- April 7, 2020
- Posted by: Jon Smart
- Category: business development, Business plans, sales, tips
We live in unprecedented times, with the Covid-19 pandemic impacting every area of our lives.
While protecting people’s health and wellbeing should be – quite rightly – the absolute priority for everybody in the current climate, there are also steps you can take, as a small business owner, to protect you business and limit the damage the current situation may be causing.
It’s all about not panicking, and focusing on the things you can control, rather than the things you can’t.
Here are some helpful tips to help make your business more resilient:
Have a plan
Coronavirus affects everyone. It’s not just a UK thing, it’s a global pandemic that has put most of the planet in lockdown. So, it’s important to remember that we’re all in the same boat and that, as businesses, there are certain steps we can take to emerge strongly once the restrictions are lifted.
Creating a plan for how you deal with shocks like this one, and sticking to it, is a key part of this.
You may already have had an emergency plan. You may have had one but found that, in reality, it still didn’t prepare you for what was going to happen.
That doesn’t matter.
The key here, as a business owner, is to keep yourself up to date with what is going on and plan how you react accordingly.
Coronavirus will be with us for a good few weeks yet. The restrictions might not be fully lifted for a few months, which means it will take a while for things get back to normal.
Some of the things to consider are:
- What steps are you taking to protect your business and your employees… and are you communicating this to them effectively?
- What are your lines of communication and does everybody know them?
- Is your business following the latest Government advice and if not, what does it need to do to ensure it is?
- Can your staff work from home and is it safe for them to do so?
- What does your cash flow look like and is it sustainable?
- Are you eligible for any Government financial support and if so, how do you access it?
- Have you engaged with your customers to keep them up to date with what is happening?
- Is their anything your business can do differently to keep running during lockdown?
- How are you going to manage the transition back to normal when the restrictions are lifted?
Optimise your business
Just because your business is in lockdown, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to work on developing it, to ensure it is in the best position to succeed when things start to get back to normal.
When you’re running a small business, it can be easy to get sucked into the day-to-day tasks and let some of the fundamentals take a back seat.
So, if you have spare time and capacity as a result of lockdown, use it to improve your business and carry out those tasks that you never had time to get around to before the pandemic.
This could include:
- Auditing your equipment and creating an investment plan
- Reorganising your workspace and general office maintenance
- Redeveloping your website
- Creating new marketing content and materials
The point here is, it doesn’t matter what’s on your list, provided it improves your business. Only you will know what your issues are, so sit down, get them all on paper and then go after them one by one.
Keep people posted
It’s an uncertain time for everyone connected with your business.
You’ll no doubt want to be getting back to business as usual as quickly as possible.
Your staff will be wondering if they’ve still got jobs to go to and your customers may still be relying on the products and services you provide to keep their own organisations running.
So, ensure that you keep everyone connected, engaged and up to date with what is happening.
If your people can work from home, great, but just make sure they stay connected and feel part of the team with regular check-ins.
When it comes to your customers, letting them know that you are still here is crucial, as you’ll want to be continuing your relationship with them when this is all over.
As I said before, we’re all in the same boat, we are in the midst of a huge battle to help stop the coronavirus spreading and some businesses will be coping better than others.
So, if you have spare time and capacity as a result of lockdown, it’s worth reaching out to see where you can help.
Are any of your customers or fellow businesses struggling and could use your expertise?
Is there anything you offer that could help the national effort in the fight against Covid-19?
If so, doing the right thing and making yourself available to help where needed will not only create the feelgood factor and boost team morale. It will also create a lot of good will from your customers and consumers.
With a bit of careful planning and a focus on what you can do to weather the coronavirus storm, you can ensure your business will emerge from the current crisis stronger, more resilient and in a better position to succeed.
But sometimes, it’s difficult to see the wood from the trees.
So, if you are worried about the effect that the ongoing pandemic might be having on your business, struggling to focus on what to do next or just need a friendly but objective alternative perspective on your business, give me a call.
I’ll give you a free consultation and help you identify the key things to focus on to help your business cope with the current reality we are all facing.