Here’s a brief guide on how small businesses can brave the pandemic.
The world was already engulfed in the digital-first movement when the Covid-19 pandemic propelled it towards all-digital one. Although businesses from all strata of the economic ecosystem and consequently people from all walks of life suffered a great deal, there’s no denying the fact that small businesses took a harsh, deep-cutting blow.
Both the beauty and bane of small businesses are that no two businesses can rely on the same solution. As the businesses themselves are unique, so are their problems and ultimately, the answers to those problems.
Small businesses are what keep local economies going — making them essential to our communities.
While we’re optimists who believe that the economy, sooner or later, will come back stronger, it’s time to be proactive and gauge the situation at hand. Here’s a simple, practical plan to follow:
1. Assess the damage: Most small businesses have unique revenue models, along with very specific definitions of what success means to them. The damage that your business suffered might be in terms of revenue, customer loyalty, supply chain disruption, or a combination of these, and more. Conducting both qualitative and quantitative analysis will help you understand which areas of improvement are crucial to you.
2. Rework the business plan: Many, if not all, small businesses have had to tweak their business plans — adjusting it to the pandemic lifestyle. Once you’re aware of the areas that need mitigation, look at how altering them might help you. It may be video tutorials, on-call guidance for customers, contact-less deliveries/pickups etc.
3. Ask for help: The Canadian government has various plans to help small businesses out. Do your research and ask for the help you need. When we’re talking about micro-businesses, every bit of financial help counts. Apart from that, look for financing options and credit sources that your bank is offering. You can also inquire in your professional network — while not financially, people around you might be keen on helping your business out in their own ways, which can be as simple as word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Create a new budget and set realistic timelines: Once you’ve ascertained how to finance your business, create a budget and timeline that’s actionable, so as to not overwhelm yourself with reaching targets. Audit your current position and rework your business’ goals — which might be as straightforward as focusing on getting by rather than starting new projects.
5. Focus on the essentials: This might be a good opportunity for you to simplify your business, let go of the fluff and focus on the activities that make the business profitable — defining your target market, improving your main offering and treating your existing and prospective customers right.
Once the ground has solidified a bit, work on the factors that add a bit of sparkle to your business — add-ons, discounts, meet and greets and so on.
More important than ever is getting the word out. Google My Business is offering new ways you can reach out to your customers — be it via selling gift cards or donations. Do explore these options for that extra bit of push your business might need right now, or even after the pandemic is over.
Constraints lead to innovation. That spirit will help you create a mitigation plan that’s tailor-made for your business. The times are truly trying, and Mystique’s here with you to help.
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Schedule time to review your current situation with us and discuss possible ways to optimize your brand experience to overcome your business challenges and reach your goals. Even if you choose not to use us, you’ll walk away with some great ideas to implement in your business today.