The pandemic's economic impact on small businesses varies depending on location, how successful the business was before the pandemic hit, and customer base, among other things. Some industries, like the travel industry, have been hit hard, while others, like financial organizations and insurance companies, have suffered the smallest amount of loss. Staying afloat throughout these challenges takes planning and effort. The good news is there are steps you can take to ensure your small business comes out ahead and remains competitive.
At the beginning of any crisis situation, assess your company's finances so you know exactly where you stand. Evaluate your cash reserves, determine how long they'll last based on past operating costs, determine which purchases can be delayed, and identify what’s most important. If you need more money to keep going, you may want to apply for financing. The federal government's CARES Act offers several tax relief provisions that can cut your tax liability and help you keep more of your profits. Manage your finances from the start and you’ll be prepared for slow periods and setbacks.
Also, make sure you’ve registered your business with the state, as this can help with certain aspects of your finances. For instance, if you register as an LLC, you’ll receive certain tax advantages; click here to learn more about this process.
Product lines and sales aren’t the only factors in keeping your business afloat during a pandemic. It’s also important to review your procedures and practices and the types of technology you use so you can upgrade your operations. You may be able to upgrade or replace your software to streamline your processes. Many new programs offer free trials so you can test them before you commit. Upgrade hardware, like computers and printers, to ensure efficient operations, and take a good look at how you communicate with customers. Consider a cloud communication phone system such as Vonage, or download a conferencing app like Zoom or Slack to make it easier for clients and vendors to reach you. Staying accessible to your customers keeps them happy and coming back.
Redefining Your Brand
Give your business a new look by tweaking or redesigning your company logo. A simple logo tends to be more effective at capturing the attention of new customers and delivers a clear message to your target audience. You can hire a graphic designer to do the work or use a website like Pixroad to save money by designing a custom logo yourself. You choose the style you like based on the type of business you have, add any information, and then adjust details like font and color to coordinate with your product line.
Evaluate the Details
It's important to look at the overall picture, but don't forget the small details. Add parking spaces to a small lot, consider delivery services to local clients, and focus on bringing in customers with social media campaigns. Small issues can add up to significant impacts.
Choosing Your Pandemic Practices
Keeping your small business afloat during the pandemic requires new approaches. Take a look at what larger companies and your direct competitors are doing to stay significant and follow their direction. Don’t be afraid to change to keep up with current trends and cater to the growing needs of your customers.