Small businesses have been among the worst hit by the impact of Covid-19. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any opportunities left. Now is the perfect time for business owners to take a step back, make a plan, build a strong support system and move forward with new objective and purpose. There are a number of things that entrepreneurs can bear in mind during the present crisis:
1. Find your pivot point
Many small businesses successfully embracing the current situation and pivot into completely new areas. For instance, F&B business that is not operating during MCO use the advantage they have by selling hand sanitizers when Malaysian need them most.
In order to do so, you must know your niche and stay true to what your business stands for. Look at what your clients really need and then see where the logical pivot is. It’s the time where customers want to support small businesses right now. So, don’t be afraid to pivot.
2. Focus on customers over competition
Many small businesses tend to focus on their competition more instead of how to add value to their own customers during this pandemic. Did you know that customer service that differentiates small business from big business? Small businesses have the ability to adapt quickly to meet the needs of customers.
Take a look at your business mechanism – look at what has worked well in the past and what you can do more to add value. You can do rewards programmes, discounts, or e-newsletter.
3. Use social media more often
A report on the use of social media during the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown declaration reported a significant increase in social media engagement not just in Malaysia but all over the world.
So, business owners must utilise social media to give your business a hefty boost in brand awareness and sales. At times like these, businesses ought to take full advantage of consumers’ focus on social media to advertise their brand. Id they want their advertising to be effective, be creative.
4. Reduce and slow cash outflows
Seek to negotiate the terms of key contracts. The most important thing and also likely to be the most difficult to achieve is the renegotiation of terms between a landlord and tenant. Try to approach the landlord and request some of concessions such as discounted rent, a rent deferment, a rent free period or service charge reduction.
If the landlord agree to postpone the rent, will there be a time limit? It’s important to ensure the parties are agreed as to contract after negotiating.
5. Focus on the employees wellbeing
For business owners, you must know that customers are looking out for services that are loyal to them. One of the key indicators of loyalty that customers look out for is the how the employer or management care and concern about the employees – especially during trying times.
Some SMEs did their best to ensure that their employees well catered for, even if they had to lay some workers off. One of the most important business tips to stay ahead during this pandemic is to show authenticity in your brand’s empathy for the community it interact with. Businesses that want to scale up during the trying times and when everything becomes normal again must learn how to show their care to their employees.