If you’d chosen to start a new small business at the outset of 2020, then you could be forgiven for lamenting your terrible timing. But what’s done is done, and now’s the time to think about how you’re going to deal with the situation as it is now. How are you going to survive in the weeks and months to come? Statistically, the odds are against many small businesses even when there isn’t a pandemic going on. Now that there is, the challenge has gotten even more extreme.
In circumstances as challenging as these, its more important than ever to identify and eliminate waste wherever possible. This means looking at which products and services are performing well in the crisis and emphasising those at the expense of those which might not have been suited to these circumstances. For example, retailers might shift their operation as much as possible to online sales. Those providing food or drink might make the switch to a take-away or delivery model.
Synergise with other businesses
Many businesses will now be looking to diversify their offerings, if only temporarily, in order to stay afloat. It may be that some unlikely collaborations occur. For example, both restaurants and taxi firms are finding themselves in vulnerable positions. If one has made a pivot toward acting as a takeaway, then it might be that the other can help out with the actual delivery.
Shift your business services online
That’s another crucial point to save your business amongst the pandemic scenario across the world. When you shift your business services online, your employees do not have to step out of their houses, or literally out of their comfort zone. Moreover, you can quickly either macro or micro manage them using the remote work monitoring tools or software, depending upon your small business’s scale at very nominal rates.
Examine your Borrowing
Among the biggest threats for many businesses is a lack of liquidity. Picking up the phone and talking to your lender might generate the leeway that you’re looking for. Since it’s in their interest to help you stay afloat, you might find that you get more goodwill than you expected. Government backed business loans are among the safest sources of additional capital, and worth investigating.
Test your Plans
If you fail to pressure test around the resumption of your activity, then you can’t complain when your plans begin to buckle under pressure.
One effective technique, identified by Nobel prizewinning psychologist Daniel Kahneman in his bestselling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, is the ‘pre-mortem’. This involves imagining that your business has failed, and then working backward to identify what the cause of the failure was. This helps to eliminate many of the biases that can creep into the thinking of well-meaning decision-makers.