As tough as it may sound, the current pandemic has launched some kind of a natural selection process for businesses. The strongest, most effective, harmonious and creative will survive. And now, most businesses, especially small, are taking an exam, the evaluation of which will be the success of the business and the team when everything is back to normal.
According to litslink there is no clear startup crisis management strategy or a universal algorithm for surviving quarantine as a small business, we have come up with some tips that may help.
Table of Contents
1. Value-effective employees
Appreciate those who are ready to meet the challenges. Take care of your staff as the need for such workers will not go anywhere. And despite having to cut costs, it should be justified and not involve a reduction in the number of employees, if possible.
2. Appreciate each client
Clients will have doubts and questions. Be prepared to answer them. Moreover, if you understand that due to an emergency situation, the service cannot be performed in full or in proper quality – take care of how the loss will be reimbursed.
Value the new and potential ones. In today’s conditions, those who are willing to pay for services or goods are a minority, and this trend will continue for some time. Try to give customers more than they expect.
Besides, remember that your clients are not in the best position either. Find a reasonable “seller – buyer” balance, develop individual loyalty programs. If you produce a product, it must be of excellent, exemplary quality at the market value. If you provide services, give more help / expertise / useful hacks. Try to be in constant contact with your clients.
3. Work on new ideas
Forget about blueprint thinking and the traditional, familiar model of managing a business and a team. Set up brainstorms with the team (now there are many ways to do it remotely). Accept and analyze even the “craziest” ideas of your colleagues. Those may turn into the most winning strategies.
4. Use time to grow
Did you get more free time during quarantine? Do what you had no time to do earlier. Develop your professional skills and increase your professional level.
Engage in self-education, listen to lectures of your business authorities, take up non-fiction literature, write an expert column that has long been sitting in your head. Turn your weaknesses into strengths.
5. Use social networks for promotion
Sign up for social networks you have not used before. Make live broadcasts and engage employees. Create content that will provide an opportunity to maintain employee productivity and attract new customers. Tell about new products, offer to order, share useful links, articles or stories about how your business goes through a difficult quarantine period.
Besides, you have probably received emails from brands you haven’t heard from for a long time. While it is more than appropriate to inform potential clients of changing conditions or express solidarity, remember that their information field is already oversaturated. Try to make communications that are practical and positive.
6. Look for new, additional sources of income
Get advice in an area where you can share experiences and learn new things. Find sources of income that do not require the physical presence of you and your consumers in one place. Look for collaboration partners, join forces with other small businesses to help each other.
7. Try to cut expenses
Stop projects that require investment. Send money to pay office rent and salaries. Negotiate with the landlord. You may be able to reduce your rental fee. Learn about business loans. Usually, in a pandemic, the government takes the initiative of providing business loans at low-interest rates.
8. Create an anti-crisis team
To respond to new challenges quickly, create a multi-functional anti-crisis team within the company. Assign roles, establish clear objectives and rules for interaction.
The main task of such a team should be to constantly monitor the changing situation, objectively assess how exactly the crisis can affect your business, and make a plan for getting out of it.
9. Support your community
Be responsive to audience needs as they will change during a pandemic. And your content should support your community’s needs. Time to revisit your communications plan for the year and figure out which activities to keep and which not.
Not everything in a survival strategy is about saving and making money. If you have more free time and opportunities, do something for the community, the environment, or your industry as a whole.
Try to use your free time to prepare your business for normal functioning after the quarantine, help neighboring institutions, the community that surrounds you, and exchange experience with colleagues.
10. Build trust in a relationship with customers
The world has changed during the pandemic, and no one can afford to stay away from these changes. However, in the pursuit of change, it is important to remember the simple rules of communication during a crisis, which will be relevant for every business.
We all know how important the “tell the product, make it attractive, don’t disappoint” formula is important and how it helps you scale your business. In a pandemic, the key is “won’t disappoint”. Protect the loyalty of regular customers gained by hard work and time. Position your brand as trustworthy, even in the most challenging times.
However, you should remember to follow the rules during the quarantine. At this time, it is very important to know what is allowed to do and what is not allowed for businesses according to the official decrees of the government.
Here is what you should consider:
- Avoid personal meetings with staff. All issues need to be discussed in chat rooms, by phone, email, etc.
- Do not rush into firing employees or sending them on unpaid leave. Try to motivate the team, helping to cope with the crisis
- Do not expect your suppliers to deliver on time. They are in the same situation as you. Show understanding to colleagues in other businesses you work with.
Remember that the main asset of any business is the people. Maintain team spirit, even if the team works remotely, and share success. Become an example, motivation and support your staff. Take this crisis as not only a challenge but also an opportunity to become stronger and develop further.