With a global pandemic happening and a likely inevitable recession, you may be worried about how you’re going to sustain your business. The good news is that you’re not alone. Many small and large businesses are struggling to maintain some sense of normalcy while we try to find our new groove. If you’re in need of some guidance, we’ve got 7 tips to help you sustain your business during tough times.
1. Get Active Online
With nowhere to go and nothing to do, people are hanging out online now more than ever. Which means you should too! But we aren’t talking about just mindlessly scrolling through Facebook and Instagram. Get strategic! Share valuable information and tips that can help your audience and clients manage their new responsibilities that were previously partially yours. If you’re not sure what to share, check some other businesses who are in the same industry and see what they’re sharing. Just make sure that you are creating your own original content and not stealing from them.
You can always re-share, re-tweet, or re-gram a post that you love while mentioning or giving a shoutout to the original poster. This is how you build a digital relationship with someone in your industry. Always say thank you and let others know where you found the info you’re sharing if you choose to do it this way.
2. Be a Leader
“Be a leader” is a bit of a loaded phrase. What does it mean exactly? Being a leader during tough times means being a beacon of light, hope, and guidance. Right now employees need security and a sense of purpose. Take care of your employees by maintaining pay, temporarily furloughing them so they may have access to unemployment or offering extra hours for odd-work around the facility.
Additionally, you can offer leadership guidance by paying for or giving access to courses or learning capsules that may help them improve their skills and knowledge while we’re all on pause. Finally, make sure that you’re open and receptive to your employees. Many will be acting from a place of survival rather than their normal selves. Practice patience and compassion right now to maintain your relationships.
3. Don’t Avoid Concerns
Even with all the information coming at us, seemingly all at once, you shouldn’t avoid your staff’s concerns. If you don’t know the answer, let them know that you genuinely don’t know but you will notify them as soon as you do. We’re all in this together and people will be acting out from a place of survival. Don’t take it personally and don’t hold it against them.
4. Stay Informed
With so much information out there, it’s easy to get information fatigue. However, it’s extremely important for both you and your staff that you are staying up to date with the latest information. Watch the news, read it on Twitter from verified news sources or read the paper. Also, make sure that you’re getting an equal dose of local and national news. Things are changing on a daily basis and the only way to keep your business afloat and staff happy is to be informed.
No one really likes change and those who say they do are bonkers. Just kidding. But change can be scary and often difficult when we look at it initially. Yet, when it comes down to it, change can be a truly transformative time that can catapult your business into a healthy new direction.
What are some ways you can adapt?
As we mentioned earlier, getting active online is one way. Blogging, Vlogging, updating your social media pages, putting forth more effort into your email marketing, etc., are easy ways to adapt right from your own home. But creating isn’t the only way to bring about change. If you’re a dog groomer, put together grooming packs for pet parents to use. Dog boarding facility? Share your typical daily schedule so pet parents can maintain that routine online. Whatever your business is, it’s time to weave, zig, zag, and adapt.
It may not feel natural at first but as you continue forging ahead, you’ll find your feet.
6. Talk to Your Insurer
One of the best ways to keep your business right now is to talk to your Insurer. Many insurance companies have certain disaster policies that can help supplement income during times of no income. Financial insecurity is scary but there is help and institutions who are willing to help. Your bank may offer small business loans to float you through this time period.
7. Offer Gift Cards
You may be short on cash and while it may not be the same as having a full house, offering gift cards for sale can help you float during these slow months. Gift cards are great because they can be used at a later date but you get cash now. Additionally, gift cards can be purchased by your clients and given to friends and family as gifts.