COVID-19 isn’t just a health crisis; it’s an economic crisis that’s expected to have significant repercussions. It’s already disrupted countless businesses and forced them to close their doors indefinitely.
As of yet, no one knows when the pandemic will blow over and when things will return to normal.
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As a small business owner, you cannot just wait around to see what happens. You need to take steps to ensure that your business can not only survive COVID-19 but recover and even thrive after the coronavirus pandemic.
So, let’s see what you can do to ensure the success of your SMB and get out of this grim situation unscathed.
Establish Remote Teams
Establishing remote teams is a smart decision regardless of the pandemic. Before the onset of the coronavirus, over 4.3 million Americans already worked remotely, mainly because it’s convenient.
Employees typically enjoy more flexible working schedules when working remotely, which can greatly impact their job satisfaction levels. But it’s the companies that reap the most benefits.
You can expand your talent pool, hiring capable employees from all over the world. Improve your employee retention rates, save on office space and utilities, transportation costs, office infrastructure, and more.
Although it seems like a must during the pandemic, establishing remote teams shouldn’t be considered as your last resort. You should embrace remote work and enjoy all the benefits that it brings.
Creating a remote workforce is easier than it may appear. You have countless affordable tools at your disposal that will help you create and manage your remote teams.
Video conferencing tools, project management tools, time-tracking apps, collaboration software, and more allow you to continue your normal business processes safely during the pandemic and after it.
Focus on the Online Aspect of Your Business
Most governments around the world have imposed strict measures during COVID-19. All but essential businesses and services are either closed or allowed to operate only under great restrictions.
If you want to save your business, your best option is to go online.
Both B2B and B2C e-commerce activity has already spiked since the onset of the pandemic. Those who had the opportunity have already gone online.
But what if you don’t have products or services that can be sold online? Perhaps you own a gym venue or a beauty salon, and cannot transfer your entire business online.
In this case, all you need is a bit of creativity.
As a business owner, you have specific knowledge and expertise that you can use and sell to your consumers.
If you have a gym, you can take advantage of online training software to develop virtual courses that your gym members can join.
If you have a beauty salon, use online training software to teach your regular customers how to take care of their split ends, or how to establish a healthy beauty routine that suits them.
If you have a restaurant, share cooking videos or sell some of your best recipes.
Whatever your area of expertise is, you always have some knowledge that you can share and sell to your customers. Don’t forget that.
Make Use of Employee Training Software
While it may seem as if you have more important things to do than focus on employee training courses, if you want your business to stay on top, you need to ensure that your employees have the necessary skills and knowledge that drive your business forward.
This isn’t the time to neglect your employee training efforts.
Instead of sending your employees to seminars or organizing in-person classes, you’ll just need to invest in the right employee training software.
Employee training software allows you to fully develop and customize your training materials, create tests and quizzes, organize virtual classes, and keep track of everyone’s progress.
You can use it to increase your courses’ efficiency by creating personalized learning paths and focusing on microlearning.
Besides using employee training software to improve your team’s competencies, you can also educate your employees on the best measures to stay safe during COVID-19.
Be Flexible with Your Employees
Unemployment rates have skyrocketed since the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic in mid-March.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. was 3.5% at the beginning of the year, and now it’s risen to 14.7%. That’s millions of jobs lost due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
If you can, you should try and keep as many of your team members with you during the pandemic. Instead of laying them off, consider cutting their hours or even their pay if you have to.
You’ll likely find that most of your workers would gladly accept a pay cut instead of a layoff, so communicate with them, keep them in the loop, and be flexible with them. You’ll need them once all of this is over.
Boost Your Marketing Efforts
Finally, if you want your SMB to survive COVID-19, you should put as much focus as you can on boosting your marketing efforts.
You’ll need to ensure that your customers know you’re still in business, and you’ll need to expand your client base.
Work on your more affordable marketing campaigns. Turn to social media, create a posting schedule to stay active, engage with your followers in the comment section, and respond to messages.
Simple things such as these can help you spread the word about your business and generate more leads, especially now when most people are staying at home and spending more of their time online.
The Bottom Line
Keeping your small business afloat during COVID-19 won’t be an easy task, but it’s achievable if you:
- Establish remote teams
- Focus on the online aspect of your business
- Make use of employee training software
- Become flexible with your employees
- Boost your marketing efforts
Play an active role in getting your business off the ground. Be creative, smart, and rely on your employees to help you through these difficult times.
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