Unfortunately, yours may be one of the businesses that is slower right now, even if you’ve been allowed to reopen. What can you be doing right now to ensure that your business survives, and thrives, in the coming months?
- Make any needed physical property updates – new coat of paint, fix chips in wood fixtures, rearrange the space to make it more efficient. If any of your team is working virtual, decide how much of that should be ongoing if it’s working and what that will do to your future office space needs. Maybe a portion of your office should be converted to “hot desks” where remote workers can perch when they’re in the office.
- If you are a local retailer, should a portion or all of your inventory be moved online to your website or other outlets to add another revenue stream? Is it time to update your website in general? Integrate a blog into your site (and add to it regularly) and have someone help you optimize your website if you haven’t already to help move you to page one when people search for what you have to offer. When your website has the terms in it people are searching for, and you continue to add relevant, fresh content, search engines move you up and that means more traffic to your website and more leads/sales for you.
- Take a look at your advertising mix. TV viewership is way up, and radio listening is down with people not in their cars as much. Digital use has increased dramatically as well so it’s a great time to jump into digital marketing or consider increasing your spending in that area.
- Consider co-promotions since you may have more time to create them. Are there businesses serving similar clients? Is there a nonprofit you can partner with that can send out the messaging to their audience on your behalf? A percentage of sales that result from it back to the charity, etc. Now’s the time to be creative about finding new partnerships so you can reach new customers in new ways.
- When was the last time you really took the time to think about your 5-Year Plan, your 10-Year plan? Is it to position the business to sell at some point? Are there heirs or others who will take it over? Will it close when you decide to retire? If you’re not as busy with the day-to-day now’s a great time to consider these questions and plan accordingly.
- If your business is fairly successful and you want to empower and reward your employees, you could consider an Employee Stock Ownership Program or ESOP. Rather than paying taxes at the end of the year, that money can be used to set up a program that helps make your employees “owners” in the business after they’ve been there a set amount of time. If you’re small, it’s a great benefit alternative to matching contributions to a 401k and a way to attract and retain great employees, who also feel more empowered and likely to be more engaged as they are working on their own
behalf as well as yours to help ensure the continuing and growth and success of the company.
- Consider what other items or services you could offer. Wants and needs of consumers have shifted and you will need to shift along with it. The status quo may not offer you a sustainable option anymore.