COVID-19 has been hard on virtually every aspect of society. Entrepreneurs and small businesses have been hit hard by the devastating effects of the pandemic. In fact, many are still contemplating where they should still try to stay in operation or to shut down. Call it bad luck, but COVID-19 and its timing have had a negative impact on many employees.
Many small businesses that just started with great hopes in mind have had to incur increased losses without any signs of revenue in sight. It is currently predicted that almost 66 percent of small businesses and startups will be closing down anytime soon.
The lockdown imposed due to COVID-19 has left some businesses with no other option but to call it a day. However, the decision to maintain or call off operations should be taken clearly with the interests of all stakeholders in mind.
Small businesses closing down over time might have a ripple effect on the economy, amplified by the current damage. Governments and state financial authorities have also been involved to ensure that small businesses are provided relief packages necessary for floating through these torrid waves. In the end, sustaining small businesses for extended periods will positively impact the global economy.
Knowing the impact of small business closure and failure on the economy, we’ve mentioned some growth strategies and tips that organizations can follow to take their small business to success. Keep an eye on these tips and enjoy the success that comes your way.
Growth and Survival Strategies for Small Business Entrepreneurs
There is no doubt that many businesses are still currently struggling because of the back of the coronavirus pandemic. Many small businesses are reevaluating their business strategy to ensure they come out on top of this situation. Only businesses have clarity will continue to thrive and stay in operation. While all may look lost, businesses still have control over some factors that impact their business’s sustainability.
Some of the strategies small businesses can follow to improve their post-COVID world resilience are:
Invest in Tools and Technology
A recent report reviewed data before the pandemic shows the impact of small businesses spending on technology and the outcomes these businesses generated during the pandemic. Small businesses that were more prone to investing in and adopting technology saw a 68 percent increase in their chances of witnessing growth over time.
The United States has enjoyed economic stability for a long time, which is why there hasn’t been much impetus for small businesses to be creative and innovate with the options they have on their hands. However, the importance of technology and innovation dawned upon businesses during the pandemic. Businesses saw just how important it was for them to maintain a business profile focused on technology and innovation.
Technology does take you a long way, for sure. The use of technology made working a possibility for many entrepreneurs remotely. This is precisely why tech investments from small businesses will soar in the world after COVID-19.
Online conferencing tools like Zoom have been available for all kinds of businesses. But organizations today appreciate tools and technologies that are unique to them and allow them to run their organization more efficiently.
Be it managing cash flows on the go, simplifying bill payments, automating approval processes, enabling digital signatures, recovering debt, onboarding new clients, completing compliance work, or engaging new customers; the right technology can help small businesses increase their revenue, improve their payment cycles, lower initial costs, improve efficiency, meet remote work demands and streamline different processes that were otherwise left unattended.
Previously, certain technological tools were considered niceties, but we have reached a tipping point. It is now necessary to utilize certain technological tools. Small businesses realize this now more than ever, which is why businesses looking to be innovative with technology will best be able to move past the challenges on offer after reopening.
Keep a Closer Eye on Company Finances
Businesses with a clearer eye on their finances are better positioned to make adjustments and inroads quickly. When the COVID-19 pandemic first struck, employers and business owners alike had to determine their financial standing and how long they could last the pandemic. Even now, when the pandemic has passed its initial peak, certain businesses have to reevaluate their finances and determine the financial strategies they will continue to utilize.
Once you turn a blind eye to your revenues, expenses, and cash flow, you do not have the liberty to take action as you previously did. In times of prosperity, most businesses feel it is okay to operate on a month-to-month basis, and they do not realize the importance of micro-managing finance. However, we think that this practice is necessary at all times.
Having a clear understanding of your financial position and an accurate representation of where you stand in real-time can help make decision-making easy for you. You know the financial metrics in play and understand what is required of you to manage them and keep an eye on them.
Understand the Consumers in Crisis
Consumers really are extremely concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and what it means to them. It surely is a given fact that COVID-19 poses a distinct crisis for us both on the health and economic fronts. People respond differently to the threats of the COVID-19 crisis and have different behaviors, attitudes, and purchasing habits due to their approach and mindset towards the crisis.
People across the globe are trying to adapt to the new normal, but they are also extremely fearful of what the future holds for them. Fear is running high, and individuals aren’t just concerned about themselves but also their families, friends, and the general world around them.
From the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, different customers have reacted to the situation differently. Some customers have started making panic buys by stacking up on staples and hygiene products, while others are anxious and worried about the future of mankind. On the other hand, we have a few customers who are continuing business and socializing as usual, despite the threat at hand because of the virus.
Small business entrepreneurs looking to achieve growth have to realize just how their target customers are responding to the virus. Only when brands better understand how their own customers are responding can they better prepare for the situation at hand. For all we know, the days of one size fits all might just be over.
People are more concerned about the greater economic impact of the virus than the health danger it poses for society. Understand how your customers feel currently and what can be done to give them a smooth buying experience. Understanding them will drive your own growth.
Prioritize Values over Culture
Many current analysts of corporate culture have mentioned it to be similar to profit or loss. They believe that culture is an output of an organization, just like the profit or loss it generates through economic activity.
Culture is reflected and adapted through the small moments of truth or moments where pretentiousness is thrown out the window. Many leaders and employers try to manufacture and shape culture to their preference, but culture isn’t something that really can be manufactured.
Culture is an output of behaviors, values, and purpose. Values shouldn’t be explicitly stated, but they should be explicitly demonstrated. The values that a business wants to set should be demonstrated and reflected in the actions and behaviors of the leaders and people in that workplace.
Unlike the regulations, procedures, and rules you set for your employees, values can grow and scale over time as the business grows. Rules and regulations do not grow with the business and eventually damage employee engagement inside the firm. If employees are managed and engaged through values, they will make good decisions based on values and even manage customers accordingly.
Focusing primarily on workplace culture can drive you away from identifying whether company values are being followed and rewarded effectively. You cannot expect employees to retain the same culture post-COVID, but you still can expect them to have the same values as they previously had.
Brainstorm New Ideas
Growth is achieved by brainstorming new ideas and coming up with healthy innovations. Employees can do the brainstorming on their end by having the initiative to come up with new strategies and ideas. Employees can be empowered to follow the steps for brainstorming we have mentioned in detail below:
The steps for brainstorming new ideas include:
Get Your Creativity Flowing
Brainstorming is always started by getting your creativity flowing. The best way to allow your creativity to flow is by taking in as much information about small businesses and the different industries you’d be interested.
If you’re looking for innovation in the restaurant industry, watch videos online and sit in a secluded and peaceful place to see what’s lacking.
Think About Businesses You Admire
Since you are interested in the restaurant industry, you should think about the businesses you admire in the industry. What do they do right? What is it that makes them great? What do you admire about them? Answer these questions to know how you should approach the topic and what you should do.
Think About Issues in Your Own Life
Once you know of restaurants that are doing things right, you should consider a few issues you face when eating out. One man’s problem is another man’s opportunity; use these problems as an opportunity to go forward.
Use Information to Generate Business Ideas
All the information you have noted down can be used to come up with dozens of potential business ideas. The last step is to narrow the ideas down and forward them to some friends or colleagues. Record their feedback and find out which ideas have the most potential.
Once you have brainstormed and shortlisted an idea, direct your efforts on creating a business plan and an expense plan. By the time this coronavirus is over, you should have a well-planned business idea with you.
The Next Generation of Small Businesses
It is true that many small businesses are not longer open since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has soaked the life out of them and has led them to failure. However, the reality is that many small businesses disappear every year nonetheless. The small business sector is extremely resilient. This pandemic will lead us to a massive wave of innovation in small businesses.
Historically speaking, there is always a spike in business creation after an economic downturn. In 2008 small business creation was as low as 10,000, but it jumped to 65,000 the following year. Since the current COVID-19 pandemic is an even bigger problem, we can expect an even more significant increase in small business creation over time.
The quickest way back to economic prosperity for corporate America is through small businesses. Once innovation becomes the order of the day here, it will drive success and innovation elsewhere. We hope the growth tips mentioned in this article can help small business entrepreneurs work on growing their business and spell redemption in a manner that best appeals to them.