We keep hearing the words “the new normal”, and truth is, life as we know it no longer exists.
Like many challenges faced in business, the pandemic is merely a disruption that forces us to function differently in this new normal.
The sooner we accept this reality and rebuild our businesses accordingly, the better things can be.
Call it wishful thinking, but we believe new opportunities for small businesses will arise! And now is the time for you to gather the troops, pivot your business, and ride the waves of change.
To get your business back on track, you’ll have to unlearn some things, relearn some things, and learn new things.
Use technology to your advantage
The number of Internet users and online activity increased significantly during lockdown. And one thing is certain, the Internet is a coping mechanism as much as it is a survival tool for businesses at present.
If you’ve made the digital shift – good on you. If not, you’re losing out! Consumer needs aren’t standing still, so your business should NOT be put on hold and you should NOT cut back on your marketing efforts.
In doing so, you risk your business’ ability to survive. Even with lockdown regulations in place, you can work on ways outside of the norm to still meet clients’ needs, now and post-lockdown.
This is how clients will find or connect with you:
- A Google My Business listing – it’s free. This step-by-step guide will help you get set up.
- Social media
- Search engines
Network through online platforms and where possible, offer support, digitally.
Now is the time to make customer service and communication in any form (SMS, telephonic, or email) your number one priority.
You need to get out of your comfort zone and embrace the hustle – see it as a building block that’ll help get your business to a point where it is stable and profitable (again).
This might mean cold-calling, brushing up on your sales skills or networking for new opportunities.
Accept the losses
Losses are inevitable, but your focus and energy need to be directed to whatever is within your control.
See this crisis as a path to new and better opportunities for the foreseeable future, as the future success of your business hinges on what you choose to do now.
Realise that you can plan for 99 things but the 100th one might just get you. You’re always going to adapt in business, only this time, a crisis forced you to adapt quickly.
Up until now your focus may have been generating leads and retaining clients. But now you need a new strategy; one that takes all aspects of your business into account (past, present, and future).
Part of moving forward is having a solid plan in place, and this is what you need to do:
- Map out a short and long-term financial plan.
- Consider your goals; what are some realistic short and long-term goals worth setting?
- Your vision and direction are important. Share it with your team.
- Transparency is KEY. This can be a dealbreaker when rebuilding relationships with previous clients or acquiring new clients.
Overall, small businesses have undoubtedly been hit the hardest. You need to be proactive and laser-focused on improving your business to rise to the top and thrive in the new normal.