Whether you’re a Sole Trader or a small business owner, you’ll know that the current global situation is unprecedented. At no other time in recent history has the world or our economies gone into lockdown, with all-but-essential businesses operating at full capacity. Though it’s true that some businesses will benefit from the unfolding situation, the vast majority will see a contraction in the year ahead. Knowing how to overcome that could make or break you.
Below, we’ve put together some tips on preparing your business for a post-COVID-19 world.
Don’t stop working
Perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give you in this article is that you should not stop working. Though current guidelines require you to stay at home unless you have an “essential job,” there are lots of things you can be getting up to in the comfort of your own home, like catching up on your bookkeeping, reaching out to prospective clients, updating your website, and working on a portfolio to show off at future proposals. The more work you do during the lockdown period, the better position you’ll be in when the restrictions are lifted.
Cut your costs
Look through your current outgoings and find ways to reduce costs. For example, do you really need a hire car for work, or could you make do with your personal car? Do you need to pay for a subscription to an expensive piece of software when the free version does the job just fine? Find ways to cut back where possible and you’ll come out of it better. You should also think about your company structure, and decide whether employing umbrella services could save you both time and money than if you were to operate under a limited company.
Focus on marketing
Now is NOT the time to cut your marketing budget. With millions more professionals at home spending more time on social media and search engines than ever before, you should be using the lockdown as an opportunity to ramp up your marketing efforts. Start posting about recent projects, share knowledge and advice in blog posts, record videos stressing the benefits of your services, and put your brand in front of as many future clients as possible. If you go silent, you might struggle to stand out in a competitive, cut-throat environment. And if you don’t have the time to do it, work with an affordable social media management company.
On the same note, make sure you’re reaching out to your existing clients and keeping them in the know during these strange times. Offer them free advice and conference calls to sweeten the deal, send out a newsletter, or reach out for a one-on-one Zoom call. You may even be able to provide some of your services remotely, as many businesses are continuing to run during the crisis, so look at ways you can adapt your current offering to meet demand.
It’s impossible to predict where we’ll be in six months’ time; so for now, focus on your business and ensure you’re ready to weather the upcoming storms. Be strategic, be one step ahead of your competitors, and you’ll come out on top. Wishing you the best of luck!