During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses had to cut jobs, downsize or simply foreclose as the major health crisis struck the globe. Although medically necessary during a pandemic, lockdowns and border closing result in very dire consequences for earnings and livelihoods.
While this COVID-19 pandemic took the world unaware and negatively impacted businesses and jobs all across the country and even globally, there is something we can do now to prepare for such unpredictable disasters.
Reaching out to entrepreneurs, we gathered the best advice to get you through this and help your business stay afloat during unforeseen global issues like a pandemic.
“One of the most critical things I coach businesses on is saving for a rainy day. I actually encourage all businesses, particularly Main Street businesses, to stash away money each month so they have at least six months of operating capital in a savings account. Specifically in the hospitality space, businesses that adequately saved in advance were more than likely able to bridge the gap, albeit by narrow margin, between government aid such as the PPP, EIDL or RRF. In surviving a pandemic, the word I reflect on is pivot. Everyone had to adjust to a new normal.” (Ryan Vet)
“The companies that thrived during the pandemic were the ones that were able to pivot. One staffing company, that relied heavily on in-person staffing, pivoted to training and selling courses. Their business thrived during the pandemic and coming out of the pandemic, they have a new line of trained employees plus a whole new profit center. Another company, a wine bar, introduced a new wine club, virtual tastings and virtual corporate wine events. Coming out of the pandemic, the company thrived and again, has new profit centers.”
Ryan Vet, President of Third Hospitality Ryan Vet
“Businesses that transition from physical to digital environments may be the ones to beat in the future. Giving up a physical office might save your company money on overhead and other expenditures that come with running a business in person. Employees may work from home, and large-scale office supplies are no longer required. Although more businesses are opening around the country, this does not mean that consumers are coming as frequently as they formerly were.
“Some families are still quarantining at home or not venturing out as much as they were before COVID-19. According to data, department store sales are expected to decline by 60% by the end of 2020, while internet sales are expected to rise by 20%.
“If you haven't considered making your operations as digital as feasible – or at the very least, with a smaller physical footprint - you may be limiting your company's future development potential. If you're not ready to go completely online, try adding a delivery or customer pickup option to your company strategy to save money and better serve your consumers.”
Bram Jansen, Chief Editor of vpnAlert
“Employee responsibilities may need to evolve as a result of new business changes. Your current workers are among your most valuable assets, but with your restructured business plan, their roles may no longer be as important as they were six or seven months ago. How do you keep your workers relevant if their jobs aren't relevant? By delegating new tasks to them. Someone who used to manage an in-person team may now be able to do it remotely. You may even ask the person to take on certain customer service management responsibilities. You're keeping your staff employed while also providing them with new tools to use when business starts up again.
“You may also think about hiring freelancers to help with additional duties that develop as your business grows. Customer support, social media marketing, website design, grant writing, and other tasks can all be handled by freelancers. Freelancers can save money on payroll because they are not eligible for employee benefits due to their non-employee status.”
Ansh Gupta, Founder of Empire Crafter
“The mind has issued wellbeing support you can share with your employees to help them through an isolating period of working from home. Check-in with your team face-to-face via technology daily and encourage them to take regular breaks, keep active, keep up virtual conversations with others, take care of an overload of news and information, and let them know who they can contact if they have any personal concerns.”
Daniel Foley, SEO Executive at MCS Software Rental
“To stay afloat during a pandemic, as a business owner, you should focus your resources on tasks that actually impact revenue directly. Some clients will be leaving because of the impact the pandemic has on their business; however, there's still market share for you to capture. Longer-term efforts such as SEO, social media marketing, or PR are great options for any other time than during a pandemic. Instead, now is the time to focus on sales and directly reaching out to potential clients, either through email or phone.
“Cash is the oxygen of any business and as a business owner it's your responsibility to find the shortest way to revenue once things get tough.”
Hans Dekker, Head of Marketing at Growbots
“No matter how difficult it is to stay afloat, always keep in mind how important it is to consider the quality of your service and product in cutting costs. One major draw is sacrificing your quality which is also your unique selling proposition for the sake of bigger profit. Keeping afloat during these hard times is difficult but if you sacrifice the value of your business for such, then you are just digging a hole for yourself as well. Your quality is the king of your business, and without the king, you are putting your business in a weak and fragile state.”
Lucas Travis, Founder Inboard Skate
“Flexibility has always been key to our firm's survival and growth. And this past year was no exception. Recognizing early on that the pandemic would affect various geographic areas and economic sectors in different ways, we decided to expand our focus globally, also reaching out to a wider range of industries. As a result, when certain parts of the U.S. and particular regions of the world would see a spike in COVID cases, any consequent declines in demand for our services would be offset by increased demand elsewhere, thus ensuring a consistent flow of business and no interruption of workflow during these challenging times. We now intend to continue with more of the same as we're perfectly positioned for this year and beyond.”
William Scott Goldman Managing Attorney/Founder Goldman Law Group