How Small Businesses Can Survive The Pandemic
From cashflow and communication to power and planning, what must small business owners do to ensure they stay afloat?
82% of business decision makers are anxious about the impact of the coronavirus on SMEs, according to research complied by Opinium. There’s no doubt that small businesses have felt the hit of closing their doors or reducing output for several months this year. Some are uncertain about their chances of surviving the pandemic altogether. Unfortunately, there was little warning about the Covid-19 disaster which gave business owners few opportunities to put the necessary strategies in place. But now we have a better idea of what the future holds, it’s time for business owners to prepare for coming out the other side of a coronavirus economy.
Reliance on Power
Technology is key to the vast majority of industries, which is where your backup strategy is essential. Loss of power is a major threat to your systems and UPS units will only provide you with a limited amount of uptime. Generator hire will allow you access to temporary power if you need it in an emergency situation and can be in place quickly.
Adapting Your Technology
SMEs can also benefit from utilising cloud services which are both secure and cost-effective. Particularly for home working, the cloud offers the ability for your teams to carry on with their workloads as all their projects are kept in the cloud environment. If you’ve never offered home working before, then you may have faced some teething problems in bringing your teams together. Collaborative tech tools such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom and Trello were all created with togetherness in mind, and have been adopted on a large scale by companies across the globe.
Strengthening Your Leadership
Effective leadership has never been more important than in this pandemic. It’s important for all SMEs to realise that leadership should be a team effort. If you tend to operate as a lone wolf, then you’re exposing your business to a single point of failure if you were to fall ill or have family commitments to take care of. Entrust your team members with helping you to make key decisions and strengthen your relationship with important employees, suppliers and customers to put you in a better position to move forward. You should also use this time to determine where any vulnerabilities lie within your organisation and take steps to overcome them.
Protecting Your Revenue
Although small businesses have been offered government relief during the pandemic, you’ll also be concerned about the security of your future revenue. It’s important to target customer segments who are thriving during the lockdown, and make sure that your product or service is very much within their view. Remember though not to neglect customers or B2B contacts who have had their own difficulties to overcome during lockdown. Stay in contact with this group as well, so that you’ll be their first port of call once normality resumes for them.
You’ll want to keep a keen eye on your numbers throughout this period. Make sure that you understand your cashflow situation and you may wish to include cancellation or service suspension clauses in your future contracts. Equally, if you have a longstanding relationship with suppliers, then try to negotiate credit lines if this will help to keep you afloat.
Getting through the coronavirus economy as a small business is all about being resilient and staying organised for as long as it takes.