The pandemic has rattled the whole world, leaving everyone baffled. There is no doubt that the lockdown effaces the prospects of small and medium businesses. Bigger businesses however have a better chance of surviving, whereas small businesses stammer to run with significantly curtailed cash flow.
Here are some tips for business continuity to help you steer your business through this ordeal. This read will engage you with guidelines and pieces of advice to keep your financial wheels turning through this pandemic.
Tip #1 – Sort Customers on Key Attributes
You may know your best and repetitive customers by name, especially if you are a small business owner catering to a small crowd or sell predominantly to businesses rather than the general public. In such a case, you can rank your customers on a specific attribute, such as the maximum or frequent purchases, and put down a list to contact them for reorders.
The other way to procure sales is by analysing the purchases of past customers and checking out for repetitive orders. There are high chances of reorders if you contact them and proffer the products with high priority to safety measures. If you are using accounting software, this process is way easier than you think.
Tip #2 – Diversify your market
Unless you make or sell pandemic necessities, you will probably be facing a slowdown in the frequency of your business.
Mark Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur and a hotshot investor suggests on a Q&A about business continuity through the pandemic, “If you can find other services to offer, do it. Since you have holes in your schedule, it’s a great time to experiment with new lines of business and see what sticks.”
Instead of following the beaten path, you shall try exploring the features that would help drive your sales amidst the pandemic or create a better user experience. Rather than retreating, you could take the plunge and make your products or service beneficial at the current turbulence before other products make yours obsolete.
Tip #3 – Adopt agility to your business culture
The most pivotal thing that this pandemic has taught us is to get prepared for anything. For small business owners, it means staying steady amidst the blows. Some businesses are partially open with physical changes in work stations. It is best to be proactive and prepare for the worst-case scenarios. So, revisit your business plan and have a ‘what if’ forecast to generate cash flow through the next waves of the pandemic.
Agility also means adapting to practices that escalate the efficiency of your business. In light of such an ordeal, automation software can aid you to a great extent as it handles tiresome and time-consuming chores. This will be an incredible relief for you if you are running out of manpower during this pandemic. Embracing the automation process saves you time will continue to serve you long after the pandemic ends.
The greatest impact of automation will definitely be made on the financial side of your business. Tedious manual tasks like invoicing, and payroll management are error-prone and should be done by software. For example, if you automate your accounts payable process you’ll be able to process 16x more invoices.
Tip #4 – Check into government assistance
Small businesses from coast to coast grounded to a halt when the pandemic hit. Every government across the globe is concerned and are making necessary strides to help small business owners survive amidst the turbulence. So you shall tap into the government support options. Some governments assist small businesses in terms of mortgages, rent and utilities. If your business is totally stuck for months, you could be gasping for some assistance from the government. Stay in the know of such plans by the government and latch on to them.
Creating ads that are targeted at a specific crowd of audience will help you stay on your customer’s mind. Businesses that made it through the 2020 lockdown are the ones that held their presence in the customers’ minds.
Reports affirm that nearly 50% of the world’s population are active social media users, that is over three billion users across the globe. So, instead of addressing the whole bunch of social media users, you can push in your products only to a dedicated audience that shows a high probability of purchase with you. Google ads and Facebook ads are top tools when used correctly can help your business thrive.
Tip #6 – Automate your business process
You might be running out of manpower, as some employees prefer to stay at home pertaining to the fear of getting attacked. In such times, automating your processes that eat up more time will help to keep your business plain sailing. If you are still fumbling with paper receipts, maybe it is time to upgrade to a receipt app. If you are still clutching on manual entries in bookkeeping, it is time to embrace accounting automation. This way, you need not require people to push and pass things through each process, especially in pandemic times.
If you are looking up for automation tools for your bookkeeping, here are a couple of applications that are must-haves for your QuickBooks accounting. SaasAnt Transactions and PayTraQer would be a smart choice. With SaasAnt Transactions, you can import, export and delete bulk transactions in QuickBooks, in a snap, with just a click of a button. PayTraQer will sync your ongoing transactions to QuickBooks, without any manual intervention. Both applications are authorized by QuickBooks. You shall try exploring them with their 30-day free trial.
Tip #7 – Get the help of brand advocates
Happy customers will spread the word to their friends. They will have you mentioned on social media, which will be a form of advertisement for you. People will rely on friend’s opinion over your marketing efforts. If you have such customers, make sure you respond to their raves on social media or other review platforms. This will steer your loyal customers further as you give them some value.
Also, you can adore them with discounts or referral code. For example, if such a loyal customer brings in a new customer, you can offer both of them a discount.
Tip #8 – Cultivate your brand strategy
Fabricate a strategy that works for your brand. Strategize plans that would boost your sales in the light of pandemic. There are a multitude of strategic approaches that you can pick a few from for your brand. Focus on the benefits that you offer, rather than the features. Joining hands with the right alliances can, at times, give you access to the markets that would otherwise be not open to you. When your business glimmers, you shall try clubbing with alliances that would deepen your pockets.
Tip #9 – Repackage your products
During such a pandemic, everyone is stashed at their homes. So, if you can find ways to redesign your products that could engage kids or adults at home, your sales might see a peak. Some cafes sold basic pizza making kit for children that brought them considerable revenue. Cake shops delivered kids-friendly cookie-making kits, along with online how-to classes every Sunday evening. You can come up with some repackaging or a redesign of your product that goes along with the pandemic. Make sure that it would not hurt your business in the aftermath.
Start escalating your social media presence. It is a great way to remind the customers about your brand. You can build your social media presence by engaging your audience for at least 15 to 30 minutes each day. Make sure you are helping out your audience with your social media presence. Slowly promote your brand on social media and make it beneficial for your audience.
What happens next is uncertain. No one knew 2020 would be coming with such a pandemic. We made our survival through it, though we did not see it coming. So, it is obvious that we have to be prepared for both best and the worst to keep our business straight and going.