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Coronavirus Business Impact: A Guide To Overcome The Crisis

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Business Impact

Last updated on July 14th, 2020

The adverse impact of COVID-19 on businesses of all scales is very much evident now. Enterprises are revisiting their strategies as they fear that recession may set in soon. This is the time when businesses, especially the small and local ones, assess the situation carefully. The fate of their businesses will depend on how quickly they adapt to new circumstances.

Many political leaders and business owners have expressed their concerns about saving businesses in the present crisis. They fear that the chances of a near-term recovery of the world economy are diminishing. The talk of the recession has already begun amongst the experts. Considering this, even a leading venture capital firm Sequoia has advised businesses to make fast and decisive adjustments as per the circumstances. Even the world’s leading marketplace, Designhill has started a not-for-profit platform known as SOSlocalbusiness.com to support small businesses to overcome this unprecedented challenge. They have provided much needed free resources such as free logos, informative fight corona hub resources, etc. to help local businesses to come out of this fear shell.

According to the latest surveys of businesses in the U.S, the demand and supply situation has worsened a lot. Nearly 71% of the surveyed businesses have reported a decrease in sales. 75% of entrepreneurs face problems with supply chains. The supplies of products have decreased from trusted suppliers. Also, 84% of the companies are combating staff shortages due to illness. These are terrifying stats for business owners.

Given these circumstances, businesses have started taking the utmost precautions. They are revisiting their conventional marketing strategies to make the required changes as per the new norms.

Here Are The Key Things Your Business Should Consider During The COVID-19 Crisis

01. Talk To Your Suppliers

Since most of the manufacturing takes place in China, supplies from the coronavirus ridden country may not resume fully soon. New cargo ships with supplies from China will take many months to arrive at different ports. This implies that you should place your supply orders much ahead of time.

Talk To Your Suppliers

Therefore, talk directly to your suppliers to give them an idea of your future requirements. Have a forthright discussion with them regarding the situation and tell them about your requirements.

Here Is What You Need To Ensure:

For quick supplies, prefer securing air transportation over ocean transportation so that you get the products instantly whenever the normalcy returns.

Buy inventory and raw material much ahead of time.

Transport your inventory to the areas which are free of quarantine restrictions. Place the inventory near ports so that you can access the goods quickly for shipping.

Update your customers about the possible delays in supplies of goods.

02. Think Of Your Customers

Because of a weaker supply position, you may not be able to meet your customers’ demands right now. Therefore, talk to your customers about the supply position and assure them of the availability of the products when the normalcy returns.

Think Of Your Customers

Think of offering discounts to customers if you have enough quantities of supplies. But make sure that discounts do not create a problem of cash flow for your business. Cashflow matters a lot to small businesses, particularly to startups. Give discounts to retain the customers and manage the situation for the time being.

SOSLocalBusiness.com: A Not-For-Profit Initiative By Designhill

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit businesses hard, no matter the scale. Designhill has started a not-for-profit initiative to financially support small businesses that are facing the calamitous consequences of COVID-19. Through this platform, businesses can request their regular/loyal customers as well as local communities to support them in many ways. Click to know more.
Register Your Business

03. Take Steps To Save Your Organization

Now that you have assessed your supply and demand position, find out the right solution to help your business survive. For instance, consider temporarily closing your office to lessen the risk of spreading the virus.

Take Steps To Save Your Organization

You can also let your employees work from home. Or, ask them to stay home. But make sure that you pay them adequately before sending them home. Think hard about the steps you can take to save your company in this difficult time.

04. Analyze Scenarios

Find out what are the best and worst-case scenarios for your business. Make a true assessment of the situation. Involve your top officials to do serious scenario planning. In this way, you can test your preparedness also to deal with the crisis.

Analyze Scenarios

Discuss each case scenario in detail and come out with different plans about how to deal with them. Know what factors can have a major adverse impact on your small business in the short and long term.

For instance, many retailers, including supermarkets, have started lowering the stock of a variety of products. Instead, they are now stocking milk, bread, jams, vegetables, and other staples.

05. Explore Different Financial Resources

Governments and private organizations have devised new financial plans to help small businesses combat the crisis. You should take a good look at these plans and see which one suits best to meet your fund requirements.

Explore Different Financial Resources

At this point, many businesses are struggling due to a lack of sufficient cash. But they need to pay salaries, rent, and many overhead expenses. They cannot meet the expenses on their own due to their limited resources. Therefore, think of taking out a loan.

Consider Exploring These Helpful Loan Plans:

Apply For The SBA Loans

Small business Administration, the federal government-backed organization, has come out with special loan programs for small businesses affected by the virus outbreak. It can provide you much-needed financial relief to tackle the crisis.

Here Are The New Loan Programs From The SBA For Small Entrepreneurs, Especially To Combat The Situation

SBA Disaster Assistance Loans

You can get up to $2 million at a very low-interest rate under this loan plan.

Paycheque Protection Program Loan

This is an SBA-backed loan to help you pay salaries to your employees, and you can pay rent as well.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

This loan program is designed to provide you a quick help until you get a big loan. You can apply for a loan up to $25000 without involving too much paperwork.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

Under this program, small businesses can avail of a $2 million loan in three days only.

Get Federal Loans

The federal government has created a $350 billion loan for businesses, particularly for the crisis. Under this program, companies with less than 500 employees can get a loan of up to $10 million. In addition to that, they can also get employee retention tax credit and 50% refundable tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee.

Go To The Banks, Credit Companies, And Social Platforms

Besides the federal loans and SBA loans, you can also explore loans from banks, credit companies, and some social media channels.

Here Is The Precise List

Bank of America

Export-Import Bank of America

Capital One, Citi, and Wells

JP Morgan Chase

Facebook

Amazon

Google AdCredit

Yelp

Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation

GoFundMe

KIVA loans

06. Chalk Out Plans To Retain Customers

For many companies, a big concern is that foot traffic has drastically dropped as people are staying home.

Business Plans To Retain Customers

Still, there are some practical tips you should follow to retain customers.

Communicate With Your Customers

The first and foremost thing to ensure is that you communicate with your customers all the time. Use all the social media channels to inform them about the latest developments regarding your business. Tell them when your shop closes doors or what are your new working hours. Inform them about the steps you are going to take to keep the store environment healthy. Send emails to notify about the steps you are taking to mitigate risks.

Also, tell how they can connect with your business so that they can buy things from home. Reach out to them on social media to direct customers on how to access your store and take orders.

Start Gift Card Programs

Customers love to have gift cards. If you start giving gift cards, it will also help your business with a good amount of cash flow right until the crisis ends. When the crisis finally ends, customers will return to the stores, restaurants, and other businesses to buy. During that time, you will immensely benefit from the surge in sales due to these gift cards.

To minimize human contact, offer an e-gift card to customers. You can also work with third-party delivery partners such as Uber Eats so that they accept your customers’ gift cards.

Make Yourself Available Virtually

Now that your customers are sitting at home, you should contact them through digital means. One of the most effective ways is to video chat through free tools like Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts.

Conduct An Online Event

Another effective way to connect with your customers is to organize an event online. Remember that at this time, most customers are looking for ways to entertain themselves at home. You can engage them with your business even when they are physically not in your store.

So, start a Facebook Live or Instagram Live show for your business as it will help you join with customers in real-time. Conduct a live program whenever you celebrate something related to your business. To make the live-streaming program enticing for your target customers, offer special discounts, for instance, to the first 100 people who join the live event.

Give Discounts

Discounts are very attractive to customers. If your business model permits, then use this strategy to drive customers in hard times. For instance, if you run a retail store, consider offering enticing discounts on the shipping of online orders.

07. Train Your Staff On Additional Skills

Your employees depend on you for their livelihood. So, instead of firing them from the jobs, equip them with additional skills. In this way, they will be more useful for your business in the present crisis. You can make them useful by giving them the required training in a specific field. Plenty of online courses are available to train your staff on new skills.

Train Your Staff

After the training, your employees can do multitasking. They will help you out in other fields of your business. For example, your sales team can be trained to help your marketing team. Keeping that in mind, you can ask your staff to join from home an e-course on digital marketing to learn how to create the marketing strategies. Your company should look for many other digital courses that meet your requirements to train your staff.

08. Meet New Demands

Businesses are generally built around their specific assets, such as technology, capital, people, and property. For instance, if you run a consultancy business, then people are your asset. You do business by fulfilling their demands.

However, the customers’ demand has shifted radically from conventional products to the essential things to cope with the coronavirus crisis. They are now more concerned with how to stock more essential products home.

Meet Business New Demands

Even larger businesses are making changes in their marketing strategies considering this buying trend. They are putting in place an effective infrastructure and technology to help their customers make remote buying easier.

Find out how your company can adapt to the new demand situations in the new circumstances. For example, if you conduct innovation workshops, think of organizing remote working webinars as your clients have switched to online services.

Looking For Pro-Tips To Protect Your Business During The Coronavirus Outbreak?

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to batter businesses, business experts at Designhill have shared several tips to keep your business healthy as a horse. Here’s the best advice on how to protect your business and stay well-prepared for a coronavirus outbreak.
Get Survival Tips For Businesses

09. Recreate Your Business Model

COVID-19 is a crisis, but this is also the time to rethink your business model. You should have an objective assessment of your business model. You should find out which are your company’s products that do not need the allocation of resources at this time. If such products, sales targets, marketing plans, etc. are not working, then stop spending your valuable money and time on them.

Recreate Your Business Model

When you evaluate your business and its resources, it also allows you to experiment with some new business models. So, find out what you can do to give your business a new dimension at this point to keep it relevant for customers.

10. Make Your Business More Attractive To Investors

Yours may be a startup looking for potential investors, either angels or venture capitalists. Their investment in your startup matters a lot for your new business during the crisis. They have the money to invest, but considering the current coronavirus crisis, they may be hesitant to invest. Therefore, you should make your terms & conditions more attractive for investors as you need funds.

Make Your Business More Attractive

For instance, you can offer a convertible note with a greater discount, or give them a lower valuation. But make sure that your new terms to invite the investment are not harmful to your startup in the long-term.

11. Restrict Your Marketing Spend

During this crisis time, your businesses may still be spending more marketing dollars. But reduce your investment in non-essential and underperforming ads. This is because people have stopped visiting markets, and the demand for products has plummeted.

Restrict Your Marketing Spend

However, it is not wise to cut marketing costs drastically. You will still need to advertise products or services for your online customers. But find out the advertisers who are willing to sell their ad spaces at lower rates.

12. Brainstorm Survival Plans

Your team may be working from home but still, bring its members together online to brainstorm strategies to get new ideas for survival. Let each member work alone over own ideas. Encourage them to write down their strategies.

Brainstorm Business Survival Plans

After you get those new ideas, share them with the team. You can even ask them to vote on the best ideas. Once you have shortlisted the best ideas, quickly test them in your market.

13. Check Your Licensing Requirements

You may require to take permission from your local government to run your business from home. Check out if you need to apply for a license to carry out some business operations in the changed circumstances.

Check Your Licensing Requirements

Most businesses do not need such permission and licensing but many do need it. You should visit the Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Regulations 2015, to comply with the terms & conditions to work from home.

So, follow these basic but crucial guidelines. Your small business needs timely corrections in your conventional marketing strategies. You must come out with unique plans to help grow your businesses during the crisis.

Wrapping Up

The coronavirus outbreak has grounded most businesses to a halt. Companies have closed their physical stores and have now switched to online selling of products. This has compelled them to make changes in their marketing strategies. You should talk to your suppliers, engage your customers, brainstorm ideas to save your company, recreate your business model, create plans to retain customers, think of redesigning your business model, and make your business attractive to investors.

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Designhill is the most reliable and fastest-growing custom graphic design crowdsourcing marketplace that connects a thriving community of graphic designers from across the globe with clients looking to source high quality graphic designs such as logo designs, banner designs, packaging designs, merchandise designs, web designs and many other designing works at affordable prices. In just six months of going live, the startup has helped more than 1500 businesses source unique graphic designs and has paid out more than $70000 to its ever-growing community of 29,000+ graphic designers, logo designers, visual artists and illustrators from all over the world. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

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