For many business owners, finding success during the COVID-19 situation has been challenging. In fact, this unprecedented time has turned many businesses upside down. The outlook for life after COVID-19 remains uncertain, but fortunately there are ways to prepare your business for the future.
After all, challenges can inspire growth and innovation. If you focus solely on the things within your control, you’ll be better equipped to build your business during this difficult time. You may even come out stronger than before.
Here are eight ways to prepare your business for success after COVID-19.
Apply For Loans And Grants
Almost immediately after COVID-19 became a problem in the United States, the government began to make efforts to provide coronavirus relief to small businesses.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Relief Program has made it possible for businesses to apply for low-interest loans to mitigate their financial difficulties and includes a $10,000 forgivable advance as long your business follows the guidelines. If you need to, you can take advantage of these and other programs to help ensure your business remains open after COVID-19.
You can learn more about all the SBA small business relief efforts on the SBA website.
Please note: As of April 16, the SBA has stopped accepting new applications for the 7(b) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), including loan advances, and the 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program due to the lack of available appropriations funding. Applications that were previously submitted will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit their website.
Revamp Your Marketing Strategy
Analyze your current communications to ensure you’re conveying the right message and putting your business in a position to succeed after COVID-19. You may have marketing materials that no longer make sense given the current economic and social climate. Avoid sending emails, posting on social media, or participating in any marketing initiative that may come across as insensitive.
“We’re here for you” is a great place to start with your brand’s messaging. Let that idea drive your marketing forward. Keep your communications relevant, succinct and meaningful. You can address the situation with your customers. Tell them what you’re doing to be proactive for them during this time.
Offer Online Experiences & Events
If you’re not utilizing the many available online tools, now is a great time to start. Trends show that although retail shopping is down, customers are online more than ever. So move as many of your services online as you can to ensure long-term success for your business after COVID-19.
Post on social media and show the world who you are as a brand. Get creative with your Facebook and Instagram stories. Make sure you provide a link to your website.
Find unique opportunities to help your customers remotely. Create webinars, Facebook Live videos, or engage with your customers in virtual conferences using services like Zoom. In order to position your business for success after COVID-19, it’s best to use all the online resources you can. Many of them are free or relatively inexpensive.
Yoga studios, gyms, and other businesses have taken advantage of this opportunity to deliver their services via live stream. How can your business provide value online?
Stay Connected With Your Customers
Your customers make your business thrive. If you want your business to succeed after COVID-19, stay close with them. They may not be buying from you at the moment, but the importance of retaining them cannot be overstated.
- Send your customers emails
Let your customers know what they can and can’t do right now. If you’re a restaurant or retailer, do you have curbside pickup? Are you still shipping your products? Are you offering any virtual consultations or services? Let your customers know.
- Update your website and social media
Not everyone will be on your email list, so update your website and social channels. Make it clear what you’re currently offering and what you’re doing to help. If you’re not able to offer anything at this time, let your customers know why. Perhaps you’re prioritizing the health and safety of your employees.
- Survey your customers and ask for ideas
Your customers know what they want, so it may be wise to simply ask them what they’re looking for. They may tell you something you didn’t already know; something that could make a difference for your business now or even after COVID-19.
Empower Your Employees
We’re all in this together – that includes your employees. Remember that they could probably use your support right now. Prepare your business for success after COVID-19 by showing your employees you care.
- Offer training opportunities to empower your team and put your company in a good long-term position.
- Check in frequently with your employees, see how they’re doing and ask if they need anything to improve their process.
- Provide your employees with services like new certifications or important industry information.
- Implement rest and relaxation (R&R) policies or make work hours more flexible to accommodate your employees’ needs.
- Offer your employees “side projects” or opportunities that may have been off the table before.
- Engage in virtual video “coffee breaks” with your employees and encourage them to do so with their teammates.
Make sure your employees have everything they need now, and your business will be in a better position after COVID-19. Show them that you value them – it’s more important now than ever.
Get Involved In Your Community
Do what’s in your power to help your community. Many distilleries are temporarily making hand sanitizer, and Louis Vuitton has been making masks instead of handbags. Doing what you can to serve the common good will show generosity and improve your business’s chance to succeed after COVID-19.
- What do we do?
- What do we have?
- What can we do to help?
Customers are aligning with brands that have been joining in the fight against our common enemy. Why not your brand? You could end up attracting new customers, increasing your popularity and boosting profits in the long run, just by pivoting your business toward your community’s needs.
Write New Content
You may find you have more time lately. Use it to write high-quality, SEO-friendly content to boost your business’s popularity during and after COVID-19. The great thing about content writing is that it pays dividends for your business well into the future.
If you’ve never written a blog or article before, there are many resources online to help. You can also share your content on social media and generate buzz for your brand.
Stay Informed: COVID-19 Is A Fluid Situation
Because the coronavirus situation is constantly changing, stay up to date as much as possible on the latest from the government, the WHO and other reliable sources. Here are more of our articles to help you navigate finding success for your business during and after COVID-19:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.