Since the coronavirus outbreak began to spread around the world in March 2020, the global stock markets have seen a drop that has been likened to the financial crisis of 2008. Without a doubt, businesses of all sizes are suffering, and the economy is under serious threat.
However, with lockdown measures slowly starting to lift, and nonessential businesses being allowed to reopen, companies are looking for innovative ways to stay afloat. So, let us discover 3 ways that business are preserving and reinventing their products and services during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Apply for Governmental Aid
During these unprecedented times, governments all over the world are providing extraordinary measures in a bid to save local and regional economies. Financial support is available for both small and large businesses and therefore, if you are struggling, it is well worth checking whether you could be entitled to monetary aid.
Reading from the USA? If so, your business might be entitled to a share of the $2tn economic stimulus package that was announced back in March. For businesses that employ less than 500 people, you might qualify for the standard SBA Loan or the new coronavirus-specific SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).
Are you the owner of a UK based business? You might be eligible for a portion of the new governmental financial-relief package, set at around 350bn. Loans are to be accessed through the Bank of England and will be available free of interest for the first 6 months alongside a cash grant worth 10 000 to cover imminent financial emergencies. Businesses in the retail, leisure, or hospitality sectors are also eligible for a year-long exemption from paying business rates.
- Get Online
One way to guarantee the certainty that you need to keep your business afloat is by moving your operations online. For instance, if your business provides online-based services, then allowing your employees to work from home can help you to maintain productivity and retain your client base.
Whilst this is an option that the majority of businesses are considering, you will need to make sure that your technology is working to the highest possible standard before transitioning all of your workforce online. This could come in the form of making sure that they have access to all software and information, as well as learning how something like an sd wan solution, that can help with application performance and increasing uptime, could be essential to how your business runs during this trying time. This will be important when it comes to keeping your business afloat.
Furthermore, in times like these, a digital business technology platform could prove to be more fruitful. What is a digital business technology platform? It is the combination of technologies that allows an organization to provide digital business capabilities. Basically, it is the nervous system of modern enterprises. But how does it help? A digital business technology platform can integrate existing business assets and IT infrastructure in order to create and exchange services. Having everything managed through one central platform can provide massive benefits in operational effectiveness, scalability, and situational awareness (and especially during a pandemic). Those interested to learn much more about What a Digital Business Technology Platform is, could search for online resources available at Vantiq (and similar web portals).
Nowadays, there are fantastic chat and video conference apps out there including Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Zoom that can bring your team together to ensure collaboration and communication at every level of the business. Of course, businesses could also look into enhancing their telecommunications during this time. By having a business phone system, businesses can keep in contact with their employees who might be working remotely. Maybe businesses should look into sme communication solutions to make sure they can keep communicating with each other through this strange time.
Comparatively, if your business sells physical products, you can transition to online retail and delivery to counter the loss of in store traffic and retain your staff. Restaurants, cafes, and bars can also be converted into takeaways and grocery stores to make use of stocks.
When making the switch to online be sure to invest in reputable and reliable digital infrastructure so that you can offer safe payment, shipping, and collection options. While this might take some time and getting used to, in the long run, making these changes now can enable your company to stay in business.
- Embrace Digital Marketing & Social Media
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to establish an online following.
With fewer people out and about, your physical, more traditional methods of marketing in shops, on billboards and on buses aren’t going to be seen by anybody, so it’s a waste of money. Instead, you should be looking at Email Marketing if you aren’t already doing so. By emailing your customers all your latest news and offers, you can gain yourself increased attention and increased sales. With the added bonus of a personal touch, emails are a quick and easy way to reach your target audience in just one click.
Social media can also be a fantastic platform for generating income, promoting your products and services, and communicating with your clients and customers. Furthermore, investing in digital partnerships can give your business an edge. Not sure where to begin? Head to LinkedIn and Instagram and seek out the profiles of companies with products and services you can incorporate into your own business.
For instance, is there a marketing company in your town or city that could help you to grow your online brand? Supporting businesses in your area is crucial during these testing times and who knows where your working relationship might take you.
Creating content for your online audience is also key during a time when lots of people are browsing the web. Try to produce blog articles and social media posts that are resourceful and geared around how your business can help potential clients and customers to succeed.
Ultimately, with the coronavirus crisis expected to be with us for the next few years at least, it is important that your company focuses on new ways to work so that your business model can stay viable. Above all, by adapting to the new normal and thinking creatively, your business can continue to thrive while navigating an uncertain marketplace.