The COVID-19 pandemic poses quite a conundrum for many business owners. What once worked for growth and success is no longer so effective, and as the pandemic continues, many business owners are being forced to make tough decisions about the future of their companies.
Before making any rash choices, however, you should take a step back and re-evaluate your business model. Whether your company will survive the pandemic and come out on the other side positioned for growth is anybody’s guess. However, there are things you can do to better your chances of survival in the meantime. Below, you will find five ways business owners can adapt to outlast the pandemic.
1. Go Virtual
In a world where social distancing is the new norm, your business must embrace all the ways to make that happen. If at all possible, you should be allowing your employees to do their jobs from home, at least part of the time. There are many virtual office solutions for businesses impacted by COVID-19 that give you the ability to conduct normal operations via the Internet. Although these solutions come with a learning curve, once everyone is on board, it’s “business as usual” in a virtual sense.
2. Evaluate Your Expenses
Nearly every business has had to make cutbacks in some way during these unprecedented times. Whether it’s slashing business hours, a cut in staff, or both, everyone is feeling the pinch. To ensure you can ride out the pandemic, you’ll need to evaluate your expenses and cut costs where you can.
Some examples that could save money without wreaking too much havoc include asking employees to take vacation time or to voluntarily cut their hours by a certain percentage. You could also take advantage of special government programs and grants for businesses during this time, and if there’s still a shortage, look at business finance options.
3. Stick with Your Winners
If your company is lucky enough to offer something people view as valuable during the pandemic (like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, alcohol, or medical supplies), you should focus your efforts on that. Mass produce these products and gear your marketing toward their benefits for consumers during these tough times.
4. Be Flexible and Adaptable
Now is the time to be flexible and adaptable. Think about how your business can help consumers and other companies solve a specific problem. For example, with the equipment your company has, can you produce things, or parts of things, people are looking for right now? Are you able to make face masks? Maybe you can adapt your equipment to make parts for ventilators. Think laterally and find ways to adapt your operations to fill a pandemic need.
5. Be Smart, Be Brave, and Be Empathetic
It’s difficult to be a leader in such chaotic times, but as a business owner during the pandemic, you need to be smart, brave, and empathetic. Intelligence will help you analyze and develop plans that will keep your company afloat. Bravery will allow you to cease doing what isn’t working anymore and adopt new practices going forward. Empathy will allow you to calm employees who are worried about their jobs and their futures. Always keep them in the loop and do your best to keep your staff happy. You’ll need them working hard to help your company grow once the pandemic is over.
Running a business during a pandemic is no easy feat, but by following the tips above, you can adapt to outlast the COVID-19 pandemic.