As we head into the second wave of the pandemic many small businesses are on the brink of indefinite closure. When the doors close on a small business it is very hard to come out of it. Therefore, I want to share 7 ways to potentially help save your small business during a pandemic. I do realize that these tips will not work for everyone and every small business but I hope it inspires you and helps you get inspired in a way to save your business.
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Save The 7 Tips Small Businesses Need To Survive A Pandemic
Saving your small business by thinking outside of the box with brainstorming
We all know that the world is changing around us dramatically and powerfully and if we do not change with it our small businesses will be swept away.
It is the time to pivot, especially now!
We need to think outside of the box and we need to get creative in order to do so.
Sit down and brainstorm what you could do to keep your business flowing if you had to close the doors to the public. See more brainstorming and conquering your goals as well as setting a goal with SMART Goals.
7 Essential Questions To Ask Yourself To Help Save Your Small Business During A Pandemic
- How could you reach them?
- How could you get your goods to them?
- Is there a product you could easily pivot to during this time?
- Can you reach them virtually with a Zoom, Google Meets, Or Microsoft Teams meeting?
- Is curbside pick up an option?
- Can you go online with a website?
- Are there any government programs you qualify for?
Saving Your Small Business By Moving Online
A few years ago I read research on how the world will soon be headed online until the workforce becomes nearly obsolete. In fact, the prediction was that by 2030 over 30% of the workforce would be replaced by automation and another 50% would be working from home.
A few years ago that seemed wildly impossible to me but I knew it had potential. recently we have witnessed many businesses shift to at home and there are many businesses thats ay they will continue this way to help cut overhead costs.
So whether the pandemic has you considering moving online or if you are just ready to pivot and change how your business operates right now might just be the best time to do it.
There are some pros and there are some cons to going online depending on what your business is so let’s take a look, shall we.
- expand your reach
- cut down operational costs
- can sell during shutdowns
- ability to display products
- versatile platforms to make it easy
- ability to set up automatic transactions, payments and shipping.
- can help reduce time spent with customer service
- provides 24 hour 7 days a week shopping experience
- can be time consuming to set up inventory
- can be difficult to learn in the beginning
- can be overwhelming
- does not work for all small business
- may need to hire help for initial set up
- learning curve
- lack of personal contact
I really encourage you to think of ways that you could move online to help save your small business or at least to help you get through the pandemic.
Save Your Small Business In a Pandemic With Creativity & thinking Outside The Box
If there is one thing I can say about myself it is that I am creative as all f*ck and I love to help others brainstorm and think of ways to help them pivot and change for growth. I encourage you to do the same too! Get creative, think big, think outrageous. No idea is a bad idea just write it down and let the pen flow you can weed through them later.
Get your employees involved or ask your spouse or friends. Sometimes others can see what we are unable to see within our small business because it is our baby and it is perfect to us.
Ask for opinions and ideas!
So please, please, please ask for opinions and ideas! Don’t take them all to heart but be open and at least add them to your list. If you are still stuck feel free to reach out to me too. I love a good brainstorm session. Here is my contact page and you can click the messenger icon to reach me on Facebook too.
Creative Ideas By Industry
Some of these ideas will be basic and very common as the list goes on they become more extensive or creative.
How Restaurants Can Shift Gears In A Lockdown
Obviously these ideas will not work for everyone but I hope they can inspire you to adapt and I hope you come out ok on the other side. For restaurants my best advice is that everyone needs to eat and many people are going to be extra busy at home, whether they are working from home, have the kids at home. Having some normalcy with getting meals on the go really has been a staple in time. Here a few ideas to help you keep meeting your clientele:
- delivery service
- curbside pick up
- online menu and payment
- baked goods
- frozen pastry
- holiday platters
- utilize social media (Facebook Pages)
- selling freezer meals
- meal kits
- meal prepping for families online class
- virtual cooking lessons
- baked good
How A Clothing Store/ Gift Shop Can Think Outside The Box
One of the first businesses to close were clothing stores and hit hard and fast. People still need to by these essentials and online is not something new for the retail business. Gift shops are a pretty big commodity during the holiday season but they tend to get lost in a pandemic when we need to limit our outside world. Here a few ideas that might help you:
- online shop with inventory
- using social media to promote certain products
- Facebook page with gallery of inventory
- curb side pickup
- appointment only (if allowed)
- gift baskets
- suggest outfits offer as a set
- deliver /ship
A website would be the best way to go if you have experience or able to afford to hire someone to build an e-commerce platform for you. Once you have all your automation set up the website keeps track of inventory and collecting payments and addresses for shipping. Facebook Pages are a free option to do this, I recommend staying away from Facebook ads until you build a good social following and knowledge of your target audience.
How Hair Dressers/ Nails/ Other Personal Services Can Shift Business During A Pandemic
We know you were some of the ones to get hit the hardest the first time around and it is heart breaking. I was fortunate enough to see some really ingenious entrepreneurs pivot and try to stay afloat and I want to share some of that with you.
- sell the products you use
- instagram is great for beauty and skin care sales
- ship/ deliver/ curb side of products
- online course (nails, hair style, massage points)
I know I know I know you are thinking why would I teach someone to do what I do. Obviously, no one is going to get all the talent and the experience that you have. I’m talking selling little tips and tricks to help your customers last until their next hair cut or massage. These little nuggets will be much appreciated and you will have a customer who remains loyal to you.
How Photography Studios & Photographers Can Pivot
I have brainstormed with my friend about this one in the past so i have a bit of a jumpstart on ideas here.
- Up-sell to your past customers with digitized prints
- create props to sell to other photographers
- offer online photoshoots
- sell backdrop images to backdrop companies
- sell stock photos
- take photos of stores inventory trying to move online
- offer editing services
Of course these are just a few ideas but the point is to get your creative juices flowing and help you start that initial brainstorm session. With photography there is great potential to help other businesses trying to shift online.
Any other small business you want to see added to the save your small business brainstorm list?
These are just a few businesses off the top of my head. If you would like me to brainstorm another area let me know and I can see what I can come up with and add it to the post.
If you have ideas you would like others to know drop it in the comments or use my contact me page to let me know!
Looking for Small Business Pandemic Relief Funds To Help Save Your Small Business
Making changes and pivoting can be expensive and it takes money. Keeping employees on payroll while operating at a reduced income can break a small business. Going online can cost money if you do not have tech and. marketing experience.
There are quite extensive and severely different programs for every country as well as every province and state within.
There are some relief funds out there that can help. Head to your government page and check them out. Then be sure to head to your provincial and state pages too!
In Canada, we have payroll relief for employers to pay employees of up to 70% of wages. There are small business loans your small business can apply for up to $60K if you meet their requirements.
Some provinces have offered an additional relief loan as well.
The government has also opened up the ability to receive benefits when you are a small business owner. See all business relief programs.
If none of those work for you and you need a bit of cash flow to get your business redirected be sure to talk to your local bank and ask about the EDC loans for small businesses.
I’m Canadian, so I do not know the extensive list offered in other countries, but I have taken a look at the USA and see they have something similar to our benefits there called the CARES act. You can find more information on their website here at the USA Government site about the different programs available to help save your small business.
7 tips on how to survive a pandemic when you are a small business owner
These are general ideas that may potentially save your small business. Some of these ideas are listed above in specific industries but can be adapted for others as well.
- online storefront
- online classes, tutorials and coaching
- creating an alternative product
- joining the pandemic suppliers by retooling
- by appointment only sales (if allowed)
- personalized sales to individualized
- change your focus to your customer’s new needs
Let’s get a bit more in-depth here, shall we.
Creating an online storefront using a website or a platform such as Shopify can help you sell and ship your products to consumers locally and around the world depending on who your target audience is.
Online classes are becoming huge right now because a lot of people have some extra time on their hands and are searching for ways to meet their needs and pivot too. We all have something to offer and I’m sure your small business does too.
Creating an alternative product is another great pivot to potentially save your small business. Like I mentioned above if you are a restaurant owner perhaps making freezer meals for those busy burnt-out work-at-home peeps that are trying to adjust. What product could you create?
Have you thought about retooling? In many countries, governments have been looking for people to help with much-needed pandemic supplies such as PPE and hand sanitizer. We have seen alcohol companies start producing hand sanitizers to get involved and many other companies join the fight against covid with retooling. I personally know a few small businesses that generally craft and sew switch over to making masks and face shields with their existing skills and equipment. Is there something you could manufacture?
There are some businesses doing their part by offering one-on-one sales appointments to their customers. There have even been some who go as far as FaceTiming a customer to show them around their stores. Hats off to that creativity and putting the customer first.
Personalized sales to customers can fit in with the FaceTime idea above as well. There is also great potential by having customers fill in a get-to-know-me form by email, online or doing it over the phone together. This personalized experience can help your customer feel valued and not waste their time searching for the products they normally want to browse in-store.
Finding out what your customers need right now is a great way to generate sales. Think holidays, think seasons and think of common issues that people are being faced with right now. A lot of families are staying home and with winter here, the boredom can really set in. Is there a virtual experience you can offer? Is there a product that can give them all some fun? Maybe you can show them the best gift ideas you have available. Get creative and show them what you have to offer.
How To Potentially Save Your Small Business During A Pandemic
We are all in this together and in order to survive, we need to be creative and ready to pivot. Unfortunately, not all small businesses can make these ideas, tips and tricks work but I hope it helps some of you out there trying to save your small business.
If you would like to brainstorm some ideas with me please reach out. This is at no cost to you and I hope it can help you find a solution for your small business. Once we get the creative juices flowing we can usually come up with an idea to help get you through this.
I also want to raise some awareness about your mental health during the pandemic. Make sure to practice self-care and find time to relax and rejuvenate. You are able to brainstorm much better when you are able to think clearly. Check out our information on working from home and reducing burnout. Most importantly remember to be confident in your business and don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back from trying something new!
Take care and chat soon;
Living A Boss Life