COVID-19 continues to transform the world we live in. Ever since the outbreak, multi-billion dollar industries such as tourism have been labeled as non-essential, customer priorities have changed drastically, and the implementation of quarantine has threatened the stability of various businesses.
As the world continues to face one of the worst economic recessions since the Great Depression, you may be left wondering what the future holds for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) like yours.
Despite all the difficulties businesses are facing, it’s good to know that many entrepreneurs have found ways to adapt to the new normal. Many have fully transitioned to a remote working setup, some have built websites to drive more sales, while others have doubled down on SMS services to bolster brand awareness.
Given that there’s no way to predict when things will be back to normal, staying agile and open to non-conventional solutions will help your business survive during this period.
Knowing how to respond to the situation will enable your company to navigate through this pandemic. To get you started, the guide below will discuss the challenges you’ll face or have likely already faced and the opportunities you should consider taking.
Entrepreneurship in the Time of COVID-19
According to The World Bank, the global economy’s GDP has contracted by 5.2% in 2020. Due to the closure of public establishments, the change in consumer behavior, and government-imposed lockdowns, it’s evident that COVID-19 has caused one of the worst global recessions in recent years.
Considering these figures, it’s easy to think that dark days are ahead for SMEs. As an entrepreneur, however, you should not only look at the silver lining but innovate and adapt, too.
Government restrictions may have restricted face-to-face encounters, but know that COVID-19 has caused a surge in entrepreneurial activity. The demands of the pandemic are pushing entrepreneurs to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions. Since consumers are facing new problems, new business models, products, and services are needed.
With the help of digital tools, startups have been able to repurpose and redirect. Transport companies are now doing food deliveries, restaurants are offering frozen packages, and educational institutions have doubled down online learning. In turn, the adoption of the latest tech has boosted digital transformation across all sectors at a rapid rate.
Even after the pandemic has passed, the effects will still be evident in the years to come. Now that cashless payments and online markets have gained traction, you can expect these digital modes of transactions to continue to play an essential role. If you want your business to thrive, taking advantage of technology and adopting the necessary strategies is a must.
Building Entrepreneurial Resilience
The entrepreneurial life is not an easy one. As you manage the difficulties that come with your daily operations and deal with the uncertainty of the future, success in your endeavors will require a great deal of resilience. Keeping a strong mindset and careful planning will help your business thrive amidst this pandemic. Here are some simple ways on how you can keep your business in shape.
Deep dive into your customer base
No matter what industry you’re in, your clients are the heart of your business. Given that they are facing new problems during this pandemic, interacting with them can go a long way. Taking their pulse by sending out a survey, engaging them through social media, or letting them send suggestions through email will be useful in optimizing your services.
If you need help conducting market research, consider getting text messaging services for small businesses. Mobile 360’s SMS polls services can help you get the necessary insight affordably and conveniently.
Plan your workforce with care
Apart from repurposing your services, you’ll need to plan your workforce with care. Sourcing the wrong candidates won’t just hinder your operations; it will be costly for your bottom line, as well. Considering your company’s needs and financial stability, what are the measures you can take to ensure that all responsibilities are accommodated?
Hiring new employees full-time may be a good investment, but if the costs of hiring, salaries, and paid leaves are not within your budget, then you can look for another solution. Hiring freelancers to handle easy tasks provide a cheap alternative. Meanwhile, partnering with an outsourcing agency will give you the necessary solutions while cutting down on costs.
Map out your supply chain and identify all potential vulnerabilities
Given that consumers are shifting towards digital transactions, your business will need to make some logistical adjustments. This is particularly true if you’re selling food or tangible products. You’ll need to account for the transport restrictions caused by the virus to source and distribute materials properly.
To ensure that your operations aren’t compromised, you need to have the right infrastructure in place. With this in mind, map out your supply chain and figure out which areas may face specific issues. Gathering the necessary alternatives and knowing how to deal with the closure of distribution centers will help you address all vulnerabilities.
Focus on creating shared value
Beyond your products and service offers, your customers would love to know how your company is bringing about positive change. Letting them know that your company cares is an excellent way to keep your brand relevant. Considering your values and corporate social responsibility, what can you do to give back to the community?
Stay transparent with your customers, employees, and stakeholders
Communication will be extremely vital during this period. Unlike in the office where you have the luxury of sitting next to your colleagues, you’ll have no choice but to rely on messaging platforms for now.
Due to the lack of face-to-face interactions, it’s incredibly easy for an important person to fall out of the loop. To counter this dilemma, you’ll need to adopt a clear communications strategy.
Communicating proactively with your employees and stakeholders will ensure that your operations are smooth and seamless. At the same time, your customers will be glad to know the current state of your business, and being honest with them can significantly ease your situation.
Turn to digital solutions
Luckily enough, we live in a digital age. The latest innovations in technology have allowed businesses to recover and thrive even with the pandemic. Using analytics tools, companies were able to implement data-field strategies to drive their business forward. Equipping your teams with the necessary digital tools will ensure business continuity.
Embrace the New Normal
Times may be challenging, but there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. The pandemic will continue to change the world we live in, but as long as you stay prepared and remain flexible, you’ll be able to manage through the COVID-19 crisis with ease.
If you’re looking for more ways to thrive during this period, then doubling down on marketing is a must. For starters, our SMS services can help you grow your business in no time.