COVID-19 has taken its toll on everyone around the world, from business to personal life. If you run a business, you may have found your profits and engagement decreasing. However, there is hope for companies after the virus passes or settles down.
People and businesses will bounce back in one way or another. Whether it’s a presence in the online world or new products, your company will thrive with various changes and updates in a post-COVID-19 world.
1. Assessments and Plans
The first step for any form of building and rebuilding is to assess your business and make a plan. The pandemic has most likely taken a toll on your operations in one way or another. If you own a restaurant, for instance, takeout or delivery may be your only options.
Assess your losses. Then, you can start your plan for the future. During the crisis, a new normal appeared — social distancing and stay-at-home orders. However, the post-pandemic world will also look different. People are still going to be careful and reserved when out in public. You’ll need to prepare for gradual changes.
You can look into small business coronavirus aid options, such as the Paycheck Protection Program, low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration and emergency grants. If these options don’t work out, you can also try business credit lines, merchant cash advances and different types of refinancing. Remember that you have choices — the path forward is going to look different for every organization.
2. E-Commerce Presence
If you primarily operate your business from a brick-and-mortar location, it’s time to make a shift. The online world of sales has held up better against the pandemic than in-person shopping. While physical stores have had to shut down, e-commerce continues.
If you already have an online site and store, it can always use some updates. Make sure the web design is easy to access and navigate — people will click away if it’s not. You can change the layout, too, to make it fresh and advertise products that people don’t usually see in-store.
Focus on low-cost ways to advertise, as well. Something like pay-per-click advertising can offer reasonable pricing while it gets the word out about your business.
3. No Contact Shopping
As shopping reaches its new normal, safety and sanitation will still be necessities. Social distancing in public may last even after the virus doesn’t appear to be a threat anymore — people like to take precautions regardless.
You can implement no contact shopping in various ways and to different degrees. For instance, e-commerce is a prime way to eliminate contact. However, in person, you can do away with contact payments. Technology has made it possible for customers to simply tap their card or phone to the reader to pay. Though it’s a small step, it can go a long way.
Similarly, delivery and curbside pickup are becoming more popular for businesses of all kinds. If you can integrate these forms of limited-contact shopping into your operations, you’ll see more revenue.
4. Social Media
Social media has become a critical tool for any business. You can advertise, promote, engage with customers and follow trends. Each platform also comes with different benefits. For instance, Twitter offers quick communication and easy access to the news. Instagram is good for promoting specific products through images and videos. With Facebook, you can develop a combination of communication and promotion.
You can also opt for other platforms like LinkedIn or Pinterest, though it will depend on the type of business you run. Lifestyle companies could benefit from Pinterest and Instagram the most. However, using all social media platforms will expand your reach and bring in more customers.
5. Business Updates
COVID-19 times are uncertain. Things change rapidly, and everyone has to adjust. One way you can stabilize this situation is through proper communication. As you begin to reopen your store, you’ll want to post important business updates online for your customers.
You can publish these updates on your website and social media pages so that incoming traffic sees the latest information. You can also send them out through email newsletters, which builds a strong connection between you and your client base.
These updates can include anything that you think customers should know. It could be new products — medical supplies, sanitation items and household goods have become popular during the pandemic — or news about services and hours. When consumers are in the know, they can support your business properly.
The coronavirus has brought new security threats, with cybercriminals attempting to scam individuals and infiltrate organizations worldwide. According to one report, the number of cyber attacks increased by 33% between January and March. Attempted scams include impersonations, malware and phishing schemes. In general, any online presence requires security and privacy.
New artificial intelligence (AI) security tools can help. This software can address security threats and handle them appropriately. With resources like AI security, you can build your company back up with the protection it needs in the digital world.
The New Normal
As you use these resources to help your business thrive, your plans may change. The path forward is uncertain right now due to COVID-19’s continuing impact. Therefore, you should also have a backup plan if the pandemic’s second wave occurs or if something similar happens in the future. You’ll want to have liquid savings and maintain your budget well. The coronavirus has shifted things for all industries. However, it’s also created a need for future business planning in the instance of an unprecedented event.