20 Mar Managing Your Business in the Time of COVID-19
For so many of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on how we run our businesses. Employees are working from home, customers are staying away from in-person shopping, meetings, and appointments, and it is impossible to know how long this will go on. So, what can you be doing as a business owner to keep revenue flowing; protect yourself, your staff, and your client base; and plan for the future?
Move as Much of Your Business Online as Possible
First, try to move as much of your business as possible into the virtual space. If you meet with clients on a regular basis, invest in a reliable online meeting platform and create an easy process for clients to get on your calendar. Use electronic signature and payment software to sign contracts, send invoices, and accept payments. If you usually have a storefront where people can browse inventory, take photos of what you sell and make the most of your online platforms: boost your online store, have flash sales on social media, and consider options such as home delivery or curbside pick up.
We know, many of these options are burdensome and take a lot of extra effort. In the short term, these extra efforts are well worth avoiding increased rates of infection. Consult regularly with reputable sources, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they even have specific resources for business owners. Remember, this pandemic is not forever. As long as we all make the effort to stay home and minimize the risk of infection, we can flatten the curve and expect to be back to normal within a few months.
Think Creatively about How You Connect with Clients
Is taking your business online not enough? What if the problem isn’t serving existing clients, but it is actually bringing new clients to your business? That’s where you have to be able to think creatively about how you connect with your clients. While they are at home with the kids or spending extra time surfing the internet, where are they looking? Do your customers regularly browse certain social media sites? What kind of content are they looking for? Perhaps you can start to record informative live streams on social media or host an online class. Most importantly, be willing to work outside the box to reach your clientele.
Take Advantage of Downtime to Take Care of Back-Burner Business
What if things are actually going ok in your business in spite of COVID-19? What if your focus isn’t really on staying afloat, but rather finding the best investment of this extra time you have on your hands? Well, that’s where back-burner projects suddenly take center stage. If you own a business, I am sure that there are things that you have been meaning to get to, but usually fall behind the more important things like day-to-day operations. Often, we meet with business owners who have been in operation a long time and have still never gotten around to doing things like trademarking their company logo or registering a copyright for their latest creative project. Why not take advantage of the extra time at home to finally cross these legal matters off the list? When this pandemic finally passes and things get back to normal, you know you will be too busy to focus on these kinds of things. Downtime is the perfect time for back-burner business.
Ask for Help when You Need It
In this time of uncertainty, there is nothing more certain to me than our need to come together as a community. Asking for help when you need it and offering help when you can spare it are the two most important things that will get us through this crisis. At The Brand Protected ®, we know that there is a lot on business owners’ minds. We know that a crisis of this magnitude can be a breaking point for many small businesses. That’s why we want to be here for you as much as possible. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you are in need of legal help with your business. We are here for you.