Many small businesses have been challenged during the pandemic, and creative and innovative methods are necessary to stay afloat during this somewhat unpredictable period of time.
While you may feel the need to limit expenses, there are several investments that can help you build your business and will ultimately be invaluable for you in the long run.
For example, Page Lizard has developed a new platform called Reptile where you can design your own cost-efficient mobile app to drive business your way without the expense of a full-fledged developer team or company.
Here are my seven tips for staying afloat:
Of course, you don't want to massively over-extend yourself from a budgetary standpoint, particularly if your business is slow or erratic. According to CNBC, you’re wise to go through your budget line by line and eliminate non-essential expenses.
This will give you financial wiggle room to make investments in key areas that will help your business stay on track.
For example, if you have to lay off staff, you might be able to replace key services with freelancers or independent contractors.
You may also be able to renegotiate vendor contracts, downsize your physical location, or eliminate some things temporarily, such as conferences and business travel, events, catering, or corporate gifts.
There are a number of different business-boosting strategies you can implement on your own, and for some you’ll have to hire out to professionals.
For example, while you may be comfortable adding content to your website, having the basic design done by a pro will give you a polished and professional look.
You may also be able to crunch numbers on your own and rework your business plan and budget, but having an accountant on hand to review your big-picture finances can be well worth the investment.
According to Entrepreneur, it’s a good idea to make an honest assessment of your own abilities and your bandwidth and invest in products and services that make sense to hire out.
It's absolutely essential that your business makes a strong first impression and is continually positioning itself in front of your target audience.
If you don't have a business logo, you can't build brand awareness and separate yourself from your competition.
You can save time and money by using freelance online logo design services found through an online platform.
Read reviews and ask about delivery time and cost before selecting someone. You might also ask for a portfolio review.
Updating your website and making it more user-friendly is another way to elevate your image, as is creating a system for staying in touch with your customers on a regular basis.
You can do this via email distribution programs and active, regular engagement on social media platforms.
Once your budget is shored up and you have your company front-and-center of your demographic, consider the types of upgrades that can help your company.
For example, perhaps you need to develop an app that will help people access your products and services from any mobile device.
If you don't already have a shopping cart function on your website, consider adding one.
More and more people are shopping online rather than in person, and this will make it easy to do business with you.
You can also make your physical location more accessible by hosting open houses or special on-site product demonstrations as a way to bring people into your facility.
Many small businesses are finding strength in numbers during the pandemic, and you could potentially create some mutually-beneficial alliances.
Perhaps you can launch a co-op advertising campaign or customer outreach strategy with a small business in a similar but non-competitive industry.
For example, if you operate a car repair business, work in tandem with an auto detailer, a car wash, or another related entity to pool resources and refer customers to one another with package services.
This approach helps each individual company, gives you the power of a larger group dynamic, and benefits customers in a way that can increase all of your businesses long-term.
Get innovative in how you reach your customers!
Sponsor a little league team, host a fundraiser for a local charity, or support first responders and healthcare providers. Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic in one way or another, and looking for ways to be a good citizen during this time period makes you part of the solution.
People will remember your generosity and kindness, which can go a long way in building customer loyalty.
Stay in touch with all of your customers and prospects, even ones who have had to scale back on doing business with you due to financial downturns. They’ll remember the effort.
Many business owners are freezing up during the pandemic and are fearful of making any major moves. While you’re wise to be prudent and pick and choose the most viable options, don’t allow yourself to become too scared to take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Some businesses are thriving during the pandemic, and while it’s unfortunate for some companies that shuttered, closures have paved the way for new growth.
You may be able to absorb the customers and employees of businesses that closed, as well as get good deals on going-out-of-business inventory sales. Don’t feel like you’re taking advantage - buying out closed businesses will help them rebound faster with new ventures.
The pandemic has been difficult for many business owners, but lean and thoughtful operations and careful investments can help ensure your firm footing.
Keep in mind, even if you scale back as a temporary cost-saving measure, it doesn’t have to be a long-term strategy - just a smart, temporary fix.
Reptile offers robust reusable components and a SAAS package for maintenance that makes enterprise apps surprisingly affordable. Visit our site today to learn more or email us at email@example.com for a consultation.
Written by Julie Morris
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash
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