People have become more accustomed than ever to buying from and communicating with businesses online. You can take advantage of this trend by revamping your website, social media posts, email templates, and automated notices. You don't necessarily have to rebrand, but you can make everything look sharper and more professional. You can contract with a specialist to get this done quickly.
The first impulse during a time of challenge is to downgrade to cut costs. But many successful small business owners use such periods to expand. For example, The Society for Human Resource Management says 43% of businesses found ways to continue during the recent downturn. They did this by offering delivery or making their delivery services contactless, upgrading employee skills, and finding new income streams by expanding their product lines or services.
Equipment can be less costly, and financing can put you on the leading edge of technology. If you don't want to commit to buying new equipment, furnishings or other assets, you can always lease. This will preserve your cash flow and your capital reserves. You will be ready to compete as the business cycle swings into an upturn.
You can communicate with current and previous customers more frequently because they have come to expect more online messages and opportunities. McKinsey & Company says that businesses that communicate more in tough times offer assurance and empathy. The bulk of this communication can occur online.
In addition to more online communication, consider increasing your advertising efforts. Even if you feel you are at capacity now, you will be able to handle new business with the expansion strategy discussed above. Similarly, you can take on bigger clients and larger projects, knowing you can gear up quickly.
Innovate and come up with new reasons for your customers to do business with you. What could you offer that would please existing customers and attract new ones? Often, a simple auxiliary service will do the trick. For example, a cleaning service can offer living plants and maintenance of those plants. A tradesperson can provide annual maintenance contracts on installations and new buildings. A retail operation can offer delivery. A healthcare company might acquire a new practice, and a manufacturer could make accessories for existing products.
You can take on big projects to make up for the drop in business you may have experienced during the recent downturn. You can increase your revenues. Remain aware of the added expense of a new project and balance the cost against the gains you anticipate.
Make your customers aware of new products, added services, expansion efforts, and big projects in social media posts. Let people know you are still there and thriving. Reassuring the market is vital in a time when so many businesses have ceased operations. Make sure people know you are one of the survivors and are continuing to offer more to customers.
The persistent and creative will emerge as the winners when the dust settles. Flexibility, agility, and innovation are the name of the game for surviving and prospering in turbulent times. Small business owners are finding ways to increase business while maintaining cash flow through creative combinations of increased marketing and solutions such as leasing instead of buying.