The other day there was a quote on Facebook that said, ‘How can I make this obstacle the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me?’
Some of you may take that as an exciting challenge, but for others, it will seem far too optimistic in the current climate, where small businesses are seeing their profits halved and customer enquiries trailing off.
Wherever you stand on the spectrum, know this. You can build a resilient business during this time and we’re here to help you all the way. It will, however, mean learning how to tap into new markets, getting creative with the ones you’re in and investing in remote working technology that is affordable and sustainable.
Should we rely on stimulus efforts?
As a response to Covid-19, the US Senate approved its largest emergency aid package in modern history of $2 trillion to help Americans, while New Zealand and Australia also announced some of their largest ever support packages.
The trouble with tailored stimulus efforts for small businesses though is that they take time to design and carry out, and may not reach all industries.
It’s easy to see that airlines and hospitality workers are in need. But it’s harder to identify the formal dress hire business that have to shut due to no events being held or the landscape gardener who is now experiencing increased cost to serve with social distancing and additional site compliance regulations.
So taking responsibility for your own small business and how you can work remotely is the best guarantor of success.
There are new roads to take, you just need to find them
Much like finding a new route to a destination you’ve been many times, this is the challenge that now sits with small business owners. Here are some of the best tech solutions you should be investing in right now:
Remote business phone systems: Now is the time to take a careful and considered approach to supporting your team through new business phone systems that don’t cost the earth or cause major disruption. Spoke Phone can help with this, turning your mobile phone into a business phone in less than 30 minutes. See our special offer for Covid-19 affected businesses.
Create an online store: There are a host of easy to set up, e-commerce websites – our favourite is wordpress and with the Elementor plugin it’s never been easier to create a website from scratch. Get your store online and selling now – there is demand.
Move to the cloud: If your business isn’t already cloud-based yet, now is the best time to do this. One of the major benefits of cloud computing is mobility. Having data in the cloud gives you and your employees the flexibility to work from any location. And for those who need full-business oversight – cloud computing enables you to monitor all operations in your business effectively.
Seek out new revenue
What markets do you see becoming more essential? Take a look at how they match up with your current customer base and ask yourself how your business can support theirs and add value during this time. If you can find a way to alleviate some of their challenges then you’re ahead of the game.
Take a leaf out of Nick’s book – he runs a local Google Analytics business. He had a few of his largest clients close down – the local university and the city museum – which meant his revenue halved. However, he’s reaching out to other clients who are still operating who may need their online information amended. He thought they could start driving traffic from online sources rather than offline.
He’s also about to talk to businesses that are doing well amid the crisis and help them move to the cloud – a move that will set them up well after Covid-19 has run its course. On top of that, he’s listing out those essential businesses that need a great online presence to continue their deliveries and services and helping them to be found easily.
Finding new ways of doing business
If you’re a bricks and mortar store then it’s time to become a digital retailer. If you’re not yet set up for delivering online orders, there is a wide variety of third-party providers who will handle part or all of the process.
In some instances, you may even be able to directly integrate your ordering workflows into a delivery partner’s app or website so you only have to provide the product.
On top of that, retailers including Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Google are providing third-party online marketplaces that make it easy to set up shop as an e-commerce store.
A knock to confidence, not entrepreneurship
Columbia University economist, Glenn Hubbard, who led the Council of Economic Advisers under Mr. Bush, was quick to mention that the biggest economic damage from Covid-19 so far had been to business confidence.
So, you’re feeling shaky right now that’s normal. But know this. You have the ability to create new avenues of revenue and we have the remote phone system tools that enable you to do so.
Take a look at our special Covid-19 offer for affected business and see how we can help your business stay resilient.
We’re here with you.