Businesses have been slowly recovering from the slump it suffered during the lockdowns. People are now occasionally venturing out to buy, consume. You’re wondering if it’s time to try to revive your failing business.
The good news is quite a several industries are doing ok this time. Food delivery, food-related industries, online retailers, video conferencing platforms, and such have either maintained or even increased sales. The bad news is, many businesses are still not viable right now. Despite the easing of restrictions, those in the tourism industry are still struggling to stay afloat. A lot of people are still wary of sharing spaces with a lot of people. Movie houses, gyms, and amusement parks don’t look attractive.
But if your commodities or services are somewhere in-between, maybe sales of office equipment, pest control, and the like, you could try to test the waters. But reopen with the least possible risks. Operate with the bare minimum costs. Here are other tips you might need:
Control your loans
If you still have outstanding debts from your previous operations, think twice before taking out a loan again. There are incentives for businesses from government agencies that might not need you to take out a loan. Also, find ways to lower your allocation for debts. For example, check if you could have your mortgage refinanced with a better arrangement or a lower interest rate. If you happen to have multiple loans, find a way to consolidate them, so you don’t have to think about so many payments. And you could also negotiate a better rate with one creditor.
You might need to reduce your number of employees and ask people to multitask. Although it might seem heartless advice, it’s still better to save some people’s jobs than lose everyone. You might have redundant staff, that is to say, one could perform the tasks two people have been doing before. For example, pre-pandemic, you might have one person assigned to oversee customer grievances while another is in charge of communicating promotions and new offers. You could consolidate the tasks into one communication officer who could do customer relations as a whole.
You could also check what on-site operations could be moved online, and thus you could hire online staff who could work for you on a deliverable-based work arrangement. Other operational requirements that don’t need year-long work could also be outsourced. This includes accounting needs and maintenance work.
Recompute production or supply costs
With the changes in supplies and sources, you might find it impractical to keep restocking items that would no longer yield substantial profits. Although factories have gone back to work, the months when production had been at a standstill might have decreased the supply of some items right now, and prices might have gone up. If these are not essential materials for your business, you could cut on these items for now and consider procuring them again once prices become viable again.
Consider new markets
If you had previously been distributing exclusively to your locality, you could consider widening your target market. People are now more confident to do online shopping. Delivery services have also become more efficient, many companies offering competitive rates during the lockdowns. And with the return of shipping and freight trips, you could even explore the market abroad. You could strike a deal with these delivery companies so you could ship your products in bulk at a good rate.
Since people are also spending more time online, marketing could also easily be done with target clienteles far from your operations base.
Rebrand your company
Branding is usually done when you start your company. However, it doesn’t have to be stagnant. For a brand to last long, it has to be flexible enough to adapt to changes over time. If you had previously branded your company to fit a party lifestyle, mass gatherings, and all those currently dangerous activities, think how you could change it to take on the image of fun and enjoyment despite physical distancing. For example, drinks could be fun when shared but could also be enjoyed while having video calls or chatting cozily apart. Your brand as a party necessity wouldn’t be limited to physical gatherings.
There are still so many things uncertain at this point. However, it will not serve you to be constantly in fear of what is yet to come. There are several possibilities for the future. A better year may be ahead, or something worse could batter the world again. What is important is that we’re no longer caught unaware. No one thought a flu-like virus could put the world economy at a standstill. Now we are at least aware of this possibility happening again, and we could prepare better.