General, How to, Problem solving

Avoiding Death During COVID as a Small Business

Olumide Olasope Written by Olumide Olasope · 2 min read >

Introduction

The recent pandemic has hit multiple businesses hard and also seen some businesses flourish. With some businesses already dead and others on their last leg; if you have survived as a small business up to this point, congratulations.  The question now is if you can move the business back to its former glory and even surpass it.

“What do we say to the God of death? Not today!”

-Syrio Forel

Pandemic Effects

One thing we can all agree on is that COVID has changed how a lot of businesses operate, some of the major changes;

  • A focus on delivery as opposed to customer pickups
  • Higher number of staff working remotely
  • Focus on tech and social media to put products in the face of customers

These changes are not just suggestions; they became compulsory for businesses to stay alive. This makes falling in love with your previous business plan a costly mistake. The business plan could have cost you a lot to make, but it would cost even more if you stubbornly stick to it in a changing market place. You strongly believe in your product, so you rely on face to face or door to door marketing. If you keep this and don’t transition to social media, websites and apps for placing orders; the pandemic would hit your business really hard.

Adjustments for The Pandemic

Some obvious adjustments can be made just by reading the previous section. This section will focus on a few less obvious adjustments.

Keep the Brand Essence

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

-Simon Sinek

There is a common saying “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. This is important, especially during a global crisis. You need to stay true to your brand, you can make adjustments for the pandemic; but don’t change the essence of your brand. If your restaurant served not just food but an experience where for instance, the waiter danced as they approached the table. This experience needs to translate as you shift the business to involve deliveries to customer’s homes; this is part of the essence of your brand and should not be lost.

Skills

This is a point that is often overlooked, does your staff have the required skills to transition with your business? It is easy to assume that your staff will know how to package your orders for delivery, or know how to talk to customers over the phone to take orders. But these are not skills that come naturally to everyone. It is your job as a company owner/manager to ensure that staff have the right training to carry out their duties effectively.

Strategic Alliances

This is the time to forge alliances that will strengthen your business. Your business has a strong online presence and a huge following, but you are having difficulties managing logistics for deliveries. It is time to partner up with a company that has what you need, the visibility that a strong online presence brings is currently in high demand and would be a solid bargaining chip during alliance conversations.

Conclusion

Some businesses thrive during crisis because they see the adjustments needed immediately and make the shift. These times have opened up new holes in the market that are looking for businesses to fill; if that is your business, this could be your path to success.

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