Encouraging Ways to Grow your Business During COVID-19
Businesses around the world have had to limit hours, reduce production – or close their doors entirely thanks to the novel coronavirus. It’s no surprise that small businesses have been hit the hardest.
Despite the negative impact it’s having on entrepreneurs, there are still things you and your sales team can do to grow your business during COVID-19. To set you on a path for growth during this unprecedented time, we’ve put together a list of quick, easy ways to grow your business during COVID-19.
- Address Immediate Challenges
Many businesses are feeling a cash flow crunch as their business has been forced to close their doors or demand for their products and services has waned. Fortunately, there is assistance available for businesses at multiple levels—federal, state, and local governments, as well as lender-specific support.
Since it can sometimes be hard to track down accurate information about how to access these programs, we recommend you check out the lists of resources that can help keep your business afloat during this time of crisis that are being maintained by The MN Chamber of Commerce – and here on the 21st Century Bank website.
- Get Creative with Positioning
During the COVID-19 crisis, regular spending habits and routines have fallen by the wayside. While you don’t want to try to capitalize on the crisis, these changes present the perfect opportunity for your business to change up operations, invest in new technologies, and adapt.
Many restaurants have been forced to close down their dining rooms to protect staff and customers alike, but that has not kept them from doing business. These restaurants have moved to curbside pickup or even delivery. And some are hiring more staff to meet demand.
Take this time to reconsider your business plan and product offering. Think about how COVID-19 will change the behavior of your customers and what they need or want. Perhaps you can digitize your products or services and offer them online or use new technologies to find new ways to connect.
- Take Your Business Online
In-person events are a no-go right now, but that doesn’t mean that your conference can’t go on as planned. You can connect with people from anywhere these days and tools like Zoom, live streaming on social media platforms, or hosting webinars can keep your business moving.
If your business doesn’t involve tangible products, you’re in an even better position to take things online.
Consulting businesses can still meet with customers and offer services completely remotely. Even brick-and-mortar gyms like Planet Fitness and the Y are offering online classes. This is a shift that businesses can maintain long after stay-at-home orders have been lifted.
Even if your business deals with physical products, you can take advantage of existing technology to take much of your business online. Many grocery stores and restaurants have moved to online ordering and now offer curbside pickup or delivery, as mentioned earlier.
- Upskill Your Staff
During this global pandemic, it’s likely that you’ll find some roles in your company are easier to shift into remote work. That doesn’t mean you need to furlough or lay off the rest of your staff.
In fact, investing in your people is going to pay off in a big way down the road since your staff will be more knowledgeable, productive, and efficient. Focusing on developing their skills now could keep you from needing to hire additional staff in the future.
Spend this time cross-training staff that has seen a reduction in their workload due to COVID-19. There are tons of online courses available that will help you keep your staff learning and engaged—Harvard even offers some online courses for free.
- Plan for the Future
Your customers are finding themselves online more than normal, but that doesn’t mean marketing as usual for your business. Everything is still up in the air right now, with infectious disease experts unsure when it will be safe to start venturing out again.
As a result, people aren’t interested in making plans.
Now, instead of pushing promotions and encouraging people to buy, you might find it more beneficial to focus on building brand awareness or even selling gift cards. Your goal right now is to give people a reason to follow your brand through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
Now, more than ever, it’s vital that your business adapts to this new way of doing business that the novel coronavirus has given us. Businesses that can find ways to meet the shifting needs of their market, get their business online, and build up their staff’s skills are not only going to stay afloat during these trying times, but they’ll grow and thrive