10 Tips For SMEs To Stay Afloat During Pandemic
An assortment of advice for business owners from experts.
COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the business of SMEs and their economies. Small businesses are facing problems in paying rent, providing loan payment and salaries to the employees, and many more. Amid all this, it is challenging for them to sustain in the market and grow further.
Moreover, the increasing number of positive cases and extending lockdown is affecting their cash flow badly. Many companies have dismissed their employees, and many are failing to survive due to the lack of strategies. Government and financial institutions are taking initiatives for SMEs to sustain amid pandemic.
Many small businesses need financial help from the government to stay functioning in normal days. Many SMEs are flexible to adopt an online business platform during the lockdown. This global health crisis has threatened the socio-economic stability of many countries. The following are tips to help small-medium businesses sustain and succeed during this situation.
1. Accept Help from Government and Financial Institutions
Because of the pandemic, small businesses are not operational and facing great loss. Reduced demands and lack of cash flow made SMEs vulnerable. It is necessary to provide financial aid to them during the COVID-19 crisis.
Government and financial institutions should take actions to support small businesses. Traditional lending is not a workable option for them since many SMEs don’t have collateral. They need funds to stabilize during a crisis. The government can help in releasing due payments as early as possible.
SMEs should have their financial requirements according to the government’s new guidelines to fight against the pandemic. This might help them to survive during this critical period.
2. List the Available Options
SMEs have to check available options to run their business. They need to reconstruct their management, marketing plans, or financial structure. They need to set-up their online and mobile channels. This should be for customers and employees to follow social distancing. Short term plans to long-term plans; they have to set up many things beforehand.
It is also important to prepare their firm to participate in government schemes & offers to get finance during this period. They need to set up a risk team to come up with rescue plans for their business.
3. Be Responsive and Resilient
SMEs need to take their responsibility to understand their customers’ needs. While surviving in this critical situation, supporting customers is also important. Even they are facing so many problems. So, be responsive and serve customers according to their needs.
The major part would be financial management. The business needs to calculate the size of funds needed to survive this pandemic. Calculate their dues, pending invoices, up-to-date accounts, etc.
This needs a plan or a strategy; you can seek help from industry experts or financial consultants. The plan should include a little long-term strategy, so it doesn’t get affected by the crisis again.
4. Cut Down Salaries & Allow Remote Working
Because of the low cash flow and pending dues, small businesses cannot pay their rents and salaries to their employees. If a firm is approaching financial aid, they have to cut down the salaries of its employees at a significant level. The employees should be informed about the status of the company. Maintain transparency and acknowledge them about alternative plans.
Work from home is the best option during coronavirus pandemic. It helps cut down extra expenses like maintaining offices, electricity bills, electronic gadgets, and many more. Provide employees flexibility while working from home. Arrange video conferencing to engage employees and guide them for alternative plans. Encourage them to work enthusiastically for maintaining productivity.
5. New Business Plans
Small businesses need an alternative plan & strategy to run in the economic & health crisis. They need an adoptive plan for this situation.
They need to divert their products or services to the additional demanding items. Search for the products & services in demand in this period. Plan to shift to a fresh line. Take permissions to run additional things like delivering essential goods, altering face masks, etc. Mostly shift to online services; it has more demand during the lockdown. Reach people as much as possible and provide them what they needed.
Conduct a survey before shifting to a fresh line, map available accessories & requirements. Communication with employees is also essential while working in this critical situation. Include your employees in the discussion over alternative plans. This step will help your business temporarily or permanently. You need to be flexible and more resilient than before.
6. Enhance Productivity
Working from home is quite challenging because there are many obstacles or distractions at home. Lack of communication and physical inexistence in the office leads to low productivity. Despite all these distractions, it is possible to enhance productivity.
Offer flexible working hours to the employees, so they can work in flexible hours for them and increase productivity. They will choose a productive time in a day for them to work. Timely arrange online meetings to maintain communication with coworkers and targeted customers. Prioritize their work so that they will provide the most needed work in the early hours of the day. Do not instruct for lunchtime, breaks, or other necessary things. Arrange weekly up-skilling sessions to provide them a break from regular working.
7. Review Previous Recessions
Although every recession is distinct from each other, we can take lessons to survive. Small businesses have limited assets and capital. They cannot survive for long during a crisis. They need to collaborate with others or seek financial help from the government or financial institutions. They can take an example from previous recessions. Like in the 2008 recession, many SMEs have survived. Their plans and strategies can help now. It will help set up alternative plans. Effective use of technology can help businesses to work with an alternative system. The automated mechanism can work better in this social distancing era.
8. Get Insurance Done
Many businesses believe that getting insurance done is an unnecessary expense. However, insurance plays an important role in the crisis. It provides security in an unexpected crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic.
You need coverage for your business. You need to be specific to choose insurance type according to your business type. Before taking insurance, understand the legal limits and liabilities to counter the probable risks. Choose the right partner for insurance, who can guide you with proper information and benefits. Avoid those who only aim to grab higher premiums.
COVID-19 pandemic is a lesson for all the owners of SME’s about the importance of insurance. It helps in sustaining during the crisis.
9. Shift to Online Platforms
Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the running of small and medium enterprises badly. Small businesses are planning new strategies to stay afloat during this crisis.
One of the best and trending strategies for any business is switching to an online platform. It also helps maintain social distancing, so people or customers can do shopping without any risk. Considering the health of the employees, work from home is provided to them. Virtual platforms are playing a vital role in this whole scenario.
As we know, customers cannot visit physical markets to buy goods or services. It is our responsibility to reach them and fulfill their needs. You can guide your customers through video streaming. Make your website mobile-friendly, so that people can use it easily at any time, anywhere. Retool your business and provide accessible service to your valuable customers.
10. Seek Established Online Platforms
Online existence has become mandatory during this pandemic period. People are advised to maintain social distancing, so the online marketplace is in outrageous demand. SMEs are vulnerable in this crisis. If your business is not online yet, you can seek help from well-established marketplaces.
This can save your time and efforts. It will provide you a ready-made platform. The marketplace already has customers who can reach you for your products and services. First, research the marketplace that seems suitable for your business. Study their results and strategies and then step into it. This will benefit your business in many aspects.
COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone economically around the world. ‘Stay home’ became mandatory. The government forced businesses to shut physically to ensure public safety. This has resulted in the devastating status of SMEs.
SMEs are small and have low capitals, so they cannot sustain for long during a crisis. It is difficult to stay afloat during a crisis, but not impossible. You can opt for novel ideas and plans to sustain. Seek experts’ help and collaborate with an established platform to come out from a turbulent situation. Take financial help to keep running your operations. There are solutions to every problem; you just need to search for it. Keep searching.
Chris is a professional writer and dedicates his time reading as much as he can. He is currently associated with online <a href="https://www.assignmentdesk.co.uk/dissertation">dissertation writing service</a>. He loves to spend time on his bike while emptying his mind and searching his soul. He likes to get inspired and contributes regularly to essay writing.View Chris Evans`s profile for more