The last couple of months have been tough on everyone. Only a few times in history have there been unprecedented moments of uncertainty that we’ve had this year.
Many countries are struggling with their economy. Health systems all over the world have been overwhelmed and almost on the terminus of collapse. And, there has been so much loss that has put employers and employees on edge.
The future is uncertain, especially for small companies. Their businesses thrive on predictable and stable economies, but right now, a lot of economies aren’t that way.
Most businesses that felt they couldn’t survive without physical contact have been forced to move to the online space.
Although most governments promise to help their citizens, the funds given are limited, and most businesses can’t shut down operations while waiting for these funds. So, the question right now is, how can small companies survive in this “new normal” that they find themselves.
Here are five ways they can use to not only survive but thrive.
Boost your Online Presence
The importance of this cannot be overemphasized.
Over the years, most traditional small businesses relied solely on the transactions they make on a daily and weekly basis.
They didn’t bother to strengthen their online presence or find ways to engage with their customers via social media and other online platforms, hoping that their clients will find them the old-fashioned way.
The New Normal has ushered us into an era that has accelerated the use of social media, email marketing, promotional ads, and e-commerce stores. The more businesses take their operations online and find ways to create B2B partnerships, the more they’ll thrive.
Retrain your staff
If you haven’t considered or been serious with building your online brand, there has never been a better time to start than now. The first step to take is building your business website. Make sure it’s one that can handle some good traffic. Getting online helps you get through the new normal and provides an opportunity to discover a new business horizon.
Training is so crucial for any business to move forward.
Small businesses get wrong because they hire more people instead of spending more resources on training the existing employees.
It is essential to train your employees on and educate them about the latest technology and business trends that will help you cut down costs and avoid mistakes.
By training your current employees and giving them additional skills, you make them more productive and efficient, and you don’t have to spend as much.
In this digitalized, employee training materials are limitless. There are loads of online courses available to help you upskill your staff. You can take benefit of employee training videos to educate and inspire your employees.
Employee Dynamics must change.
The concept of remote work has been there for ages. Lots of business analysts have always explored the effects of remote work on business revenue and economic growth.
People generally knew they could do their work at home but preferred to go to office space because they weren’t open to the idea.
Now, the new normal has quickly ushered us into the remote work age. The number of freelancers and independent consultants has skyrocketed over the past couple of months. Most people now appreciate the potential remote work has because they spend less on office space and daily work commutes.
However, there has also been a rise in the number of staff meetings, most of whom are entirely unnecessary. Bosses schedule meetings with their employees just to ensure they’re working and track their activities, and employees are trying so hard to keep up.
If your small business must survive, you have to change your employee dynamics.
This problem stems from our conventional schooling system, where the emphasis is placed more on attendance and participation than output.
You have to change the dynamics from solely focusing on eight-hour days to focusing on output.
If a five-hour workday can yield the desired work output, why should your staff work for eight hours? Small businesses need to learn that getting jobs done is more important than putting in hours.
Create a business continuity plan
Business experts and analysts have been ringing the bell for small businesses to have at least six months of savings if anything goes wrong.
For several reasons, including excessive expenses, and even ignorance, most of these small businesses felt they could survive on sheer will.
The new normal has shown them the costly implications of their laxity.
These small businesses made no arrangements whatsoever for a continuity plan, hoping that no crisis befalls them.
Now there is no guideline or pattern for them to follow. When the company is blossoming and times are good, that’s the best time to create a continuity plan, not when everything is in distress.
If small businesses get through this stage and fully settle in the new normal, they need to create a continuity plan so that unprecedented future events will not sweep them off their feet. No one wishes for crises to happen, but they will undoubtedly come, and small businesses need to be prepared.
Seek help and support from government and financial institutions
Small business owners struggle because they’re often ignorant of where to seek help.
Governments worldwide have set up initiatives and schemes to support small and medium-scale businesses, and it’s always evolving.
The best way to go about this is to continually update yourself on ways the government and other prestigious financial institutions can help to reduce costs. Examples of such financial institutions are banks that carry out their social responsibility.
Furthermore, if your business or brand is registered in two or more markets, find out about their government’s support systems.
This way, you ease the pressure on your business.