Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2. Who would have thought that it would take only one virus to put the entire world into a screeching halt? Schools, stores, banks, offices, everything that makes up our normal life had to stop operations. Immediately, everyone was told to quarantine themselves, to stay at home, and to go out only for essential trips such as buying groceries.
There is no question that SARS-CoV-2 is by far one of the most life-threatening diseases that has graced the 21st century. The economic repercussions alone are enough to give everyone a heart attack. Keeping your business afloat is quite tricky, especially as we move forward with the so-called New Normal.
Perhaps one of the sectors that’s most affected, aside from the medical industry, is the small business sector. SMEs or Small and Mid-size Enterprises are slowly dying out. Governments from all over the world have ordered non-essential businesses to cease operations. The mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is through respiratory droplets, mostly from being in close contact with an infected person. Thus, entire countries are put on lockdown.
With no source of income and the bills continuing to come, businesses have no choice but to bleed themselves out. This has led to hundreds of thousands of companies from all over the world to permanently shut down, laying off millions of workers, exponentially raising the unemployment rate.
If you are a business owner, then you will know that these are dangerous times. Even with backed up savings, it can quickly run out as all the resources are flowing out with nothing coming in. Here we have compiled some of the best tips so that your business can survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shift Marketing Strategies – Go Online!
Times are tough. It’s crucial that you be resilient and not succumb to the pressure. The critical thing to remember is to be flexible. You need to shift your marketing strategies. Most brick-and-mortar stores rely on foot traffic to attract customers and increase sales. Unfortunately, with everyone in quarantine, this is an ineffective marketing strategy.
You need to adapt to the times. Staying in operation would be pointless if you don’t acquire any sales. Instead of praying that foot traffic increases, you can switch to an online store instead. Establishing an e-commerce store is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Several e-commerce platforms are easy and free to use. By putting your shop online, you are giving the entire world access to your store. One of the most common reasons for the significant rise of e-commerce is its convenience. Some of the more popular websites to create your e-commerce website are Shopify, BigCommerce, Weebly, and Wix. Another alternative is to sign up with an established e-commerce platform like Amazon, eBay, Etsy, and Alibaba.
It would be much safer for your customers to order your products online, instead of braving the streets and risk getting infected. One of the scariest things about SARS-CoV-2 is that there’s a 2-week incubation period where you don’t exhibit any symptoms. This means that by the time the symptoms appear, you have already gone around your house infecting everyone inside.
Lessen Human Contact
With close proximity to one another being the primary mode of transmission for SARS-CoV-2, it is only logical that you lessen as much human contact as possible. By doing this, you ensure the safety not only of your customers but of your employees as well. Here are some of the ways that you can take to lessen human contact.
Before you begin your e-commerce store, set up a parcel delivery system so that you can send your products to your customers. Some shops prefer to put their products in storage. With a few customisations, storage units can house any type of product. A storage unit with climate control will guarantee that nothing gets damaged while they wait to be purchased.
Henfield Storage offers affordable storage in London and other cities in the UK which can be customised for business storage. With most stores closed, it’s best to move all of your surpluses, company files, and excess furniture into a secure unit where it won’t get damaged.
Social Distancing Guidelines
Once stores are allowed to reopen, it’s crucial that you still maintain social distancing guidelines until things are back to normal Aside from a 1m-apart policy for all customers, you should also ensure that your store has a maximum number of customers inside. Face masks must also be worn at all times to avoid your store becoming a hotspot for transmission and eventual infection.
Exchanging cash can be one of the fastest ways to transmit the virus. Think about it. Just how many times does money get exchanged within the day? Your £10 note can make it to the other side of the country faster than you could imagine. Instead of accepting cash payments with a high chance for infection, there are cashless alternatives for you to take.
Many companies have now set up virtual cash payments like Venmo and Paypal to avoid transmission. You can also encourage card payments.
Social Media Marketing
The majority of the world’s population is stuck at home, in quarantine with nothing much to do except scroll through our phones. There is no mistaking it. Social media has completely taken over our lives, which is precisely the reason why your business should harness the power of social media. Even before the pandemic has started, social media marketing has already been delivering a lot of results.
Establishing a social media presence requires time, patience, and great visual and written content. You need to create a helpful persona that potential customers can trust. This way, it would be easy to convert them into loyal customers. Identify your target market and determine which social media platform would be best to use, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Take A Break
This may not be what you what to read right now but sometimes taking a break is the best choice. In the world of business, there’s a time to be resilient and hard-headed, and there’s a time for you to take a step back to see the bigger picture. With everyone still in quarantine, it would be complicated to drive your sales up so sometimes it’s better to stop operations for the meantime.
Read also: Steps for Business Recovery After Covid-19
Take this time to reconsider your business strategies and operations. Don’t make the mistake of forcing your business to open, putting everyone at risk, when the numbers are also low. Look at your accounts. If your overhead costs are eating your sales up, then you’re mostly just bleeding yourself out.
It’s a tough decision to make, but you don’t want to burn through your capital. Even Fortune500 companies are suspending their operations right now to recover from their losses.
Managing a business before coronavirus is already extremely challenging. It has become exponentially worse with the entire world dealing with a pandemic. However, with a little bit of creativity and resilience, I’m sure the payout would be worth it.
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