Coping Mechanisms to Grow a Business During a Pandemic
Seemingly overnight, the normal course of our lives changed dramatically. Businesses, schools, and public facilities shut down, while companies fortunate to remain open had to transition their employees to a work-from-home setup. Covid-19 brought a complete shift in our lives, where adjustments are necessary.
Indeed, the pandemic has significantly changed the way we live and work. It is tough to do business in an uncertain environment while in the midst of a global crisis. Many companies have already closed down, while many are still facing financial struggles and an uncertain future.
While it has been a tough time for the business world, there are ways to ensure your business’s growth and establish the resilience of operations and cash flow. This can be done by knowing how to handle your connections, such as employees, customers, and suppliers. Below are some ideas that can get you creative and step up your efforts without risking too much for your business.
Supply chain operations met the biggest impact from the pandemic, leading to supply shocks and acute shortages in many businesses. If you have suppliers overseas and disruptions in deliveries, it’s time to reach out to suppliers.
Get in touch with suppliers to ensure the timely delivery of supplies. This way, you can easily manage customer expectations and cash flow plans. Also, negotiate with the supplier about deferred payment terms for payables. Extend courtesy to suppliers by sending them advanced notice if you cannot pay them immediately.
To ensure health practices, spend money to protect your supplies and resources. If you have delivery vehicles, make sure to protect any consumable from contamination. The best way to maximize delivery trucks is to install truck curtains to ensure the safety of your products. You can search online for suppliers that offer customized curtain siders for delivery vehicles.
It is important to note that Covid-19 is a worldwide health problem that requires a human response. You have to start with your people by ensuring their health and security.
Ever since establishments begin to shut down, companies are under scrutiny because of how they treat their staff in terms of delayed salaries and unpaid leaves. Meanwhile, companies like Airbnb have been implementing a cost-cutting restructure to support their staff.
Keep in mind that the way your business responds to the crisis makes a great impact on the consumer. Any reputational damage can be long-lasting and significant. In tough financial situations, offer support as much as you can by ensuring jobs and cutting additional slack. Not only it serves as a reputational boost, but it can also repay you by increasing customers and staff loyalty.
In terms of health, take time to implement the best health practices to keep employees in a sound state. If your business requires a continuous operation, follow health and safety practices to prevent transmission among employees. You can also allow employees to work remotely so they can stay with their families and minimize contact. You might want to learn how to delegate tasks effectively while using online communication channels.
For quarantined employees, create a contingency plan if some of them can no longer come to work. You can also form different work teams to reduce the risk of having the entire crew put into isolation. As much as possible, reduce any emotional or financial distress to your employees. Be sensitive if any of them go through personal circumstances and offer support the best way you can. These efforts can go a long way by building employee loyalty.
Moving your business online helps keep the customer flow and sales coming in without risking any people by physically reopening a business. While this move is only possible for some businesses than others, having the right plan in place will ensure the success of your business while operating in the virtual space.
Retailers may consider expanding or setting up an e-commerce platform. If you offer coaching services, you can move your business online by offering virtual classes. You can also offer products in digital forms, such as e-books. Simultaneously, step up your digital marketing efforts by updating your website and promoting your business on social media. But you have to be creative as possible to pique the interests of your customers.
As you change the way you do business, you will notice a corresponding effect on the cash flow. You can start by reaching out to customers by informing them you will continue doing business with them. You can make phone calls by providing updates about orders and new payment terms. Also, make follow-ups and encourage them to be open if they are experiencing difficulty.
Next, propose additional services by asking if they need other products or services they cannot find in other businesses. Treat this as an opportunity to explore more options that will bring in additional cash for your company.
With the rapid shifts in the business industry, companies need to learn how to be creative and flexible in growing their business. But before thinking about your sales, it is important to prioritize and foster your connections first, starting from your employees, customers, and suppliers. After all, your business is nothing without these people.