Nothing will define 2020 (and even the years to come) than the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crumbling the healthcare system and forcing people to spend more time indoors. It is also shutting down shop, threatening livelihoods and economies.
It may seem the survival of the fittest, but in reality, there’s every chance for survival. For businesses, it’s about exploring ways to adapt. From providing small business credit card processing options to maximizing relief programs, here’s how American companies can thrive:
1. Offer Cashless Payments
These days, cashless payments, such as credit cards or even QR codes, are the safest options. More studies show that the virus can stay on surfaces for some time, although it degrades quickly without a human host. It means an infected person can unknowingly pass it to somebody else through objects, such as paper bills and coins.
Health experts also believe that physical and social distancing will have to continue even after the United States has “flattened the curve.” More people will stay indoors, and several shops may have to remain closed or offer limited services. All these may increase the demand for online shopping, deliveries, and grocery.
2. Learn to Pivot
Pivoting means redirecting a part of the operations or marketing efforts to industry-related services that the business can offer.
Take, for example, restaurants and cafes. These types of companies can offer take-out or drive-through, in case they don’t have them yet. During lockdowns, they may shift their services to fresh produce delivery. They may also work with states to offer mobile markets.
Some of the best teaches on pivoting are Italian fashion brands. Louis Vuitton started making hand sanitizers, while Gucci and Armani are designing and producing personal protective equipment (PPE).
This pandemic may be hurting many established industries, but it may also present new opportunities in doing business.
3. Adjust the Spending
The reality is that this pandemic will mean lost jobs and revenues. With not much money coming in, businesses will need to spend significantly less. Industry experts suggest reducing expenses by up to 40%. Here are some ideas on how to do that:
- Request for a concession from the landlord. They may be more open to reducing the lease rate than losing a tenant now.
- Work with the bank in either refinancing the loan to get a lower interest rate or restructuring it. This way, the business will have an option to extend the repayments.
- Encourage everyone to take a pay cut until the market stabilizes.
- Allow employees to work from home. This setup may decrease the need to rent a big space.
- Maximize debt relief programs provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and state schemes.
4. Bring the Business Online
Despite the uncertainty, now is one of the excellent times to spend more on digital marketing. In countries such as Italy, Internet use jumped by 40%. Schools are now offering virtual classes, and artists are streaming live concerts. An average person spends at least 24 hours weekly pre-pandemic. Today, it may be significantly higher.
Digital marketing ideas for businesses can include:
- Creating a website that offers small business credit card processing
- Ramping up social media marketing
- Producing video content
- Spending on paid ads
- Launching or improving email marketing
- Performing market analytics
Times will be tough, no doubt, but this pandemic will eventually end. What’s essential is that businesses can deal with it until the finish line.