Posted by Data Stems ● Jun 25, 2020 12:58:20 PM
Help Your Business Survive the Pandemic
Surviving the pandemic is more challenging than you might think. Millions of businesses are struggling because of COVID-19, and many are closing their doors for good. The good news is that there are still ways to avoid that path if you take a few steps to protect your business.
You can survive the COVID-19 pandemic by focusing on key areas like financial assistance, adapting to changes, implementing new digital marketing techniques, and integrating new technology into your processes.
Most businesses are looking for some form of financial assistance during the pandemic. Rather than laying off all their employees or entirely closing down, many companies want to receive some type of loan to keep their company afloat and avoid furloughing their employees.
There are two main ways to get a loan during the pandemic. There is the paycheck protection program (PPP), which provided business loans early in the lockdown and small business association (SBA) loans.
If you applied for and didn't receive a loan through the PPP, you’re not alone. Many small and mid-sized businesses missed out on those funds. PPP loans are through the CARES Act signed by the president of the United States. If you did or do get a loan, the main stipulation to receive a PPP loan is keeping all of your workers on the payroll throughout the crisis. The best part of PPP loan is that most are eligible for loan forgiveness after the crisis.
Besides PPP loans, some small businesses can qualify for a loan through the Small Business Association. The SBA will match you with the right lender to get your company back on its feet. The SBA “reduces risk for lenders and makes it easier for them to access capital.”
Finally, if all else fails, you can furlough your employees so that they can receive unemployment insurance while your company is closed. You can save significant money by furloughing your workers — money you can use to pay rent and utilities. Furlough isn’t for everyone, but employees who are on unemployment also receive an additional $600 a week from the federal government, which can help them survive.
Adapt to Changes
You must adapt to changes to survive the pandemic. As soon as the country went under lockdown orders, most businesses had to make their employees work from home. Millions of small and mid-sized companies need to adapt to remote work so that they can survive COVID-19.
If your business is retail in a brick and mortar store, you might not have the ability for employees to work remotely. If that is the case, you can adapt by keeping employees in the store and having them do curbside pickup or package items to mail for online orders.
A lot of companies are service-based and don’t have to worry about things like a curbside pickup. In those cases, you might adapt by implementing new technology to help your employees stay connected and get their work done. You might have to put your entire company online, which requires the right infrastructure, equipment, and applications.
Digital marketing is more vital now than ever. Fewer people are moving around, and more people are online. For retail businesses, you can focus on advertising products and working on conversion rates. For service-based companies, you should focus on growing your brand awareness and getting new leads, if possible.
Try meeting your target market where they are. You might advertise on Facebook and Instagram or choose a more professional sphere like LinkedIn and Nextdoor. Facebook, which owns Instagram, offers powerful advertising tools that get your message out there and give you helpful analytics. LinkedIn is a professional social media outlet that also has reliable advertising tools.
The Nextdoor app is more for local service businesses than other types of companies. Nextdoor is a social media platform where you only see posts from your neighborhood and some surrounding communities. Users also see targeted advertisements, which can help spread the word about your service. On top of that, the Nextdoor app is a great way to start a word-of-mouth campaign where your satisfied customers post about your business and recommend your services.
Your company needs to adopt new technology, which goes hand-in-hand with adapting to changes. If your business goes remote during the pandemic, you need to integrate new technology into your processes. This might include video conferencing apps like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If some employees don’t own laptops, you might need to purchase high-quality equipment to get them online. You might also require advanced applications so that employees can get their work done.
Remote technology can get expensive, but surviving COVID-19 might necessitate the purchases. On top of adopting new tech, your employees need to set up comfortable offices to work at home and they need equipment. You don’t want employees who are crouched over a kitchen table all day, which can cause pain and decreased productivity. You also don't want your workers to flounder because they don't have the equipment they need to get the work done. You should purchase the right hardware for each employee's job.
Surviving the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging but doable. By implementing a few steps and tips, you can get on the right track to avoiding closure and retaining employees. Even if you need to furlough some workers, you can use these tips to keep the others, or, at the very least, pay your rent.
The goal is to survive to work another day and keep all or most of your employees. No one wants to get on unemployment insurance, and no business owner wants to lose their company. Work on your goals and your game plan today, and save your business tomorrow.
Topics: technology, Coronavirus, business, digital marketing, new normal