Surviving the COVID-19 pandemic as a small business requires some forward-thinking action, starting with investigating and employing resources such as financial assistance programs. In part two of this Surviving COVID series, we touched on federal relief options for small businesses, especially those with limited cash reserves. In part three of this series, we will explore some proactive strategies that small business owners can take to help themselves in this time of economic turmoil. Despite the uncertainty of the times, there are still steps small business owners can take to help their businesses survive, and even thrive again in time.

Creating certainty in this time of uncertainty is the first key element of most small business pandemic-survival plans. Small business owners can create a sense of certainty by acting as quickly and decisively as possible, so what they have to offer does not decrease in relevance, and so they stay ahead of the competition by creating new business opportunities and holding onto the greatest possible market share. Embracing the new direction of the market and acting accordingly can cultivate certainty and stability for employees and, in turn, for consumers.

Another thing that will help you foster that sense of certainty and stability is communicating with consumers. With so much pandemic-induced uncertainty, consumers are interested in what actions small business owners are taking to keep day-to-day operations safe for everyone. People are concerned and worried about the possible presence of the coronavirus; they want to avoid exposure and want to be sure they can safely purchase and utilize the goods and services they need. Keeping your consumers informed and up to date allows for an appreciation of your efforts to carry on that is reassuring; this encourages them to focus on your product or service. Whether a small business owner has closed brick-and-mortar offices or storefronts, reduced business hours, or altered business hours for sanitization purposes, communication regarding those safety measures is vital for maintaining a foothold in the market by keeping a customer base.

It is also an excellent time for small business owners to pivot in terms of the products or services offered. If they can no longer distribute their products or services as they always have due to the COVID-19 threat, they can change their delivery method (e.g. healthcare professionals offering virtual “telehealth” appointments); they also can think outside the box to develop related products or services to maintain their source of revenue. The added benefit to small business owners who make a successful pivot now is that these innovations in product distribution and provision of service, as well as newly developed products and services, might continue to provide revenue once the pandemic ends and Americans resume more “normal” business operations.

Of course, financial awareness and planning is also a major issue for small business owners to consider. Small business owners must always be mindful of spending practices, but even more so during this pandemic. In many cases, they are tracking a drop in revenue and are more concerned than ever about business cash flow. Besides using financial resources like those noted previously (e.g. federal grants and loans, etc.), business owners should also reassess their approach to inventory, project management, etc. and closely track business expenses to decide when to cut costs, apply for grants, or take out loans. Small business owners must take special care in this way to ensure they can guide their businesses through the length of this pandemic without making decisions that will hinder their efforts to regrow and strengthen their businesses, such that they will flourish again in the future.

Small business owners should also be thinking about ways to increase their digital footprint and to make themselves more visible online; shifting the focus to utilize online resources is of the utmost importance. Part four of the “Surviving COVID” series will expand on how turning to digital marketing is crucial for surviving to thrive on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eye See You Now is a focused team of SEO professionals, that specializes in enhancing the online presence of your business via digital marketing methods. Eye See You Now can help your small business prosper, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not hesitate to contact the accessible digital marketing experts at Eye See You Now for a free consultation—visit us online or call 512-370-4078.

Written by: Erika Mehlhaff