The negative market impact that has caused by the coronavirus quarantine events have so far driven numerous SMB firms out of business, while the remaining ones are coordinating on the edge of bankruptcy. As admitted by some business owners, their businesses can solitarily pull through one or two months of the quarantine time frame. Further than that point, the future seems grim and uncertain. One thing is clear: because of COVID-19, SMB companies are in dire need of a quarantine 911 to help them adjust to a new business reality.
Below is a coronavirus small business guide to help you mitigate the detrimental lockdown impact, minimize losses, and emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as a winner. Read on to learn more!
The impact of the coronavirus lockdown on small business
Customers are putting their luxury shopping on hold, stocking up on the essential items like groceries, detergents, sanitizers, and the proverbial toilet paper. For SMB companies, going through a coronavirus crisis implies surviving a change in customer demand, which, because of the lockdown, is shifting dramatically. Because of the COVID-19 impact, e-commerce is on the rise: stores and shopping malls are closed. Consequently, clothing and accessories store owners are focusing on online trade. Even with a newly adopted approach, demand is low, and customers are less likely to spend money on clothes, and the latest collections and items of high street apparel than before.
Some of them have been laid off or suspended from their jobs and are forced to cut their expenses.
Unlike restaurants that can readjust and offer food-to-go, gyms and beauty parlors are closed, and some of them won’t survive COVID-19. Although many coaches offer online lessons, some services do require human interaction and will have to wait until better days.
Restaurant businesses are, admittedly, among the most strongly affected. Eating out is not an option during the COVID-19 outbreak, so restaurants have shifted to orders-to-go to meet the demand of the social distancing population.
- Utilize remote collaboration tools
Just like many teams during the lockdown, you and your employees are currently adjusting to working from home. Shifting to remote work isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are lots of tools for facilitating team interaction: from video-conferencing to project management and time-tracking. In the wake of COVID-19, remote collaboration tools serve as great assets to your business.
- Adapt your services to ‘a new normal’ in consumer behavior
Small businesses that have the capacity to adapt to changes quickly are facing unprecedented demand for products and services that can guide people through life under quarantine.
- Choose a strategy for communicating with your customers
As part of your strategy to survive the coronavirus, planning for effective business communication during the lockdown is your #1 objective.
- Change your marketing and sales strategy
Change is surely an adequate, coronavirus business response. You will have to adapt your business processes to physical and financial limitations. Here are some ideas you could start with:
- Offer online deals: discounts, certificates, pricing changes, etc.
- Conduct online marathons, questions & answers, and video product demos.
- Focus on serving your customers through digital channels. Offer consultations and advice through messengers, face-to-face video conferences, online broadcasts, etc.
- Consider an online shift
This will not apply to all businesses, but for some entrepreneurs, a complete online shift will be a viable strategy. Most citizens of countries with developed economies own smartphones and mobile devices, are ardent Internet users, and will look for products and entertainment online.
We don’t mean to sound overly optimistic, but for some small businesses, the coronavirus crisis may be loaded with opportunities. Because of the great shift in the job market, SMB companies have the potential to attract better talent and enrich their human capital. The shift in demand is also the best time for start-ups to introduce new products and services for the vast online market and its diverse community of customers.