2020 has no doubt been the most challenging year for many of us, especially for business owners. With few exceptions, most industries have been greatly affected by the Covid-19 crisis, with many facing temporary or permanent closures as a result. The lucky ones have been forced to adapt to a new way of operating, due to our isolated living arrangements, Government regulations and the general health and wellbeing of the public.
Depending on your business location, Australian regulations differ somewhat state to state. Better yet, to keep up with the current situation, they are ever-changing. For those trying to brainstorm ways to keep their business afloat and potentially even thriving during this time, here are some ideas when adapting to large-scale changes such as the effects of the Coronavirus.
1.Get online: If your business doesn’t have an up-to-date, fully functioning website, that should be first on the agenda. Physical visits to your brick and mortar business will be minimal if any – so creating and maintaining an online presence is necessary. Implement e-commerce and allow customers to purchase products and services online, via phone and email. This may mean online coffee orders for cafes, online workout videos for purchase/hire for exercise studios, a booking system for a retailer to allow customers to book a time slot to come in and shop while implementing social distancing measures. Whatever ‘online’ means to your business, sit down and think about this from the customer’s perspective. Make their life easier, simpler and more efficient during this time.
2. Advertise: Not only are many of us working from home, many of us are spending much more time online than ever before. This is the perfect time to boost your digital advertising, increase posting on your social media channels and engage with your online audience. In a sea of buzzing social media feeds, make sure you are posting content that is not only promoting your brand, but is also engaging to the viewer. Facebook, Instagram and Google ads are also a great way to show your desired audience your brand, promotions and products/services – if you need help with this, ask us and we’ll point you in the right direction.
3. Delivery: If you offer tangible products, offer discounted or free delivery! Unfortunately, Australia Post, as well as other postal services, have been inundated with increased shipping levels recently, so if you can deliver personally with the help of your staff – or even a local who needs some extra work, this would make you stand out in your local community.
4. Connect your team: With no office chat and lunchtime socialising taking place during isolation, find a way to connect your team and boost morale. Zoom meetings are free (under 45 minutes) and a great way to bring everyone together on a Friday afternoon to discuss the week and unwind together with a cup of tea or perhaps a glass of wine. Want to take things to the next level? Order uber eats for your staff and treat them to a little office dinner or lunch on a Friday – to show them they are valued and that you appreciate the extra work they are putting in during this unprecedented situation.
5. Build local relationships: If you can connect with other local businesses and help each other, it will be helpful with business and expand your customer network. Host competitions, put together raffle prizes with like-minded businesses and boost each other up in good spirits. People coming together during a crisis is one of the silver linings.
6. Do good in the community: Why not offer a free or discounted product or service for front line professionals, essential workers and first responders? If one thing has been clear throughout Covid-19, it has been how important these people are. By helping others and establishing yourself as a positive influence in the community, you will be adding priceless goodwill to your brand as well as gaining a loyal customer base.
7. Pricing changes: Think about offering discounts for long term subscriptions, gift vouchers for future use at a discounted rate, a buy 10 get 1 free deal… The list goes on. If times are tough financially, find a way to offer your product or service at a discount to benefit both the customer and yourself in order for you to stay afloat and be ready to return to business as usual once all this blows over!
8. Think to the future: 2021 will be a big year if this all fades into our rear-view mirror. Events will be rescheduled, people will want to plan, travel, buy, sell, and get back to their normal lives as soon as possible. What does this mean for your business? Will you have enough product? Staff? Equipment? Prepare yourself for the future and plan accordingly. It’ll be here before you know it.
9. Maintain accurate financial records: Especially during this time – this will assist you when it comes time to sell your business because an experienced business broker will be able to adjust your 2020 financials to reflect the unusual and one-off financial impact to the business, so that it does not affect the valuation in the future.
If you’d like to discuss your options and chat through your business operations. Contact Core Business Brokers today, on (02) 9413 2977, or email Roy on [email protected]. Let’s do our best to keep your business alive and well during this difficult time, so you have a business to sell when the time is right.