All of us are living in a period where there is uncertainty in terms of the business, economic, and personal aspects of our lives. COVID-19 brought so many losses and downturns in our lives. The ambiguity of what’s going to happen to use in the future has caused tremendous slowdowns, especially to business owners and their startups.
“Managing stress is important as a business owner because typically, we tend to be sole proprietors or have few employees,” discusses Amanda Pratt MSW, LCSW. “This means that if we burn out, it can ultimately slow business progress or momentum and when we aren’t well, our businesses can’t be well.”
To avoid this, here are some survival tips for startups for this global pandemic.
Face The Numbers
Believe it or not, startups and SMEs’ revenues are the most affected in times of lockdowns. Do not avoid these heartbreaks by not looking at your books. Instead, this is the most critical time to check how you can address your financial problems and come up with strategies to avoid its continuous downfall.
One technique that you can go for is to conduct cash flow planning and management daily. Record all the money that comes in and out of your business. You can even automate this. But if you don’t have the budget to pay for such a platform, a Google Sheet will do. Just list down all your receivables and payables, and you’re on the right track.
Adjust Based On Cash Flow
It’s not enough to keep tabs on your money. The best way to go about this is to check whether your expenses are expendables or indispensables. If it’s the former, then make sure to cut it out of your operations.
For instance, you can rent out a cheaper and smaller place to run your business, and you can lessen your advertising expenses. You may also set aside your expansion plans for the time being. Lastly, you may shut down some of your offices in other small cities and remain the profit-generating ones.
Listen To Your Customers
What’s driving startups now is how they adapt to changing consumer behavior. Keep in mind that there are particular consumer needs in times of unusual situations. Therefore, you must listen to what they’re saying and come up with different strategies to heed to their call.
For instance, some restaurants in the past only focus on the dine-in experience. They come up with the best techniques to lure people into a unique and exciting eating adventure. Examples of these are themed restaurants, the buffet approach, and more. However, the current situation in this pandemic forced them to change their practices.
Instead of going for the past selling strategy, more and more restaurants are now shifting to selling ready-to-cook products. This change is why people opt to stay in their homes to avoid acquiring the virus. Since they are in their homes, it’s cheaper and less hassle to cook these kinds of food.
As mentioned above, individuals are now afraid to go out of their houses. Some even fear the concept of shopping for clothes and food in malls and groceries. To solve this, you, as a business owner, can respond to this need by going digital.
Several startups have already addressed this call and have established their online shops. It may be in the form of an app, or even as simple as maximizing social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. What they did was to bring their products to their customers directly by delivering it to where they are.
At the same time, going digital also means saying goodbye to a workplace setup. With the importance of social distancing, working from home is now becoming the new norm. This set up can be even good for you! You may be able to lower your expenses when it comes to renting a physical workplace since there is a chance that you might not need this anymore. That’s also a cut to your water and electricity bills and your workers’ transportation expenses.
Moving Forward As A Businessman
Adopting is the right mindset when it comes to these trying times. You should not get stuck in your comfort zones; instead, you should go beyond your business. Yes, it’s challenging to carry ‘business as usual.’ However, always keep in mind that there is light in this dark time. And you have to look for it as a businessman.