Smaller businesses have been hit more by the Covid-19 bombshell than larger businesses. Fiscal and monetary policy has aided cash flows, but the prognosis is bleak, and insolvencies of small businesses may rise in the near future. The CBIZ Main Street Index found that 84% of businesses recorded some impact from the pandemic and financial slowdown, with small businesses with between one and four employees being affected the worst.
From changing click and impression numbers to changing expenses, it is imperative to remain on top of how shifting markets and trends could impact your paid search and paid social accounts. You may also want to keep an eye on comments and reviews – if people have not understood the changes that you have had to make in response to the pandemic, they may be more likely to leave negative comments or reviews. Respond to anything professionally and politely, making it clear how you have taken action.
Maintaining your consumer relationships will need effective and efficient communication. Marketers should strive to create trust with present and potential customers by communicating with them via email or providing information directly on their website. It might be that your opening hours have extended or shortened, you have decided to only accept card or digital payments for the foreseeable future – explain to them why you have made these decisions, as some customers may not know or question why was there a coin shortage. If they know what is happening and why they are much more likely to be accepting of the situation.
To make money, you may have to spend money, just like you did when you first launched your business. You may need to spend money on rehiring employees that you laid off during th pandemic, or take on new staff and train them. You may need to update your inventory and pour capital into your advertising budget to create a new buzz around your business. It may be worth going right back to the beginning and creating a new business plan, with new financial goals and targets so that you have a clear roadmap of where you are going with the business.
The pandemic, thankfully, is something that we have never had to manage before and we hope not to have to deal with again, or at least in the near future at least. However, it has shown us that the unexpected can and does happen, and if we are woefully unprepared, it can be catastrophic. Of course, you cannot possibly predict every possible scenario or event, but what you can do is to work out a basic plan of what you would do if, for some reason, your business had to shut down overnight for months. Look at whether remote working is a possibility, whether you can open up a website to supplement your brick-and-mortar store, whether home delivery or click and collect is an option.