Best Ways for Small Businesses to Overcome Recent Setbacks
Recent events have had a dramatic impact on small businesses. Some closed permanently, while others had to shut down temporarily. With reduced sales, some business owners have had to rely on credit to keep the company afloat. If your business has experienced setbacks and now needs to recover, here are some tips that may help.
Prepare for Safer Operations
Sanitize your business facility to ensure everything is germ-free. You may want to hire a professional cleaning service that specializes in COVID-19 sanitation practices. Be sure to include the less obvious areas like elevator call buttons, doorknobs, and stair handrails. Keep cleaning supplies and antiseptic wet wipes on hand in several locations for ready access and convenient use. Post signs to indicate where the wipes are located and have disposal containers nearby for discarding them.
Maintain Social Distancing
Consult CDC guidelines for how to effectively enforce social distancing at your place of business. Mark the shared passageways at your facility at six-foot intervals to remind everyone to maintain a safe distance from others. Do this for your employees as well as for customers and visitors. If lines occasionally form at the entrance to your business, mark the walkways leading to the entrance as well. In strategic locations, such as in the parking area and at the entrance, put up signs indicating that masks should be worn at all times except possibly in isolated individual work areas. You may want to indicate on the signs that these conditions are based on state health code mandates if that is the case.
Divide the Workload
If some of your employees are feeling overwhelmed by increased work due to layoffs, consider having employees share the workload. That way, everyone can earn a paycheck while meeting production standards. That will enable the company to get back to regular operations soon without hiring more people or keeping current employees laid off. Avoid hiring more workers unless you need them, and give any overtime to your regular employees who probably need to make up lost income.
Manage Accumulated Business Debt
If you have had to rely on credit to keep your company running this past year, you may have built up a sizable balance that is churning interest to increase the debt. Consult a financial adviser or a reliable lender to discuss business credit card debt refinancing options. You may be able to take advantage of lower interest rates currently available to reorganize your credit balance. The result could be lower payments and a quicker payoff with less interest paid overall.
Offer Customer Reassurance and Incentives
To bring customers back and increase their confidence in doing business with your company, offer a special discount or sales event. Generate excitement about your business by launching an advertising campaign that reminds the public of your products’ value. You can also announce your safety policies and protection measures to help customers feel comfortable resuming business relations with your company. Use social media for updates and exciting messages to stir public interest.
Delay Major Changes
As your company operations return to a pre-pandemic level, avoid making significant changes like expansions or product innovations. Start slowly to allow your customers to adjust to normal conditions and familiar products first. As everyone gradually adjusts to a new normal in the business world, we want to tread cautiously to ensure a stable economic climate. Rushing to make significant changes could be premature and lead to a potential setback.
Things are looking up following a rough year due to the pandemic. Take this opportunity to rebuild your business slowly but surely. Your employees and customers will appreciate the efforts you are making to provide safe and secure company operations. Hopefully, before long, we can all return to business as usual and make up for lost time.