collaborate from afar? Now’s your opportunity to streamline your workplace collaboration systems by getting everyone onto project management software and moving your data to cloud storage. If you can turn all the threats you listed on their heads and find ways to use your strengths to solve the challenges, you’re starting to win the battle.
EVOLVE IN EXCITING WAYS
Don’t be afraid of change. Did our Intergalactic patron Saint David Bowie fear change? No, no he didn’t. He evolved with the times and you need to as well if you want to be long-term successful like Bowie was. If you’ve been resisting technology, it’s time to give in and let it work for you. Ask yourselves, “What’s essential to your customers right now?” and find the best way to get that to them under current restrictions. Perhaps you can even tweak your service offering, such as a cleaning service offering COVID-19 cleans for places where an infected person or people have been present. Spruce up your e commerce, your collaborative software, your video call systems, your day to day processes and logistics. This could be the chance to implement some very exciting ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.
CUT WASTE, NOT STAFF
People are your most important asset. You’re probably looking at staffing costs as a way to cut back. It takes a lot of money to source and train the right people to the point where they’re profitable. Do you really want to start over if this thing passes without turning into an all-out zombie apocalypse? Instead, before you cut staff, look at cutting areas of inefficiency. Are you wasting too much time on certain tasks that could by systemised? Are you doubling up on tasks such as data entry? Could a process document or operations manual help ensure everyone follows a streamlined procedure? Would moving to a paperless system save you thousands on printing and paper? Ask your staff for ideas on how you could best use them at this time too. They may have useful skills you can capitalise on, for example your café’s wait staff might be able to be delivery drivers for the time being. Your fitness instructors might be able to livestream classes from their own homes.
If you’d like to know more about strategies that could help your business at this time, complete the form below.