As the Coronavirus made its presence strongly felt in Europe as well, many business owners are worried about how this pandemic will affect their livelihood. Rather than letting the Coronavirus panic lead to bad decision-making, you need to focus on staying the course.
Closing up shop and taking out focus off of marketing and promoting your business can create long-term problems. Are you trying to get your business through the current Coronavirus crisis? If so, check out the helpful tips below.
Keeping Your Employees in the Loop
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the midst of a crisis is to alienate valued team members. Since your team is already on edge, you need to do all you can to ensure they know what is going on with the business. This is why holding routine meetings and going over what your plan of action to get through the crisis is.
As you probably already know, social distancing is being recommended by healthcare professionals to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. However, this doesn’t mean you have to do away with meetings completely. Using video chatting software is a great way to get face to face interactions with your team without breaking the social distancing rules. Staying in constant contact with your team during the mandated quarantine may be difficult, but it is well worth the effort you invest.
Review and Optimize Your Website
Finding ways to keep yourself occupied during this slow period is also important. If you are looking for a project to take on that will help you generate more leads, then reviewing your website content is a great option. Going through the content to ensure it is both readable, packed with keywords and optimized with the right links is a must.
The older the content on your website gets, the harder it will be to keep it ranking high. If you are unsure about how to audit and optimize your content, then you need to seek out the help of a marketing professional. With their assistance, you can rest assured that your website content is engaging consumers and enticing them to use your products/services.
Stay Connected to Loyal Customers
Make productive staffing decisions
Take your business’ temperature by looking at your cash balance in terms of how many payrolls you can fund if revenue dries up. Your employees are your most valuable asset, so while downsizing may seem like an inevitable conclusion, consider the alternatives. Before you reduce salaries, figure out whether you can reduce work hours instead. Asking someone to work the same amount for less money can cause resentment and decrease productivity. This approach will have the same financial impact but foster a more productive, agreeable transition. Other ways to cut workforce costs include eliminating overtime, voluntary retirement offers, and temporarily placing full-time employees on part-time status.
The short- and long-term costs of layoffs can end up causing a company more harm than good. In terms of direct costs, employers have to pay out severance and benefits packages, accrued vacation, and, in some cases, fees associated with outplacement services. Other indirect costs that make a significant dent, though they are harder to quantify as quickly, include lost knowledge, skills, and customer relationships, and lowered employee morale and productivity.
Negotiate better payable terms
Get your vendors on the phone to discuss extended payment terms–especially larger vendors, which are likely sitting on far more cash than middle-market companies. Another option to discuss discounts. If your vendor will not extend payment terms, find out if they will grant you a small discount for paying early. A one or two percent discount for paying within 10 days instead of 30 is common in many industries. Not all vendors will be able to accommodate these requests, but those that can may be obliged to do so with the understanding that it is in the interest of securing the long-term partnership and avoiding a cancelled contract.
When the economy is booming, letting invoices go days or even weeks past due doesn’t always seem like a big deal. But now is no time to be passive, because the funds you’re not being paid are likely going to another collector who’s making more noise.
Gently remind the client of any penalties they may face in accordance with your company policy on late payments. Having a direct, open discussion may provide you with a better understanding of why the payment was late, which could lead to a solution to avoid the issue in the future. You might find this level of transparency even strengthens your business relationship.
Keeping your business afloat during an economic crisis is challenging, but it can be done. Setting realistic goals, approaching all decisions with caution, and communicating openly and honestly with employees and partners will help get you through it.
One Day at a Time
Looking at this slow-down as a temporary bump in the road is crucial. Staying positive and focusing on life after the Coronavirus can help you keep your sanity and may even allow you to make your business more profitable.