The COVID-19 pandemic has developed a steady hold on our attention, our freedom, and our money. Surviving as a small business owner is a roller coaster under normal circumstances, so in times like these do you have a fighting chance?
This virus has impacted every business. Companies around the world, no matter how tall they stood mere weeks and months ago, are scrambling to figure out their future.
Out of necessity, many have shifted their mentality from progress to survival; temporarily turning their backs on innovation, strategic development, and new partnerships.
The pandemic has impacted consumer purchasing habits. Supply chains have been disrupted; factories and retailers have closed their doors; and who has the spare cash to buy nonessential items as the stock market dips to nearly unprecedented lows?
Given our uncertain economic future and the fear that this pandemic-turned-recession may continue to suppress markets for months to come, each day is another giant leap away from customers spending and investing money on products and services.
Finally, the coronavirus has had an impact on people’s ability to work efficiently as a team.
In a small business, achieving lofty goals on impossible timelines with limited resources requires peak performance from everyone involved. But with everyone sheltering in place and isolating themselves to slow the spread, how can things possibly hum along as smoothly?
The problems we face aren’t unique to us, and there’s certainly no coronavirus playbook we can lean on. However, there are a few north stars we can look to for guidance as a small business community.
The ability to be productive is due in large part to a team’s morale — the mentality that everyone should have is “in this together.”
Either we make it to the promised land, or we all take the loss together.
This bond is forged in the fire of mutual sacrifice, the pressure to execute, and intimate dependence on one another’s performance. When morale is lost, productivity dies along with it.
Focus On What You Can Control
Let’s face it, there’s a whole lot going on that is outside of your control. But guess what? Everyone is in the same predicament. So you can either dwell on it or embrace it.
If you don’t want COVID-19 to spell the end for your business, it’s important to stay focused on what you can control.
At Sticky Branding, we’ve rallied around the common goal of focusing on just that — Crisis Marketing – above all else. We are working with business owners and their teams to overcome the coronavirus’s impact on their business by rapidly finding and developing new customers and markets. We’re focused on the here-and-now of how to drive revenue and generate cash in a crisis; and then asking, what will your business be like at the end of the crisis?
What does this big picture look like for you? If your business is direct-to-consumer and your website is looking a little uninspired, give it a face-lift. If your revenue is driven by digital marketing and your funnels aren’t maximizing conversions, build them out.
That way, when this thing is in the rearview, you won’t have to start the engine back up after a period of stagnation. You’ll be stronger than ever.
Spend Every Dollar Carefully
Pandemic or no pandemic, this goes without saying for any small business: Every dollar counts, so spend carefully.
As tough as it can be to decide where to cut back, especially regarding areas that were once critical for your business, it’s essential to survive. When you consider the alternative and the fact that failure to adapt could shut you down forever, it’s easy to see that a few tough decisions are better than the most gut-wrenching decision of all: filing for bankruptcy.
In some cases, no matter how carefully you spend and as hard as you try to cut back, you just won’t have the runway or the cash flow to cover your costs. Fortunately there are government programs and debt relief available. Speak to your accountant about your options before making any drastic decisions.
These are unprecedented times. Businesses are buckling under the weight of a disaster that’s impacted nearly every person on earth. And unless your company happens to sell hand sanitizer or conference call software, you’re probably experiencing some kind of financial crunch.
So, in times like these, how will your business innovate and rise up to survive? Not only can you survive, but you can actually set your company up to thrive.
We’re all in the exact same boat. It’s a problem we didn’t cause and certainly didn’t ask for, but one that we all must face. My best advice is to find a way to be productive remotely, pour everything into the factors you can control, be careful about every dollar you spend, and get creative if there’s no other way.
We’ll be doing the same right alongside you. If you’d like to work with us to navigate your business through the next few months, please give us a call!