Michelle Stott | 3 min read | February 22, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic shook even the strongest of economies from their base last year. Even in 2021, several countries are still being impacted by the effects of the pandemic in the second and third waves. While vaccines are finally being distributed, thanks to the brilliant scientists across the world, it is still early days, and quite frankly there simply is no end in sight to the devastating effects of the pandemic. A vast majority of small businesses are still trying to survive in 2021, and many are barely compensating for the losses they faced in the last year.
The silver lining – In this unimaginable hard time, many large corporations not only did survive the pandemic but even emerged much powerful than before it. It is quite intriguing to the curiosity in an entrepreneur’s mind – How exactly did those big companies manage to save themselves from the disaster of the pandemic and subsequently a global recession? We reached out to many large corporations and found certain steps that can be taken by even small businesses to ensure they make it through in these and future dark days. Here are the steps we closely inspected from large businesses that made them survive and thrive.
- Cutting Expenses
Hard times lead to big sacrifices. Unfortunately, as a small business owner, you are probably already operating lean, but you will have to find and cut out extra expenses as much as you can. We found that Financial planning during hard times is a must. Have a meeting with your financial advisor and look for costs you can cut down. Refinance your debt or take new low-cost loans. Do not hesitate to cut out even the smallest amounts. But be careful to not cut out essential costs as well. Small businesses are the most vulnerable to economic uncertainty. Ensure you take special care of your finances in this period.
- Prepare for the Unexpected
Small business planning must be regular and at the heart of your business survival and growth strategy as it will prepare you for uncertainty. Risks increase, and while plans rarely work out exactly as you expected them to, it is the planning for uncertainty that is key to survival. It is probably safe to say that nobody expected Covid-19 to spread across the world at such a rapid rate, but it did and managed to shut down a huge portion of our mainstream markets. Your aim should be to expect and prepare for the unexpected. Mitigate risks and set your expectations of profit relevant to the current market. This way even if something goes south, you’ll be ready to navigate through it.
- Evolve According to the Crisis
I am sure that you would relate to this in some shape or form to – that is, facemasks. A success story that we just had to share was one of adaptability in a fabric manufacturer and retailer. The business mainstream product is sales of face and hand towels in local markets. The company was quick to react and adapt, shifting immediately to producing fashionable masks resulting in survival and growth. This quick and smart thinking is the secret sauce for making it through a crisis. Looking at trends and anticipating things that are going to be in demand in the nearby future is what every business should be doing. You have to be creative and evolve as per the current times. The world learned a lot from the pandemic and will change as soon as the pandemic is behind us.
- Maximize the use of Technology
Maximization in the use of technology is what led many businesses to thrive in the pandemic. The demand for strategic planning software, marketing automation software, e-commerce rose to heights higher than ever before. A plethora of businesses shifted online while others did their best to monitor their strategies and plan accordingly. No business in this age can keep up without the use of technology. We saw an example of how strong technology is in terms of helping business navigate uncertainty during the pandemic and adapt for growth.
- Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Remember, you’re not the only small business owner who is going through this economic uncertainty caused by the global pandemic. As part of your small business planning strategy, keep an eye out on your competitors and observe the moves they are making to survive. Analyze their actions, improve on them, and implement them with speed and agility. This way, you will keep pace with your competition, ensure your business survival and stay ahead to grow.
While the future of the pandemic is still uncertain, there is no doubt that small businesses will endure and see this season out. Most will balance their defensive and offensive approaches to ensure the survival and growth of their business.