As business owners we understand a pandemic isn’t something we counted on. Much of life is preparing the best you can and making smart decisions everyday to run your business with efficiency. As a business it’s in hard times we either sink or swim – now is that moment for entrepreneurs and business owners to thrive. Here are some tips to start thinking through over the next couple weeks and months:
1- Don’t panic!
I know, this sounds trivial and common sense, but it’s very crucial. Market volatility and societal uncertainty is stressful enough, add on top of that your livelihood feeling uncertain and stress is bound to come. It’s OK to feel nervous, but don’t let that paralyze you. Take the nervous energy and redirect it to areas you can change and fine tune in both your personal life and business.
2- Fine tune your operation
The market was great, really great and your business was growing at record breaking levels. You added extra monthly expenses on small things – $5 on this and $10 on that. Now is the time to start digging into your numbers and fine tuning what makes your business successful. Take time to do the analysis and call trusted partners you have worked with for years to talk through numbers. Gain valuable information from your partners and talk through future plans for a successful quarter.
3- B2B or B2C – now is the time to connect with YOUR customer
Don’t run from your customers or hide in hard times. This is the time to over-communicate to your customers. Give them information, show them data, take the time to provide value on why YOUR business is essential and brings value to them. Call your customers personally, send out emails from the CEO and harness the power of social media to tell a story to your customers.
4- Be innovative
We are Americans, we are entrepreneurs, and we are business owners. In good times and in bad – we innovate. Just because something worked for you in Q1, doesn’t mean it will work now. As business owners we are here to meet a need in the market, but the market changes and so must your business. If you do not innovate you won’t be in business long. Take the time to research, talk to your customers, and analyze the market. Innovation is KEY to success and that becomes even more apparent during market volatility.
5- “This too shall pass”
Very few things last forever. We will get through COVID-19 and we will be stronger because of it. It is good to hone in on today and be innovative, but remember that this crisis will not last forever. Keep the big picture in mind for your business as well – think 5, 10, 20 years down the road. Make smart, informed decisions today, so that together we keep #smallbusiness alive in Ohio and the Midwest for years to come.