The economic shutdown brought about by the global pandemic has been a real test for businesses across the globe. Many companies were forced to downscale and others to shut down entirely because of the pandemic. Those that were able to stay afloat did so by making serious adjustments to their operations. Business expansion may be the last thing on most entrepreneurs’ minds at this time; they are fighting to keep their doors open.
However, even at this time, when growth opportunities seem low, it is still possible to make growth milestones for your business. Here are four ways to make the most of your current situation to stay afloat and even take your business to the next level.
- Move online
Even as the COVID-19 regulations continue to be relaxed, most people are still hesitant to mingle in public places. In addition, the walk-in customers count in physical stores is still low in many businesses, as most customers prefer shopping online. However, keeping the income flowing in is necessary to keep business operations going. That is why it is important to rethink other ways of bringing in cash to the business.
If you still rely on physical stores to make your sales, now is the time to make your products available online. Work on setting up an eCommerce store to keep serving your regular customers who still prefer buying online. This is also a way to attract other potential customers who will help grow your business. You can also think of other ways to expand your cash flow besides an online store. For instance, if you are a restaurant taking online orders, you can start online cooking classes to diversify your income sources.
- Work on online customer experience
As said above, the pandemic has forced most people to switch to online shopping. As a business that wants to maintain good customer relationships, it is paramount that you ensure to take these connections online. Besides establishing an online retail store, you need to make sure that you can easily be found on the online platform.
Now is the time to be actively involved in your company’s social media pages. Ensure that you are sharing valuable content that adds value to your customers. In addition, work on SEO optimization to ensure that people find your website easily. Work on improving website customer experience by making it easy to navigate and fast. You also need to keep into account that being online attracts a global audience. Everyone visiting your website needs to be able to navigate in the language of their preference. Hire translation services to ensure that your content is translated professionally. Translation services will expand your business by making it possible to cater to a global audience, expanding your customer base tremendously.
- Treat virtual meetings professionally.
Business travel has not yet resumed fully, but you can still use online tools such as Zoom to do sales pitches and meet potential investors. However, just because it is happening virtually, you don’t treat them as less professional.
If you are to close those deals virtually, you need to work on your image just as you would if you physically met the customers. First impressions matter and they say a lot about you and your business. So ensure that you have dressed professionally and your background spells serious business. In addition, ensure that your video and audio are clear for the other party to get to you. Most importantly, don’t forget to have everything you need for your presentation. You need to make an unforgettable pitch that will stay on top of your prospects’ minds, which is necessary for them to make a decision.
- Support your workforce
Your employees are the people that you entrust with your business. They make the team that is behind the realization of your dreams necessary for expanding your business. However, unhappy and unsatisfied individuals are less likely to be committed and engaged in their roles. That is why you need to work on achieving a happy workforce. It is essential to offer them support in this pandemic era when their emotions are all over.
At this time, when you are probably dealing with financial constraints, devise ways to keep your workforce happy. For instance, you can forgo executives’ bonuses and use that money to keep your employees rather than laying them off. Also, make sure that they have everything that they need when working remotely.
The pandemic might have brought about many hardships and uncertainties in the business arena, but that doesn’t have to spell the end for your business. The good thing is that we are forced to be creative amid calamities and work with what life has dealt us. Thus, all hope is not lost, and the above points can help you expand your business amid the pandemic.