In the current climate life for small businesses is tough.
But small businesses have survived hard times before.
Remember the 2008 recession.
Here are some of the ideas used by businesses who survived and subsequently thrived at that time, which we can replicate today, and help us to stay in the game during this uncertainty.
1. Build Your Audience Today.
The idea is to continue promoting your products or services, in order to keep your name out there.
- It might be to create a new product offer, maybe a reduced price or buy one get one free.
- Perhaps a shorter contract if you offer an online service, 1-3 months instead of the usual 6-12 months.
Some flexibility can go a long way, fewer sales are better than no sales.
When the recovery comes, and it will, you will be the ones remembered for regular communication and adaptability, keeping your customers/clients in touch without expecting a huge commitment.
Now is not the time to expect high ticket sales.
Focusing on your audience rather than your income will help you stay in the game.
2. Look for Partnerships.
To help build your audience, find others you can collaborate with.
It is a time to work together, to help each other.
- You can help by promoting their business, just by commenting and sharing their posts on social media, or commenting on an article which they have written, in return they will do the same for you.
- There may even be some small businesses who are not willing to take the challenge of surviving this time, even if they survived the 2008 recession. They may think enough is enough.
This could be an opportunity of acquisition to expand your own business.
This could be the time to grow your business..
3. Keep on Communicating.
This is a time to keep in regular contact, more than ever before.
Take time to contact with:
• your team (if you have one),
Keep reminding yourself and your team of your goals or create and advise them of any new goals.
Our goals may change, but we still need something to work towards, as well as keeping up the motivation.
• your customers/clients
Keep in regular contact with your customers and clients by updating them with new products, new prices, ideas and content.
Let them know you are offering your support and value at this time, just as you have always done.
• your local community if you are a local business.
If you are in a local community, offer some help with shopping, prescription collection or even just a phone call could improve their day, which would, for some, otherwise be quite lonely.
• and of course, your friends & family,
Be that person they will remember you for caring.
4. Do not Dwell on The Negatives of The Situation.
One of the worst things to do right now is to continue to worry about how you are going to come through this.
Yes, that is easier said than done, but worrying is not going to improve your chances.
This is an opportunity to grow your business, not put your head in the sand.
So, take these opportunities.
Quite often it is us, the smaller businesses, who are able to turn things around quicker than the larger companies with larger bank balances.
Stay flexible with your offers, always have the best interest of your customers and clients in mind.
When all this blows over, and the economy is back to the new normal, then it will be the time to adjust your pricing again, perhaps to the level it once was.
Always think positive.
Now is the time to prepare for the recovery, it will be the time when your customers will continue to support you because they were your priority during the economic crisis.
We must continue to remember that small businesses have survived difficult times before, now it is our turn to do the same.
Do the work now and the rewards will come later – look to the future.