The world is changing fast, at the snap of your fingers. This summer, instead of surfing in Bali, we’re sliding across the floor in our home slippers. COVID-19, being a humanitarian and societal crisis, has brought significant losses for SMBs. Gartner’s recent Business Continuity Survey shows that only 12% of organizations are highly prepared for the challenges of coronavirus. Sounds scary, you know?
My goal today is to share five actionable tips for SMBs on how to turn massive challenges into meaningful change and give a helping hand to the owners of wounded businesses.
What should SMBs do?
1. Assess the damage
Before acting, you need to understand how deeply your business has been affected. If you haven’t updated your financial statements recently, it’s necessary to do that now. You need to have a clear view of your finances and see the flaws in understanding your next step in recovery.
It would be useful to see an accountant. Professional help is a reasonable investment in business development for several reasons. An expert could provide business owners with important insights and give valuable financial advice. An accountant will save time and help you avoid mistakes in making business decisions. Hiring an accountant brings you more in revenue and savings than you end up paying.
2. Develop a business recovery plan
When you have assessed the current situation, it’s time to build a plan. Most experienced executives perfectly understand the importance of outlining a business recovery plan template to ensure their businesses’ survival when an unexpected challenge comes.
A business recovery plan is a step-by-step guide to help a company get through difficult times. There’s no single approach to it, but here are some common recommendations for effective planning:
- Consider both inside and outside factors that can influence business stability and continuity;
- Look at the ways to reduce operational costs and increase alternate sources of cash flow;
- Build up some liquid cash reserve;
- Prioritize key business functions and processes;
- Consider alternative business development options;
- Elaborate specific steps that you’ll take to implement your ideas;
- Set the realistic time frames for your business to recover;
- Don’t forget to keep track of your progress;
- Always keep Plan B, C, and even D at hand.
The more unconventional thinking you can prepare for the worst-case scenario, the better.
3. Review your business plan
Things that worked before COVID-19 may not be working as efficiently today. So it’s time for taking a second look at your business plan. The main idea is to find ways how your business can adapt to the new reality. For example, if you had only an offline shop, you may need to create a business account on Instagram to focus on online sales.
Look at the trends of your industry to find opportunities. Review your business goals, analyze your business’s strengths and weaknesses, then try to find new ways of your business growth.
4. Automate business processes
One of the non-obvious but equally important points of your business recovery plan is to automate business processes. Through automation, routine tasks are easily removed from the daily workflow and the balance is maintained. So that focus can be put on crucial projects or strategic objectives.
Why do SMBs need automation?
- It ensures avoidance of undesirable manual input errors that can be fatal during a crisis.
- Automation is a time-safer. Now it is time to focus on finding and implementing new solutions for your business.
- It’ll save your money. The two preceding points together will bring you significant savings of money and most likely to multiply them.
What part of business processes can be automated?
Never underestimate a mighty power of automation. During times of crisis, business operations are more important than ever. It’s a long way to list the options. what part of business processes can be automated. Here it is just a few of them:
- Email marketing software
- CRM system
- Accounting software
- Inventory management automation
- Finance management
5. Take care of your team
An executive is nothing without a team. Prioritize people safety and pay attention to maintain a friendly atmosphere in the team. During a pandemic, people expect leaders to be compassionate and caring. They look to a manager for confidence in navigating the company into a safe and successful future.
- Give sick people time to recover
Do what you can to keep your staff safe from coronavirus. But if a member of your team is sick, support him and give enough time to recover. The recovery is infinitely more important than any financial setbacks you may suffer.
- Increase the frequency of online meetings
Many employers think that if they see employees, they control them. But unfortunately, in the current situation, it is not possible. Replace meetings with online conferences. See them out as often as possible. Regular video calls will help maintain team spirit and identify challenges in teamwork in time.
- Pay attention to changes in productivity
Work from home doesn’t suit people used to working in society. It is only natural for some team members to change their level of productivity. Your job as a leader is to find compromise and balance. Agree on a more convenient schedule of work, create a new motivational system, or even change a task type.
Rebuilding a business after a hard time is not easy. But it could become a great springboard for business growth in the future. Of course, this article includes only a small part of endless ways and advice on business recovery. But I hope the steps described will help you in your way to recovery. Assess the damage, make informed decisions, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Do you have a business recovery plan? Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.