7 Valuable Lessons Small Business Owners Can Learn From COVID-19

In the near future, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has claimed lives and caused a global recession, shall pass. We can guarantee it. However, we’re unsure whether or not the small businesses we patronize, from our favorite local diner to our go-to beauty salon, will survive the pandemic. For some of us, we can’t guarantee how long we can keep our jobs.

Even the most successful enterprises, protected by the necessary business insurance and funding, didn’t see this drastic economic downfall coming. While we can’t tell what the future holds, the only thing we can do is reflect on the lessons this pandemic taught us about business.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur, looking to rebuild your business or someone who’s planning to start a business after the pandemic, here are 7 lessons from COVID-19 you should remember as you go along.

1. Businesses should be as dynamic as the consumer’s changing needs

Every business owner should be as flexible as possible – this is perhaps the biggest lesson entrepreneurs can take from this crisis. Business owners who were able to adapt to the changing demands are more likely to survive.

Before COVID-19 took the world by storm, people had an appetite for leisure buying. Now, they need basics, like groceries, medicines, and medical supplies. Delivery services and online transactions were just a convenient option when you’re too busy to go to a physical store. Now, these can be a means of survival.

Having a solid plan is good, but businesses must learn how to revise their operational model to cater to the need of the hour. They must think creatively, reevaluate how they do business, and take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

2. Being insured and financially-secured pay in the end

No one saw this crisis coming. But let’s be honest – the business owners who are more financially-savvy have a better chance of making it through the pandemic. They’re likely to have business insurance in place, an ample amount of savings and emergency funds, and other streams of income.

A lot of business owners are realizing how unprepared they are as they apply for small business loans. It’s a great reminder that business owners should pay more attention to business insurance and ensure their finances are shipshape monthly or quarterly.

3. Establishing a strong relationship with customers is vital 

People surely won’t be spending on things that are not essential. So what will happen to businesses that provide luxury items, entertainment, and leisure services? This is where the power of getting social comes in handy.

Communication is key to building a stronger recall value – something that affects consumer’s spending behavior. Businesses may connect with their customers by offering informative content, fun quizzes, games, and other customer engaging posts that will surely resonate with consumers.

4. Technology is every entrepreneur’s best friend

Next to being flexible, business owners who learned to adopt new technologies have a stronger advantage than their less tech-savvy competitors. Video conferencing among employees doing remote work, leveraging digital marketing, and utilizing delivery platforms are just some of the ways technology can save businesses from completely shutting down.

5. Having an online presence is essential

The internet consumption rose dramatically since the nationwide lockdown, proving that now’s the perfect time to spend your budget on internet marketing. Social media marketing, for example, plays a powerful role in connecting with workers, customers, and organizations.

In fact, businesses who have already invested in digital marketing to boost their online presence are expected to see continuous growth as the world is shifting to this so-called “new normal”.

6. Businesses shouldn’t stop moving despite the economic crisis

Are you just waiting for things to get better or are you proactively reinventing ways to market your business? Are you stuck with the idea of applying for financing or are you finding solutions on how you can keep employees working and earning?

Doing nothing is one of the biggest mistakes you can do in the midst of an economic crisis. Business owners need to be proactive about planning, reinventing streams of revenue, leveraging marketing, and thinking of ways to pivot for the future.

7. We’re all connected

If you’ve been laid off or your small business has been struggling these past few weeks (or both), it’s nice to be reminded that you’re not alone. You may encounter some loyal clients, asking for a cheaper rate since they, too, are grappling financially. You’re faced with the decision of selling your goods or services at a cheaper rate to make some money or say no and make none.

The pandemic made us realize how connected we truly are. And we can make it through if we learn to compromise and help each other. Simple actions like waiving fees, offering discounts, and supporting other small and micro-businesses by buying and promoting their goods can go a long way.

There’s some comfort in knowing that this, like the Great Depression or World War II, shall pass. The financial impact, stress, and trauma may live longer, but things will fall into place eventually.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for Insurance Advisernet, one of the largest and most reliable general insurance businesses in Australia, providing high-quality risk management advice for business owners. She enjoys writing practical tips and tricks, making complex finance and business topics easier to digest.

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