We’re going through one of the toughest times of human history. Covid-19 has impacted everyone throughout the world. The World Trade Organization has predicted that global trade could plunge by 32% in the current year due to Covid-19.
According to a recent survey, 80% of businesses in Australia reported that they’ve been affected by Covid-19. Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 72% of businesses reported a decline in revenue due to the pandemic.
It is, indeed, a challenging time for businesses of all sizes.
What practical steps can you take to keep your business alive during this crisis is the most important question that you should ask yourself. The following 9 ways will help you keep your business alive and running during Covid-19:
1. Tweak Your Business Model
The first thing you need to do is change your business model to make it compatible with Covid-19. If you continue doing business the same way, things will get extremely tough. You have to make your business Covid-19 compatible.
There are several business model changes that you must consider:
You need to make sure that your business model has support for Covid-19 as this is how you’ll be able to keep it alive during this crisis.
2. Focus on Survival Instead of Goals
Resetting of your business model should be geared towards business survival. If you are still setting goals other than business survival, you are making a lethal mistake. Your top priority must be to get out of this crisis without ruining your business.
TechnoServe uses a three-step business survival approach:
The idea is to think nothing but business survival. This includes financial management and finding new revenue opportunities to keep the ball rolling. For example, instead of doubling sales this year, aim for breakeven. Trying to achieve something too challenging will lead you nowhere.
3. Save Cash
If there is one thing that can keep your business alive during coronavirus pandemic, its cash – lots of it. Saving cash and reducing cash outflow should be a top priority. You must have enough funds to keep running the main processes of your business for a few good months if you don’t earn any revenue.
You need to improve liquidity to make sure your business has cash in hand. Here are a few things you can do to improve your liquidity ratio:
4. Seek Financial Support
Saving cash isn’t always possible. Depending on your industry, cost-cutting might be too difficult. Even if you manage to save cash, it might not be sufficient. You can seek financial support to keep your business alive.
There are several financing support opportunities available for Australian small and mid-sized businesses:
You can also get financial support for your business from your state. For instance, businesses in Queensland can get a refund of two month’s payroll tax and businesses in South Australia can receive a waiver of the payroll tax.
Financial support is the best tool for business survival during this period.
5. Negotiate with Business Partners
Your business partners play a significant role in cash flow management. The idea is to help each other by identifying solutions that are beneficial for both. For example, you can negotiate payment terms with raw material suppliers that benefit both parties.
When you are constantly in contact with business partners, you’ll know what they’re doing, what types of problems they’re facing, etc. And you can help your partners especially the ones that are critical for your business survival.
6. Educate Employees and Customers
Having cash in hand and financial support won’t be of much help if your employees aren’t motivated and don’t follow safety instructions. According to the World Economic Forum, lockdown could lead to stress, burnout, and several psychological issues and the impact could last for several years.
You need to understand that mental trauma is normal, and you have to make sure your workforce knows about it. Educate your employees in terms of what impact Covid-19 and lockdown might have on their personal and work activities.
The second thing you need to do is create Covid-19 SOPs and make sure your employees follow them strictly. Infected employees won’t be able to work, and this is something you don’t want to face. Create SOPs, educate employees, and provide them with safety equipment.
Customers need to be educated as well. Your customers want to know that they’re dealing with a company that won’t pass the virus to them. Tell your customers what steps you are taking to keep them safe.
7. Generate Leads and Sales Online
The only way to keep your business alive is to continue generating leads and sales. It is the best time to connect and engage with your target audience online. No matter what industry you are in, there is always room for selling online.
The online purchases for several items have increased significan
You need to start online delivery. You don’t have to create an ecommerce store instead you can take orders over the phone, via email, your website, or social media and offer cash on delivery. Even if you serve customers in a small area, do it.
Your business can’t exist without sales.
8. Encourage Upsells
Acquiring new customers is expensive and difficult. It is harder during the Covid-19 when people are trying to save money so generating leads and sales could become a big challenge.
You need to shift the focus to your existing customers and try promoting upsells and cross-sells. Upselling is easier because you have already built a connection with the customers. This is why upselling is 68% more affordable than acquiring a new customer and it increases revenue by 10-30%.
Here are a few upselling tips:
9. Promote Remote Work
You can’t keep your business alive during the Covid-19 without remote work. You have to do it sooner or later. The State of Remote Work 2020 found that 98% of people like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their career:
Start promoting remote work culture in your organization. Tweak your policy and business strategy, create remote work SOPs, and train your employees. You need to acquire the necessary tools and apps that will help your workforce with remote work.
Promoting remote work in your organization is the best thing you can do to keep your business active and running as it will let your employees work from home at their convenience.
Nobody knows the exact duration of this pandemic but PM Scott Morrison said:
“This will be a difficult six months. It could be longer. It could be sooner than that.”
You need to prepare your business for at least six months and don’t forget to have a contingency plan.
Business survival should currently be your top priority. This calls for a change in mindset. You need to convince your team that getting out of this pandemic with your business still running is all that you need.
If you’re struggling to manage your business cashflow, we have something that can help. Download our FREE Cashflow Plan to get back on track!