8 Ways to Save Your Business From COVID-19 Pandemic
There’s no two ways about it: this is a tough time for businesses big and small. You’ve probably heard your fair share of, albeit justified, moaning about the crisis at hand, but finding solutions that work for your specific case isn’t the easiest task. Almost all businesses out there are taking all the necessary safety measures to protect both employees and customers, but showing that you’re in the crisis with everyone else won’t work miracles when it comes to turning enough profit to survive. How you adapt and save your business from the recent crisis will consist of countless hours of hard work and dedication along with a series of adaptations and strategies working together. Read on to get a better idea of what you can do as a business owner in 2020:
1. Limit your company expenses to bare necessities
Every business will have expenditures that aren’t entirely necessary. In unprecedented times like these, a good first step is to take a look at your business’ finances and work out exactly where your money is going. Work out and separate what you really need and what might just be luxury. Once you’ve got a comprehensive list, it’s much easier to see where the wasted money is going.
The usual culprits and some good ideas to save money and limit your expenses are to cut subscriptions to services that you rarely use, strip down your reliance on outsourcing and reduce spending on company-wide events (that probably shouldn’t be happening now anyway). And remember, cutting down on these costs doesn’t have to be a permanent measure. After the crisis clears and more business flows in, there will be plenty of opportunities to bring back the luxuries.
2. Apply for funding where possible
Some companies will be able to free up cash better than others, but there’s always another option. Governments in countries like Hong Kong have historically offered countless funding opportunities. With COVID-19 in full swing, many governments have organised relief funds for businesses struggling to stay afloat. In Hong Kong, many of these schemes only require you to be listed with the Business Registration Ordinance, have high funding ceilings and aim to empower businesses to take the measures they need to work from home.
Feel free to read more about some funding schemes in our previous blog including background information, who’s eligible, and how much is on offer.
3. Negotiate with clients and service providers
One of the first things every business owner should understand when suffering from the economic situation under COVID-19 is that companies across all industries are in the same boat. Just as you may be finding it difficult to pay your service providers, they will also be hurting with more and more businesses falling under and cancelling their services. Many will be open to negotiations and will often offer temporary discounts and reduced fees. They won’t be advertising this, but there is always a possibility should you ask – and there’s certainly no harm in asking.
4. Adopt WFH tools for your employees
Hong Kong has not been hit as hard as some other countries, and a part of that can certainly be attributed to a proactive work from home (WFH) policy adopted by many business owners across the city. But working from home is often not preferred for a few very valid reasons. Firstly, it’s difficult to be as productive with all the distractions at home. It’s also difficult to communicate as effectively with all your colleagues, despite all the messaging tools we have nowadays. And lastly, it is far more difficult to get an appropriate work life balance when they begin to merge.
One of the ways to overcome this is to adopt new technologies and tools that make working from home just as, if not more, effective than coming into the office. Think about using software like Zoom, Slack, remote desktop software, cloud based storage and more to promote collaboration, and ensure that everything is easily accessible remotely.
Feel free to read up more about how to boost your WFH effectiveness in our recent blog.
5. Embrace change and spot opportunities
It’s fair to say that the coronavirus has made a negative impact on all of our lives. But just because something has changed the way we live doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t face it head on to both adapt and overcome it. The overwhelming opinion is that even after the virus clears up, the way we live and work will be changed forever. Part of running a successful business is having the ability to understand the climate and work out where, when and how your services are best needed.
Even in a situation like this, there are opportunities to be had. With countless companies resorting to layoffs, now is a better time than ever to invest in people that have the skills needed to make your company grow and succeed. Is there a new market you could transition into? Or, if you’re running a restaurant business for example, could you start running a more aggressive delivery campaign to better suit society under lockdown?
Whatever you find, it’s important not to hold on too tight to the original scope of your business. Those that can adapt, try new things successfully and make the right investments will be the ones to come out on top.
6. Plan ahead
This is perhaps one of the most prolific pieces of advice that – surprisingly – still doesn’t get paid enough attention. Having a clear cut plan – or several for that matter – that help provide you and your business a sense of direction can help immensely when it comes to adapting quickly to the uncertain economic climate. Financial plans are especially helpful as they can help you determine exactly where you need to cut down on money and what your short-term goals are in terms of revenue and profits. These plans can provide you with an early warning system and indicate when and if you need to be adopting other strategies previously talked about like negotiating and cutting costs. The best thing about having a well thought out plan is that if it doesn’t pan out exactly as you envisaged, you lose nothing.
7. Invest in digital
Investing your money in the right places is arguably the most important part of running a successful business. Whether that be the right employees, the right software or even the right marketing strategy, all can have profound differences. Digital marketing just so happens to be one of the most burgeoning marketing fields under COVID-19. With lockdowns comes a far smaller crowd at events and other outdoor areas where more traditional forms of marketing would work their magic. With internet usage up 70%, the influence and effectiveness of online advertising and SEO services have skyrocketed. And while it might seem counterintuitive to invest in a marketing strategy whilst everyone is saving money in the anticipation of an economic crisis, digital marketing is an investment for the future. By adopting the right tone and getting your brand name out there, you can reap the benefits when the crisis clears.
8. Switch to support marketing
But, of course, you can’t just throw money at your digital marketing budget and expect it to work wonders. Striking the right balance between spreading brand awareness and simply appearing to be taking advantage of the situation is a fine line. Support marketing is a strategy that more and more brands are adopting, as it allows you to position your brand in a positive light whilst also promoting your services. Tell people how much you sympathise with their plights, provide them with beneficial and useful information and tips, and give them support in a time when they need it most. After the situation clears, they will remember your brand favourably and be more likely to purchase your products or services when they can.
In sum, there is no one way to save a business from falling into disrepair thanks to the present crisis. Instead, it takes several different strategies and techniques all working in conjunction to provide an effective solution. If you want to learn more about any of the tips talked about in this blog or think you could get started with a brand new digital marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to contact our specialists today.