- Anonno Razzak
Everything including the pandemic caught many business owners by surprise and, even worse thattook some businesses to fold. Yelp reported that permanent business closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening. Imagine investing so much into an entity, and because of some virus, things start to slow down, till they eventually go under.
Though it’s the new year, nobody knows what it holds. But as a business owner, you have to plan and fortify your business against such problems.
If your business isn’t doing anything new and making life easier for your customers, there may remain risk losing your customers to people who will. Steve Jobs once said, “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” It means, if you want to become a leader in your industry or niche, you have to innovate. This cuts across marketing, product delivery, customer retention, etc.
No doubt, 2021 is going to be different and a structure of having new challenges for business. So here are the five tips for your business survival.
1. Intrude the customers’ minds
Marketing is a golden key for any business. Businesses that survived through 2020 were the ones that remained in their customers’ minds. If still lockdowns come in 2021, business may not be operated normally, resulting in lower revenues.
However, you shouldn’t stop marketing and so reduce your marketing budget. Marketing is how you understand your customers’ needs, educate them, attract new ones, and get them to keep doing business with you. All marketing strategies may not lead to outright sales, but sales will happen eventually if you’re consistent enough. Your social media platforms should be your best friends in the coming years. Studies show that “nearly 50% of the world’s population uses social media. That’s over 3 billion users worldwide.”
Part of staying on your customers’ minds is being around where they can see you, and social media marketing is a marketing strategy that gives you that leverage. Whether you choose to use influencers or paid social, you have to put in the effort to remain in your customers’ minds.
2. Endure the mission of the company
Strategy and processes may change, but a company’s mission should remain constant. A mission statement is the guiding principle that reminds management and employees why they are in business in the first place.
According to a 2019 Glassdoor survey, 56 percent of respondents said company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction, and 73 percent would not apply for a job unless a company’s values align with theirs. Most companies were originally founded to help customers by tapping into unique corporate strengths and competitive advantages. There are typically no corporate mandates or charters that force an entity to manufacture the same products indefinitely.
Therefore, during quarantine, an organization can still fulfill its mission by serving consumers or stakeholders in a different way. For example, automakers like General Motors and Tesla are mass-producing ventilators, while other manufacturers are pivoting towards creating face masks, hand sanitizer and other key medical supplies.
3. Need best hands for the job
Great business begets great employees. If you want to give your business that competitive advantage, you need to get the best hands for the job. Your customers may not be given the best if you don’t have the best staff. It goes beyond hiring the right people but also training and keeping your employees happy. This cuts across being understanding, ensuring that you create a healthy work environment, and giving them a purpose that contributes to their job fulfillment.
How do you create that positive work environment? Everyone likes to feel heard. So, it’s your job as the business owner to create an environment that allows everyone to share their opinions and ideas about certain things. This can happen at weekly meetings. Implementing this can significantly increase their productivity, which in turn helps your business.
4. Determination brings long term benefits
An adage goes ‘Passion is the fire and determination is the fuel’. The coronavirus outbreak is a major challenge. Businesses are losing customers, furloughing employees and temporarily closing in order to save cash and stave off bankruptcy. Even, a health crisis merely represents one obstacle out of many hurdles that a successful business must overcome throughout its lifetime.
With determination and smart planning, a crisis need not be fatal. Rather, it should improve a company and its people. A crisis forces managers and employees to be creative, to cut unnecessary costs and to focus on recovering key customers and gaining new ones, too.
The result should be a leaner and meaner organization poised to outcompete rivals after an emergency has passed.
5. Asset protection
As a business owner, many things can harm your assets, which can cause you to lose money. It won’t be nice losing your business assets in a legal case. Many entrepreneurs overlook this part, but it is crucial to secure your assets even if things don’t go your way after a legal case.
Nobody starts a business and considers the possibilities of entering a court case and thus many people get into trouble. Most of the country’s lawsuit defendants never even thought it would happen to them but company Sony lost 200 million in assets, which could have been avoided if they protected their assets. Interestingly, you can still get your assets protected online and offline no matter your enterprise’s size.
6. Plan for financing and good budget
Your planning should also touch on finances because every business needs money to facilitate certain areas of business. Budgeting is like a roadmap for your business; you put your business at risk when you don’t have a budget. Good budgeting decides whether your marketing, asset acquisition, employee remuneration, and other parts of your business can go smoothly. You should anticipate all your long and short term financial needs. This may require hiring an accountant who will keep records of all the money going in and out of business.
7. Prepare for adapting anything
Did people know 2020 coming in such a way? But it came, and it was like everyone had to “adapt or die.” The usual nature of work we were all used to halting for apparent reasons. Everyone had to adapt to zoom meetings, online education, and social distancing. This alone affected many brick and mortar businesses whose primary service delivery was in-person. 2021 is uncertain, but what is absolute should be your ability to adapt to anything. Whether it’s in your service/product delivery, marketing, or engaging with your customers, you have to be ready to dance to the tune of whatever the market throws at you and attack it creatively.
So don’t worry, be ready for updating everything and prepare for the innovation with new ideas for your business.