When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, business owners had to think fast and adapt to the new “normal” – whether it’s becoming more tech-savvy and moving into the digital space or coming up with new innovative ways of offering products and services.
Unfortunately, many businesses in the F&B and events industries got hit the hardest and had to close their doors. However, despite how bleak things seem, this isn’t the time to throw in the towel if you own a small business that’s still in operation.
In fact, now is a crucial time to innovate and re-strategise so as to stay relevant and thrive in this challenging landscape.
If you aren’t sure where to begin, read on to discover some small business tips that we’ve put together so as to ensure business survival.
1. Audit Your Business’s Revenue Streams
Take the time to examine your business and learn which areas are still performing and which aren’t, so as to focus on building up your strengths.
Apart from that, this also enables you to avoid unnecessary expenses as you would cut the unnecessary areas and start to think lean.
It helps to start by looking at the areas you spend on in a month and decide on your non-negotiables.
From there, look at other costs that you can reduce without sacrificing quality. Remember, it’s all about surviving before thriving, so keep that in mind when doing this audit.
2. Keep Calm and Keep Your Health Up
It might be challenging to remain calm when things appear to be going south. However, your well-being is most important.
After all, you wouldn’t be able to productively come up with innovative ideas and make big decisions if you’re stuck in panic mode. So be sure to eat well, exercise and get enough sleep!
Check out these exciting ways to work out for free so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to keep fit during this period.
3. Innovate Digitally & Double Down On Online Marketing
There’s no better time than now to build a strong digital presence and boost online marketing efforts.
After all, there are many potential customers you can connect within the digital space.
Whether it’s finding a creative way to offer your product or service online through SEO or enhancing your brand’s personality through a new web redesign, you can potentially gain more loyal customers and gain awareness for your business by embracing digital transformation.
4. Hit Up Your Current Customers & Ask For Referrals
If you have established good relationships with your current customers, why not reach out to them and get some referrals? If you never try, you’ll never know!
Try to set up a referral program for your brand that incentivizes your customers to introduce new business.
Besides that, it’s a good idea to build stronger relationships with existing customers and perhaps get some feedback on your company’s product or service so as to improve.
5. Establish New Business Partnerships In Your Industry
How familiar are you with other companies in your industry?
If you haven’t gotten the chance to network or build those connections, now is prime time to do so.
Even though some of them might be competitors, this pandemic could give you opportunities to collaborate with them on shared projects and who knows, you might even end up with some new business partners and it could be a win-win situation!
So start an outreach campaign, either through the phone or sending cold emails to get started!
If you are in the B2B space, be sure to create your LinkedIn profile and start networking with professionals in your industry.
You can do so by:
- Firstly adding all of the contacts of your current clients (or people you know in the industry).
- Check out their contacts for relevant professionals that might be a good lead for the business and ask for an introduction from your network.
- Join various LinkedIn professional groups and start introducing yourself and contributing to the conversation to gradually build up your network.
6. Tap Onto Government Grants
By equipping your team with additional skills, they will become more efficient and productive at work, hence you wouldn’t have to hire additional staff.
Also, your staff would definitely appreciate having their jobs when you keep them during such turbulent times and this could strengthen your bond with them.
7. Ensure You Have Access To Cash For Your Operating Expenses
Even though the future feels uncertain, it’s a good idea to make a 3-month or 6-month plan so that you would at least be able to have the money for your business to resume operations.
Cash is still king, especially in uncertain times like this.
Reach out to people that you have to pay, such as suppliers or your landlord, and find out if they have options in place so you can spread out the costs.
You can also approach your banks and access low-interest loans or a credit line for your business.
Apart from that, you can also consider looking at other ways to cut costs such as hiring freelancers to work on an ad-hoc basis instead of new full-time staff, or perhaps downsizing your office for the time being.
8. Actively Prospect For New Business Through Social Media
It’s no secret that social media is a powerful tool when it comes to growing your business.
If you haven’t been utilising your business social media accounts, read up and learn about the various tools!
Once you’re able to use social media effectively, you would then be able to target the right people and connect with those who might require your product or service.
One great example is hosting live-streaming events, that many businesses, even the traditional ones such as pawnshops, are embracing to better engage with your customers to bring in much-needed revenue.
Set Aside More Money For Your Business By Saving On Your Electricity Bill
During this challenging period, things may feel uncertain for your business.
However, it doesn’t have to entirely be this way. One thing you can take control of is your energy usage & how much you are paying for it.
Lock in guaranteed savings on your monthly commercial electricity bill with iSwitch and save on your business operating expenses – so you have more money on hand for your business growth.
Taking advantage of these savings by checking out our commercial price plans today!