Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” Now, though you may not have physically been punched, hopefully, COVID-19 has instantly thrown you and your small business into the ring without any foresight. Quickly adjusting to the changing conditions and navigating new mandates such as regulations on stay-at-home orders can be a lot. Being a leader in a time of crisis requires the ability to make decisions quickly, adapt, and move to a business strategy that can help position your business to succeed in the short and long term.
Identifying opportunities in your local market inspired you to open your business and take advantage of an empty gap. Whether you opened your business as a trailblazer, or an innovator, keeping your ears to the ground and identifying the newest and smartest ways to work keeps you on top.
During these uncertain times, identifying opportunities matters that much more as time is increasingly valuable. Whether it’s sitting down and identifying gaps in your cash flow, or bringing on business process management, leveraging this extra time to improve on potential weaknesses will set you up to hit the ground running when business is back to usual.
If your business is fortunate enough to be operational away from your physical location, odds are you will still have to alter your strategy. Short term changes like hosting meetings on Zoom can keep your team connected and organized, helping you confidently complete tasks and drive forward.
A cornerstone of your business is its finances. Stay-at-home measures can put your banking in question and leave you distanced from understanding your business’ financial state. When times are as uncertain as these, transitioning to a digital banking app for business allows you to access all your finances, from payments to invoicing and budget in your pocket. This long-term strategic move will not only save you time down the road but give you financial peace of mind, as well.
Pivoting as a business isn’t a quick, or easy decision. This comes after a long reflection period, research, and brainstorming. Pivoting during times like this can help set you apart and can be as substantial as changing your business model to something minor such as altering your social media strategy.
One of the best ways you can pivot during COVID-19 is pivoting from selling to helping. Don’t neglect all aspects of selling, but change your mindset from purely capitalistic. Delivering the most value possible, with little expectation not only places you as a thought-leader in your space but keeps you top of mind and builds trust with consumers after the fact.
While you’re focusing on pivoting to strengthen your competitive advantage, this is also a good opportunity to innovate. Does a local competitor do something you’ve always been a fan of? Is there a new product/service out there that would translate well to your business? With business being slow, this is a great time to test ideas. Talk to customers and ask their biggest pain points about your business in a Google Form, or maybe run a social media promotional giveaway as a form of lead generation...your options are endless.