Last updated on September 22nd, 2020
It’s no secret that starting your own business requires high levels of dedication, adaptability, and perseverance. As the world faces economic uncertainty, small business owners are faced with more challenges than ever before, on top of upholding their regular obligations to their customers, employees, and business offerings. In this post, we will be sharing 10 assured and must-follow tips that can help entrepreneurs to secure their small businesses irrespective of any circumstances.
If you are a few years into your journey as a business owner, likely, you have already experienced some turmoil or challenging moments. On the other hand, if a global pandemic is the first trivial problem you’ve come to face as a business owner, it’s clear you have built a stable foundation and now must adapt to this new environment.
Although times might feel tough now, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your business in the months ahead while setting yourself up for a promising future. Have a look.
Here Are The Must-Follow Tips To Secure Your Small Business
01. Prioritize Health and Safety
During these unprecedented times, health and safety should be at the top of your priority list as a business owner. This means making changes to your business structure to support employee needs, allowing them to work in the safest way possible without compromising their health or mental well-being. This practice also applies to you as a business owner.
If you risk your health or safety, you are essentially risking the future of your business. Although it may be difficult, it’s important to reschedule or adjust meetings, travel plans, and projects that have the potential to cause any type of threat to overall health and safety.
Try to find a way to have these meetings in a remote setting so you can still uphold your business obligations without compromising your health. Additionally, your employees’ well-being should remain a priority—when they are happy and healthy, you have a greater chance of running a healthy and successful business operation.
02. Communicate with Employees
Another area in which your employees should be considered relates to communicating with them about the financial future of your business. If your business is at all threatened, your employees need to be aware of the options moving forward.
It’s common for employees to feel as though internal communication is lacking, therefore increasing turnover, unmotivated employees, or job dissatisfaction. It’s important to be transparent with those that are dedicated to the success of your business as they are the ones producing daily for you.
With that being said, as a business owner, you must learn how to communicate openly without creating fear or anxiety about what the future holds for your employees as that will only further your problems. Instead, schedule regular meetings and check-ins, aiming to provide weekly company updates to avoid any major surprises.
03. Invest in Adaptable Technology
Over the last few months, it has become very apparent the vital role technology plays into daily work, productivity, and convenience. Without it, many businesses that are still in operation would have immediately suffered once faced with the current global health crisis. Technology has allowed individuals to work safely and keep operations running smoothly—all without having to be in the office.
If you do not already have an internal company chat system and video conferencing, now is the time to implement this type of business communication. Tools like personal laptops allow for convenience, compared to desktop office computers or monitors that cannot leave the building.
Should operations move back into an office setting, these tools will still be beneficial and allow more flexibility for employees in the future therefore, adapting now will certainly not be a waste.
04. Stay Current on the Changing Landscape
As a business owner, you understand that it’s necessary to stay on top of current events, trends, and news that might impact your business. During extreme changes in the economy, it’s more critical than ever to keep yourself informed with the latest research and news to extend relevant context to your employees.
Acting as a reliable source of information will also help instill trust and respect within your organization. Ensuring that you are getting your information from a trustworthy source is also key.
05. Safeguard Your Company
You really can’t over-prepare when it comes to your future or plans as a small business owner. There are many reasons why you might consider protecting your business’ financial future, the current landscape being one major reason.
At this time, you might be allocating finances towards rent, employee programs, loans, and other business investments. Should you pass away unexpectedly, a business partner, a friend, or family member will be left with this financial responsibility while also dealing with the emotional impacts of this situation.
To protect your business, investors, employees, and family, you must maintain coverage through a life insurance policy, allowing your finances and assets to be placed into the correct hands in an unexpected circumstance.
If you have dreams of your business living out your legacy and continuing after you are gone, it’s even more important to make sure the right people are set to take over the company with a plan in place.
06. Evaluate Business Finances
If you have felt disorganized when it comes to your business finances, now is the time to resolve this problem. Oftentimes, facing a crisis or change in routine forces you to evaluate your processes and determine if what you were doing in the past is effectively supporting your business structure today.
Procedures such as automatic billing, reviewing expenditures, accurate bookkeeping, and maintaining ROI, are just some of the areas that should be closely monitored.
If you don’t feel that you or someone at your company has the bandwidth to manage your small business’s finances, it might be time to outsource this or review software options that can help you improve accuracy.
Financial health is one of the most important components of any business structure. Without a strong financial backing, you will likely face major challenges along the way when it comes to paying bills, vendors, employees, and yourself—all of which can be detrimental to your future if not handled properly.
Taking your finances seriously can change the game for the way your business can overcome adversity and setbacks. If you feel as though you are getting by and your finances are not threatened, it’s still worthwhile to set up a meeting with a business financial advisor. They can help you review your portfolio, company health, investments, and make suggestions to keep you moving in the right direction.
07. Remain Curious and Creative
As discussed, it’s very clear that being an adaptable entrepreneur and business owner is vital to managing a successful business. If you are stagnant and slow to pivot, you will not be able to keep up with the ever-changing marketplace, respond to the crisis, or support growth.
Being a quick adapter as an entrepreneur will allow you to stand out amongst your competitors and pave the way for others to follow. Remember how and why you began your business in the first place, it likely came from one small idea that was built into a small-scale operation with careful planning and precision.
During times of difficulty, make sure you allow yourself time to be curious and think creatively, releasing your mind of stress and fear. Switch up your daily habits or routine to keep your brain engaged positively.
Brainstorm ways that this new situation can provide a new opportunity for your business, rather than focus on your inability to sell or produce the same way.
08. Promote Your Brand
It’s important that as a business owner you regularly revisit your overall strategy and determine if your brand is being effectively communicated to your audience and customers.
A brand should embody your business as a whole and represent a message. More often than not, new businesses fail when they don’t have a clear brand vision. If you feel as though your brand identity isn’t strong enough, now is the time to dig deeper into your products, solutions, and company initiatives.
Determine the most important part of your business and consider ways you can display this in the work you do and the service you provide to customers on a day-to-day basis.
On the other hand, if you have a present brand image and feel confident about what you have built as well as the way others perceive you—there is still room to grow. This can be beneficial for you to expand the reach you already have and reinforce what you stand for.
During times of global change especially, you will want to do everything you can to protect your brand and ensure you’re the top performer or working towards this spot with a unique, yet sustainable vision in mind.
09. Find Ways to Interact with Customers
If the global pandemic has physically separated you from your dedicated customers, you’re not the only one at a loss. Your customers are no longer able to fully embrace the services you offer at the same level, however, there are ways that you can make these supportive customers feel appreciated.
Find new ways to interact with your audience and customers, whether it’s through online video sessions, learning opportunities, new product samples, or social media engagement. Dwelling on what you cannot do during this time is simply a waste of your energy. Instead, focus your efforts on what you can control, such as satisfying your customers—even if that’s through the mail or a computer screen.
You’d be surprised to see how a little extra time and effort on your end will be received by your customers. Remaining positive and holding yourself to a high standard amidst trivial times will be noticed by those who follow you and support your business.
10. Be Open and Ask for Help
One life lesson everyone can take away from this period of uncertainty is that no one is capable of doing it alone. There will be ups and downs that you face as an entrepreneur, which you understand—it’s what you signed up for.
With that said, there is no shame in bringing in an extra set of hands or asking for help when times get tough. It’s truly no hit to your skillset or managerial skills, rather an opportunity to expand upon what you have built in a way you might not have thought of.
A fresh set of eyes might even help you see that you have already done all the heavy lifting and it’s simply a matter of persevering through a challenging time that will strengthen your desire to reach your goals as a business owner.
It’s not the End
Facing unpredictability and adversity will always be a part of life and business, but what is more important, is the way you respond to these times. As the entire world is facing a health crisis together, each person, family, and business is impacted differently.
As a business owner, you have taken on the responsibility of providing for your customers who might be relying on your services during this difficult time. Although it might feel discouraging now, remember that if you fight through these challenging moments and find opportunities in new areas, you will discover a stronger and more resilient future for yourself and your business.