How to Keep Business Afloat Amidst Covid-19

How to Keep Business Afloat Amidst Covid-19

Dusty roads leading up to locked factories have become a common sight in most of India’s cities and towns as businesses apart from those manufacturing/selling essential commodities have been temporarily shut due to the 21-day lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A large number of businesses are staring at unprecedented losses due to the situation prevailing around the globe and in India. Many firms have gone out of their usual to not only tackle the growing health crisis but also to keep their business afloat. Others like video content service providers are providing a wide array of content to keep viewers engaged during the lockdown. Some sectors which have seen higher demand ever since the virus outbreak are pharmaceuticals, FMCG, OTT platforms and e-commerce.

HOW THE BUSINESSES CAN SURVIVE IN THIS PANDEMIC SITUATION?

The one thing to remember is that this pandemic does not have to break you or your business. One of the best qualities that will serve you as an Entrepreneur is Adaptability. There may be an Opportunity for Business Growth.

Here’s guidance on how to approach this situation.

Find Lead and Customers Ahead of Time

  • As many businesses are going to be focusing on the here and now, struggling to maintain normal running operation, this could be your chance to build a new network of Prospective Customers.
  • Use your social media presence, implement a newsletter or series of emails to your customers etc. for Communication and Advertisement Purposes. Putting time and effort into generating new leads now will ensure that you have a poll of potential customers to rely on, once things have calmed down.
  • In addition, your leads should have increased confidence in you as a business. If you’re looking for new clients at a time when most of your competition is going through a crisis, you’re showing your customers you’re on top of things.

 Adapt Your Services to the Current Situation

  • In many parts of the world, the general public being advised to stay at home poses serious difficulties to businesses. If your company follows the B2C model and relies on face-to-face, in-store interaction with clients, this presents a serious threat, particularly in the long run.
  • So, get creative and brainstorm different ways you can still deliver your service or products. One obvious example is that of restaurants and cafes operating home-delivery only or offering free delivery, discounts, weekly or monthly subscription-style deals and other incentives helps to stay ahead of the competition.

Market Your Solutions with Coronavirus in Mind

  • Ask yourself whether your product or service could be of additional use or relevance in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, and adapt your marketing to reflect this, especially if you’re introducing an altered service for the duration of the outbreak.
  • Increased and flexible marketing is also crucial right now, because many people will wonder whether certain businesses are still operational. Make sure your target audience knows you’re open and still going strong.

Ensure Your Services will still be relevant at later phases

  • It’s important to consider not only how to survive as a business during the outbreak, but also to have a strategy in place for what’s going to happen afterward.
  •  Let’s say you offer B2C or B2B financial services directly to customers. Until now, customers may have chosen you over automated solutions for the perceived reliability and security of your individual, personal approach. Now, at a time of prolonged home-confinement for many, customers will go over to automated, remote services.
  • Once the outbreak has been contained, Fintech companies offering the automated solutions might find themselves more successful, and you might have fewer customers left. This is why it’s important to be flexible and adapt your services so that they are not only useful during the outbreak, but remain the best choice once everything has calmed down.
  • Don’t assume that once the threat to Public health has passed, things will just go back to the way they’d been before the outbreak.

Identify the Challenges to Your Business.

  •  In order to strategize effectively and implement all of the above points, a good starting place is a list of challenges your businesses might face.
  • Consider everything from disruption of supply chains to difficulties in communication, generating customers and competition with other businesses in your market. Regardless of how you think the outbreak is going to pan out and how it might affect you, plan for every conceivable scenario, including the worst you can imagine.
  • It’s crucial to strategize for different scenarios and take every possibility into account.

Plan Solutions with Several Scenarios in Mind

  • Once you have your list of challenges, it’s time to develop several solutions to each.
  • It’s impossible to accurately simulate what’s exactly going to happen, so it’s better to put the work into preparation and strategizing now than be caught unawares and unprepared.

Use Alternative Solutions to Maintain Daily Operation

  • If it hasn’t done so already, Coronavirus will likely disrupt your Travel Arrangements, Communication, Staffing and perhaps even Supply Chains eventually. Instead of simply cancelling Business plans, Events and brainstorm Creative Alternatives and Solutions.
  • For example, if you’re due to receive a visit to your office or production area — for instance, from a prospective customer — they might be unwilling to make the trip given the current state of affairs. Offer them an alternative, such as a FaceTime meeting. Or if the main purpose of their visit was to see your premises, send pre-recorded footage.

Implement Tech Upgrades to Keep Communication Flowing

  • With the potential threat of most, if not all, of your staff working from Home at some point, it’s important to plan ahead how to ensure communication will remain as efficient as possible.
  • Phone Calls and chats are not going to be fast enough, especially with the Home-life Distractions. Consider using online platforms for your planning and comms.
  • Consider using online platforms for your planning and comms, Google Docs for collaborative documents that everyone can edit and comment on, Asana or similar software for business planning that keeps everyone on the same page and the likes of Coggle or Stormboard for brainstorming and file-sharing.
  • Start introducing these now, so that if worst comes to worst and everyone’s working from home, they’ll be comfortable and proficient with the new methods of communication.
  • Everyone is facing this crisis together, so be Transparent about what your Business is going through. Customers can Empathizewith Brands facing a Crisis, as long as you Communicate with them properly.
  • For Example, when customers use ATMs more and tellers less, their overall level of satisfaction with their bank goes down. So, the business must convey to their customers effectively, the Hardships they are facing and are going to face in these critical circumstances to deliver utmost customer satisfaction to them. It turns out that when consumers can’t see the work that’s being done to serve them, their perception is that less effort went into delivering the service, so they don’t appreciate or value it as much.
  • There’s no telling how this situation will unfold. Things might return to normal within a few weeks, or we might be facing a worldwide recession a year down the road. For businesses of all kinds, it’s important not to give up, to have a firm strategy in place and to remain adaptable and flexible in order to remain successful.