5 Ways to Improve Your Business During Lockdown
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a huge degree of uncertainty for businesses. From lockdown measures that have shut retail stores through to the seemingly indefinite closure of the hospitality and entertainment industries, this is far from business as usual.
As we accelerate towards a state where a greater proportion of the population are vaccinated against COVID-19, we need to think of exit plans that will allow our commercial enterprises to thrive in the months and years to come. Of course we can still expect social distancing and enhancing hygiene procedures to be in place, but things will change and hopefully get better.
As firms cross new hurdles and prepare to reopen in the not-too-distant future, here are five ways in which you can use the lockdown to prepare and improve your business for the new normal.
1. Get your finances in order
Few would deny that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect on the financial status of individuals, businesses, and governments across the world. It seems increasingly likely that the financial slump will continue for some time to come, and all of the admittedly necessary fiscal measures brought in to soften the blow of the pandemic could come back to bite us in the form of a recession at some point in the future.
The upshot is that there’s never a bad time to get your business finances sorted. It could be that you need to map out a more comprehensive financial plan, double and triple check your balance sheets, or start to work out new ways of improving cash flow.
On that front, the pressures of the pandemic have made it very difficult for businesses of all shapes and sizes to keep up with their financial commitments. If you find that a customer has yet to pay you and need to plug a hole in your cash flow, there are plenty of options available, and a £1000 Loan could help you to keep trading while you deal with outstanding invoices.
2. Engage with consumers
The world has gone online, and while some businesses are finding it easy to traverse social media, others have found it much harder to stay in touch and on trend.
Fortunately, social media marketing and even broader digital campaigns can be quite easy as the key is in great communication. Let customers know what you’re doing, go all out in promoting your latest sale, and remember that the internet is truly global – meaning that even the smallest of local businesses can make money on an international level by using the net.
3. Invest in your people
For some firms, the pandemic has led to a shortage in things to do. Employees are still conducting their everyday duties, but with no physical retail premises open, there are perhaps fewer tasks to take up their valuable time.
This clearer calendar makes for the perfect opportunity to upskill your team members and help them to gain new qualifications and capabilities. There are tonnes of online courses that can be taken – some even for free – and when you do reopen, you’ll be met with a more capable workforce that could breathe new life into your business.
4. Re-evaluate your model
People have more time and disposable income right now than ever before. That means it’s your chance to be imaginative with creative approaches to doing business. You could open new sales channels, revisit your existing products, and even introduce novel services.
Remember that with such displacement in the job market, a greater number of people are now offering their talents through the internet and so the world is now a much more competitive place. If you want to differentiate and thrive, you need to clearly set your business apart with quality products and premium services.
Ultimately, the extra time that we all have could be put to good use by dreaming up new revenue streams that will support your business through its reopening efforts and beyond.
5. Stay on top of trends
Whatever you choose to do with your business as we progress towards the new normal, you can’t afford to be complacent. While there will undoubtedly be a market for all of the usual products and services when the economy reopens, you can’t expect things to go back to the way they were in March 2020.
Consumer trends change, and the key to business success is being able to adapt and cater for those new wants and needs that develop. An example of this might be clothing retailers stocking more loungewear and less office clothing to keep up with demand from employees who now work from home, while providers of building infrastructure may wish to concentrate on developing shared workspaces since many companies are no longer in need of dedicated building space on the same scale as before the pandemic.
From moving your business online to upskilling your staff members, businesses need to adapt if they’re to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course you could also use this time to grow stronger and to improve your proposition – paving the way towards a brighter and more profitable future.