8 Ways to Build your Startup Survival Strategy During COVID-19 Era
There’s no doubt that startups and small businesses will be the hardest hit from the current COVID-19 pandemic. The bigger businesses have a better chance of surviving; however, small businesses tend to live only with a few months of cash flow, so when something as significant as this hits, it can be devastating not only for the small business owner, but also for the employees they support.
Overall, many startups face challenges during the coronavirus crisis such as dropping business activities, supply chain disruptions, difficulties in fundraising, home office, and travel bans. So, how can small businesses survive the turbulent times during current COVID-19 pandemic? There is no easy answer; however, here are a few points to start implementing and planning at least for the next one year many of which are applicable to both startups and small businesses.
1. Don’t panic and keep calm
This can be difficult especially when cash is running out. Keep calm, which in turn will also mean keeping your staff calm, and ultimately, a healthy mind for everyone to come up with innovative ideas to move forward. If faced with some difficult decisions, take time to balance yourself and your mind before taking any drastic decisions. Things will get better, and you aren’t in this alone.
2. Tap into resources provided by government
Governments around the world are already putting together initiatives to support small business owners, and this is something that is evolving on a daily basis. Be up to date with how your governments can help cut costs, as well as other important institutions, such as banks who also have a social responsibility.
3. Make a one-year financial plan
Every small business usually has the same key expenses, which include employee salaries, office rent, and utility bills. Speak to who you need to pay in the next months, and find out what options you have to spread out the costs. Look at your personal finances, control your personal spending for the next months. What costs are necessary, what can be put on hold? If you have a partner supporting you as you grow your business as the breadwinner, have an open and honest discussion with them about your long-term plans for the business. Also, look at ways you can cut your personal costs. Remember, that your biggest costs would be your staff and your office rent.
4. Upskill your staff
Wherever possible, try your best to keep your staff– they rely on you, and if you have managed a good team, they should be supporting you. You could train your existing staff on additional skills, which could make them more productive and efficient, rather than hiring more staff. There’s plenty of online courses that are very affordable, and these will allow them to focus on other areas of the business when their department is down.
5. Offer Discounts
It’s a tough time for most businesses, even for big players. Companies will be tightening their belts, it might be time to reach out to clients you’ve had conversations with and offer discounts on services or products they’ve expressed interest in.
6. Offer Remote Services
Consider what kind of remote services you might offer your clients. This might be especially applicable for B2B companies. Think ahead, not just about the here and now. You need to do all you can to drive revenue today, but you also need to be building the business you want to be running in six months.
7. Offer Gift Certificates
If applicable, offer gift certificates whereby loyal customers can continue to support your business for products or services they are likely to use in the future. This helps you to bring forward some future income.
8. Call Key Clients
Call your key clients – the ones you have solid relationships with.
This serves two purposes:
- You are calling to see how they’re doing and demonstrating that you actually care, which can only serve to strengthen your relationships
- You can determine if there are any struggles they’re having that your company could assist with.