The protracted coronavirus pandemic and isolation associated with it have already seriously damaged the global economy. The largest enterprises go bankrupt, reduce staff and cut wages. And what can we say about small firms? As you know, small and medium-sized businesses in our country are still the most unprotected. And here, in order to stay afloat, many owners have to rack their brains and look for ways so that the company not only survived during this difficult time, but also generate income.
After the May holidays, the state promises a gradual removal of restrictions, a way out of self-isolation and the resumption of work. Therefore, now, entrepreneurs should think about how to get out of the current crisis with the least losses.
Of course, the worst situation is with food services, the tourism and hotel markets, the transport industry, the service sector, but the IT business of COVID-19 was also not spared. After all, the main customers of it services are just those who are now at risk.
So how can IT enterprises resume after universal self-isolation?
Here are some tips to help you solve this problem:
- do not panic;
- Watch your competitors
- Focus on existing customers
- pay attention to your site;
- develop your social networks;
- develop a new product / service;
- communicate with customers;
- translate sales online;
- team up with like-minded people;
- Find new customers
- Be attentive to your employees;
- make a plan "B".
- Now we will analyze these points in more detail.
1. Avoid panic attacks
No one knows how events will develop further after leaving self-isolation. Therefore, now is the time to start developing an anti-crisis plan. Call on your employees for help, brainstorm, consider further actions, and assign tasks. Make informed decisions. Now the main goal is to keep the volume of company orders at the same level.
2. Conduct competitor analysis
It is always useful to keep track of the activities of your competitors. Indeed, in this way you can be one step ahead. And now it is more important than ever and at the same time it doesn’t matter whether your business is big or small. Spend a little time to analyze and understand how your competitors are acting now, how they attract their customers, what are their strengths and weaknesses, how they conduct their social networks, etc. This practice will certainly bring its advantages.
3. Focus on existing customers
As the famous proverb says: "an old friend is better than the new two." The same applies to your customers. Meet them during the difficult financial situation in the country and think about how you can help them now.
Here are a few options:
- Offer free services or additional features at a discount. Choose for your customers such services that you can provide completely free. And if you do not have such an opportunity, then at least reduce prices and make personal discounts.
- create a loyalty program. To make your customers happy again from working with you, offer them a delay option. Let them get what they need now, but pay, for example, in a month or two. Or consider an installment payment option.
- Understand what your customers need and offer your services to solve their problems. To do this, of course, you need to conduct a little analysis and think about how exactly you can help, how your customers' business can improve thanks to you. And after that, make a proposal and send it to the address.
4. Review your site
How long have you been browsing your site? It's time to do this. Check, maybe your site is already out of date, or maybe some pages are displayed incorrectly and in general there are typos on it that are so striking. And do not forget to delete information that is no longer relevant. Believe me, visitors also pay attention to this.
Drive more traffic to your site. Remember to regularly update content. Write about what is really important and relevant right now. Add more keywords, this will increase the search engine ranking.
5. Do not drop your social networks
If your company has accounts in social networks, then do not forget about them, be active. Tell your subscribers about what is happening with you, share future plans. Now is the time when social networks play a big role in human life. For most people, this is simply an integral part of them; it is from there that they derive important information for themselves. Therefore, companies began to use various social media platforms to interact with their customers. And here the most important thing is not to forget that these platforms are constantly evolving, new trends appear, which are important and should be monitored.
6. Offer a new product / service
Perhaps you have a long-standing idea, to which "hands never reached." Or maybe during the time of self-isolation you came up with something new that can certainly help people. Therefore, assemble your team, discuss and add a new product / service to your list.
Online courses are also good. Share your knowledge with the rest. There is a possibility that in the future they will turn to you as an expert and even invite you to various seminars and conferences as a speaker.
7. Stay in touch with your customers
Do not hesitate, your clients remember you, and they also want to know how coronavirus affected your business. So tell them about it. Take an interest in your letter about the health and business of your client and tell us how you handled it during this period.
It is also good to note the importance and importance of the client for you and offer a personal discount or some other privileges as a sign of your friendship. It will be even more interesting if you record a video message.
8. Switch to electronic payments
Isolation has shown that working remotely is very possible. And to whom, no matter how the digital realm follows this example? Many of us are already accustomed to be careful and keep our distance, and many just liked to make purchases and stuff, without spending our time traveling to a store or office. Online shopping is so easy and convenient!
In order to sell your products / services online you just need to digitally sign, draw up offer agreements and upload them to your website. You can also give consultations to your clients remotely.
9. Find like-minded people
As you yourself understand, now is not easy for you. Literally everyone felt the impact of COVID-19 on themselves. True, someone to a lesser extent, but someone got much more. Now is the time to unite with your competitors and make them your like-minded people. Organize a round table, invite the leaders of it-companies and try together to find solutions to overcome the crisis. As a rule, this approach gives positive results.
10. Search for new orders
Today, small and medium-sized businesses suffer big losses and are trying hard to survive. Big business is also not far gone. Therefore, it’s not worth waiting for orders from them now, but you still need to earn money somehow.
Alternatively, switch to government customers and bid. Now there are many electronic platforms on which you can find customers, both paid and free. Another thing is that there will still be costs at the initial stage, because for this you need to purchase a digital signature and a crypto key. But these investments are worth it.
Spend some time studying the bidding laws and the rules for submitting documentation, or appoint a responsible person. If your company becomes a state supplier, this will certainly have a positive effect.
11. Support your employees
Although you may now be tempted to look at your employees from a cost point of view, still remember that the main asset of any business is its people.
It is very good if you managed to keep the staff and not to cut the payroll.
Therefore, one of the most important tasks that you, as a leader, must fulfill is to support your team. After all, your employees, just like you, experience stress, all of this uncertainty, alarming forecasts and news, uncertainty about tomorrow puts pressure on them. And all this, in turn, negatively affects productivity and general condition. Become an example and support for your team, find ways to motivate them for further development and success in your business.
If, nevertheless, the affairs of your company are not doing as well as we would like, and you are already considering the option of dismissing employees, then do not rush. Remember that these are temporary difficulties and sooner or later any company will encounter them. Over time, your company will recover. Therefore, do not say goodbye to your employees. Try to offer them to pay wages only for the work done, and not the entire salary part. Given the current situation in the country, people will agree, because it is better that way than without any work.
Know that any crisis for an entrepreneur is not only a challenge and test, it is an opportunity to become stronger and more enduring.
12. Stock up on plan B
And finally, the last and most important item on this list is a backup plan. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that plan B should always be at hand.
Always keep in mind that surprises and troubles happen, especially when you are not expecting them. It can be problems with partners, lack of financial resources or illness ... or it can fall all at once. And one must always be prepared for this.
If before you did not hold a fallback in case of unforeseen circumstances, now is the time to take care of this. But just do not think that the plan "B" implies the following: "If my plan" A "does not work, I will go look for work." Do not give up your business, but come up with as many ideas and ways as possible to solve problems that may suddenly arise.
Think about where to look for additional sources of financing, which clients to focus on in the future, and how to work if you have to dissolve your team. Make a realistic anti-crisis plan, relying on reliable calculations and facts, the worst and best scenarios. Consider absolutely everything, because no one knows how events will develop further.
In conclusion, we can say that although the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, it nevertheless provided a small opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to think, analyze and plan their future growth and success. Obviously, these are difficult times for those companies that are ready to act decisively and flexibly.