It’s doubtful you need a reminder but just in case, here it is. This crisis is a global one, everyone knows about it and we’re all experiencing it. And if you’re in the middle of a downturn in business it’s not due to a lack of market research or getting your pricing wrong. This one isn’t your fault!

With that out of the way, you now need to take a cold hard look at your business. While news of the vaccine rollout will help restore public confidence, light at the end of the tunnel is a way off yet. The hope is, by late Summer people will be travelling again and venturing out to restaurants, cafes, and shops – but how do you survive until then?

After the first lockdown you no doubt opened negotiations with banks, suppliers, and landlords, but 3rd lockdown in, more negotiations may be required. So, do it! It might also need a complete re-think of how you operate your business. A re-think needs a clean slate and you treating this like a new business venture. As this is about surviving, if it means doing business different, you won’t be the first to do that.

Adapting to Survive

We’ve seen businesses from all sectors changing how they operate. The obvious one is the click and collect service on offer from the bigger retail organisations.

In the aviation world, the airlines that are surviving are doing so because they converted their passenger aircraft into cargo carrying freighters.

And in the keep-fit world, classes including yoga, Pilates and Zumba, moved online.

But what about the smaller business with no e-commerce site?

One small gift shop with no website but a healthy fan base on Facebook began using their phone to create videos displaying their stock. The videos were uploaded to their Facebook page with a reminder that even though the shop was closed it was possible to book an appointment to collect and pay. The reaction was so positive the shop shifted all their Christmas stock.

Open for Business

Key to anything working is people knowing your business is still operating. Even if the doors are shut, don’t make the mistake of leaving social sites silent. As a direct result of COVID-19, people are at home and they’re online. Social site usage is up 66% (Nielson) so use your social sites to their full extent.

Remember too how people are feeling. Devoid of normal connections means now is the time to reach out to them. Get yourself in front of the camera or be braver still and become your own video star. Share product news and updates plus tap into the growing support to #buylocal.

Any finally, as you are a business owner and risk taker it seems right to finish with the words of T.S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far it is possible to go.”

To your success!

Carole Smith, Online Marketing Business Coach, SynNeo.ie  

Blog written originally for SmartLiving Algarve Magazine Spring 2021 edition.

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