The year 2020 does not seem to be lucky for businesses. As early as January, after all, the news about a new coronavirus broke out. In March, tens of thousands of individuals in different countries tested positive for or, worse, died due to COVID-19.
The rapid spreading of the virus has alarmed everyone, to the extent that borders have been locked down. No one can enter some countries, regardless if you are a resident or have a valid visa. In case you are already home, you need to stay at home as much as possible to prevent catching the coronavirus. The governments have made sure of the latter by asking companies to close their stores and operate remotely.
Although the efforts to save everyone from COVID-19 is practical, it doesn’t change the fact that businesses suffer because of it. Large companies like Starbucks are closing a significant number of branches; others have already filed for bankruptcy. And if they cannot survive during a pandemic, how much more do you think it affects small businesses?
I talked to a friend not too long ago about it. She opened a pastry shop before the lockdown, you see. Although pastries are a hot commodity, the folks in town have been too afraid of the coronavirus to buy baked goods. She would have gone bankrupt if she did not try the following things (which you could also do to reduce your losses):
The first thing you can do is start selling online. This suggestion applies to any business that offers different products to consumers. Some can open an Amazon account; others revamp their websites and turn them into marketplaces.
Online selling gives you the best chance to keep the business going even in the middle of a global health crisis. As implied above, people prefer buying stuff virtually instead of getting them in person. If you can offer home delivery services, that will be much better for your sales.
Strategize With Your Products
The lockdown entails that nothing and no one can come in a country. If you have ordered overseas items, you may be able to get them once the borders reopen.
In that case, you need to plan what you are going to do with your products. Say, when you sell non-perishable goods, promote the things that you already have. If your items are perishable (e.g., pastries, fruits, vegetables, etc.), you should sell the first ones that will go bad soon. This way, your customers can still consume them, and you won’t lose money.
Let Go Of Some Employees
I left this tip at the bottom, hoping that your scheme might succeed by doing the first three things above. However, if they are still not working, and you keep on losing money, you may have no choice but to let go of some employees.
Although it seems sad—borderline inhumane during a pandemic—the reality is that that’s the only way to avoid losing more money than you already have. After all, the more people you have on payroll, the more you need to spend monthly. Still, you may rehire them when the business starts to thrive again.
Businesses, big or small, may never be safe from losses until the pandemic ends. At the same time, I know it may be stressful to follow any of the recommendations mentioned above, primarily if you are used to the conventional business scheme. However, who knows when this crisis will ever go away?
Since we do not see it happening anytime soon, all we can do is try to reduce our losses as much as possible.