The world in which we live and do business will never be the same as it was before COVID-19. Even when the impact of the virus has lessened and businesses have permission to reopen or reboot, it will be up to each individual owner to decide when and how to move forward.
Small businesses, which have been especially hard hit in the tri-state area, are eager to find the best ways to recover as quickly as possible. However, if you own a small business, it is essential that you carefully consider what has changed – for your customers, your employees, and in your marketplace – and determine how your business will adapt to these changes.
Here are eight mistakes to avoid as you plan for reopening and recovery – and what to focus on instead:
1. Avoid getting caught up in managing the crisis and forgetting about your long-term direction. Instead, view your business from a high-level perspective when making pivots and changes, keeping a long-term view of how the decisions you make now will take you in the direction you ultimately want your business to go.
2. Avoid trying to make all the decisions on your own. Instead, solicit input on what and how to pivot from your eco-system (employees, accountant/CPA, business coach, suppliers, vendors, etc.). Their ideas can help you make better decisions.
3. Avoid thinking that someone else will swoop in and save you. Instead, focus on your responsibility as a business owner to resolve the issues at hand. Be proactive and follow up on all loan assistance options and new avenues for revenue. Not every opportunity will work out for you (only a small percentage of those seeking a government grant will receive one), so pursue multiple possibilities.
4. Avoid neglecting your marketing efforts. Instead, continue to build relationships with your customers and prospects, and revise the language you use to focus on how you create value. You still need to ask for the sale – just think differently about how you do it.
5. Avoid sitting back and waiting to see what happens. Instead, invest your time and energy today (and every day) in actions that can deliver results. If you wait, your competition will pass you by.
6. Avoid thinking that what you were is all you can be now. Instead, think about what your business can become and be flexible and willing to pivot.
7. Avoid believing that the services or products you offered in the past are what you should offer in the future. Instead, zero in on the most profitable offerings for now and save the others for when you have recovered sufficiently. Consider new variations on current offerings that are still in your core business area to attract a broader range of customers. Then test the ideas with prospects and customers.
8. Avoid the notion that the way you have always done things is the only way to proceed. Instead, work to streamline your business processes. Review how you do everything and spend the time to make it more efficient. What have you not had time to do? Do that now. You will be glad you did.
For a more complete guide and a specific 3-step plan for a streamlined business click here to download the free E-book “Reopen Better Than Before”