With everything that’s going on in the world, having to think about you and your family’s safety is terrible enough, but to then have to worry about how your business will survive COVID-19 adds to the stress. Just know, I am writing to you as a fellow entrepreneur and business owner that has clients, team members, and a future to protect as well.
During times of crisis or significant change, no matter what happens, it changes things. Change is out of your hands. It’s how you react to the change that matters. Do you want your business to just “survive” COVID-19, or do you want your business to “thrive?”
Now is the best chance you’ll have to take a step back, take a full deep dive into your business, and audit everything. Audits are usually scary, but look at the world we live in today, everything is a bit scary right now.
Today, we’re going to go over advice on how to manage the impact that Coronavirus, COVID-19, has on your business and how to come out ahead.
Top 10 Tips For Your Business to Survive Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Keep Your Team and Your Clients Safe
No matter what, your priority should be keeping your team and clients safe. I understand that most businesses need to stay open to keep food on the table for their families. Your team and clients are what has gotten you to this point and trust you to do the right thing. Here is a full list from the CDC for Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Cut Your Costs
Before you go slashing every cost in your business, take a deep breath, and read this through before making any type of action. I’ll be the first one to admit that when business is going well, we tend to let costs slide or continue to spend money that we wouldn’t have spent the first week we launched our business. Now is the time to make your business as lean as can be.
Below is a list of items that we recommend cutting or working with:
- Software that you don’t need at the moment
- Programs that your company sometimes use and sometimes don’t
- Advertising costs (Unless you have a business that is still positive ROI on your ad spend during this time, I would shift your marketing strategy and build your organic channels up, like SEO and content creation)
- Rent – Contact your landlord and let them know what type of position you’re experiencing. Ask for an extension or some kind of help to get you past this difficult time. Do you have an online business? Is it time to go remote for 60-90 days and skip the office space?
- Office expenses – You can momentarily pause or cancel phone, internet, wifi, water, food delivery, etc.
- Accounting – Are you able to contact your bookkeeper and have them pause services for 60-90 days?
- Hired contractors that are on retainer (not in-house team) – Are you able to lower your monthly retainer or renegotiate during this time?
These are just some of the examples that you can do to eliminate costs to your business immediately. I wouldn’t recommend cutting costs so low that it changes your flow of current business, though, as we don’t know how long COVID-19 will last. If it only lasts 30 days, you’re going to wish you didn’t cut certain costs. If it lasts longer than 90 days, then you might want to pivot your company a bit more.
A great way to track your company costs for FREE is by using MINT.
Go 100% Remote For The Time Being
Allowing employees to work from home is the best possible way to keep your business, your clients, and the entire community safe. We’re all in this together, and it’s our job to stay home to get in front of COVID-19. Avintiv went 100% remote starting March 13th, 2020. Here are the results:
- Our team has daily standup meetings in Slack and we’ve been even closer to each other during this time.
- Our team can be comfortable at home while working even more hours due to boredom or not being able to go outside (If you have a great culture, you won’t have to worry about your team being lazy at home and not working).
- We have daily Zoom meetings, which has been a total lifesaver. Our team and clients are enjoying how much facetime they get with us now since it’s not back to back meetings.
- Our team has become more healthy from eating at home, drinking more water, and taking care of their bodies more.
- Grateful – our entire team has become super grateful during this whole COVID-19 experience as you never know how truly good you have something until it’s gone.
- Work productivity has increased due to our team, not leaving for appointments, the gym, traveling, etc. – Everything they need is in their home, so they are much more focused.
- We were able to cut office expenses that we paid monthly for since we won’t be using them for another 30 to 60 days.
Buy Your Raw Materials or Goods in the United States
I know this won’t apply to everyone. Still, if you’re a company that gets its manufacturing or white-label products or goods in China or outside of the United States, we recommend searching for local manufacturers that will be able to work with you. Costs are usually much higher in the United States than in China but do you should be able to negotiate with them now in this time of need. You might find a wholesaler in the United States that has a lot of inventory of that same item you were getting overseas.
If you’re in manufacturing, clothing, eCommerce, skincare, or anything in-between, look for a company that can supply you locally for the time being.
Read These Books ASAP
Some of you have already read these books, but they are incredibly vital for the future success of your company. Since you have extra time on your hands, it’s best to strategize for the future of your company versus just worrying in the present. I would read these in order from top to bottom.
- E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber
- Built to Sell by John Warrillow
- Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman
- Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters
Make Sure Your Business Can Be Found Online
Right now, online website traffic moves up and down from week to week. We’ve heard of record-high numbers and then record low numbers. Just think, the majority of the world is at home for the next 30 to 60 days. What are they going to be doing? They’re going to be searching online for things. The majority of the population is already going crazy stuck at home. That means that once the world can go back outside and resume life, they are going to be shopping, eating at restaurants, drinking at bars, traveling, and going about life as it did before COVID-19.
If your business isn’t ranking in the 3-Pack Google Map or on the first page of Google, you’re losing TONS of business to your competitors that are. If you’re a business owner who has faith in their business and wants to double down while others pause, you should be using search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. These SEO strategies will allow you to pop up first on Google when consumers are out and about again. Correct white-hat SEO strategies take 30-90 days to implement anyway, so you have nothing but time right now. Below are some examples of how well just a few of our SEO clients are doing against their competition in competitive industries.
Although times are scary for everyone right now, especially entrepreneurs, there is still a way to capitalize on this instead of just taking a huge loss. By getting your business to rank first on Google and in search results, you are providing value to customers who have just gone through what you went through. Then it’s up to you to give that customer a phenomenal experience when they find your business through Google.
Contact us if you’d like a FREE SEO audit or consultation on how to get your business to rank on Google.
Just remember, with the whole world at home, and much more time on their hands, they are paying very close attention to everything right now. How you handle your business in times of crisis says a lot about your business and you as an owner. With that said, make sure you have a calm manner if you are posting on social media or in person. Don’t freak out. I repeat, don’t freak out. Right now, people want to find motivation, comfort and know that everything is going to be okay. Be the light that shines through this dark time.
When it comes to politics and emergencies like this, it is best not to take sides or post any type of fearful content on social media either. It’s best to create content that is positive, funny, and caring. Even if your business has lost customers or can’t be open right now, be the light on social media for your customers and your followers.
Now is not the time to show everyone your political beliefs or how you could run the country so much better. BE POSITIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Once COVID-19 is behind us, you must remain calm. If customers shop at your business and you’re running around like crazy to make up for lost revenue, then they won’t be coming back anytime soon. Just remember, customers want to support businesses during tough times, and if you give them a phenomenal experience, they will tell so many friends about it.
Pivot Your Business to Online Sales
We have been coaching business owners for the last three years to take their business online due to how much quicker an online business can scale. Do you have a business that can be transitioned online?
If you’re a personal trainer or gym, you should be developing at-home workouts and getting them to your customer base as quickly as possible. Utilize technology like Trainerize.
If you’re a local restaurant/bar, take your ordering online immediately by adding functionality on your website for both takeout and ordering online. I would also recommend adding free delivery with no personal interaction with someone.
If you don’t have a website, now is the time to invest in one and get your customers shopping online.
Now is the time to totally think outside the box and ask yourself how you can provide tons of value to people that are stuck at home right now. Maybe you’re a local restaurant and bar, and you want to start a private Facebook Group where the community can still engage with each other.
No matter your type of business model, most of you will be able to pivot and do something online to keep your current customer base.
If you need help with this, contact us and we can assist you in pivoting.
Hire a Business Coach or Consultant
If you’ve done everything in your power to get to where you currently are and you’ve tried everything, then reach out to a business coach or consultant. Hiring a business coach or consultant can help you take your business to the next level by paying to save the time of trial and error. Make sure when you hire someone, that they have experience building companies and that they have strategies on how to get you through a crisis such as COVID -19. I’ve personally been a consultant to over 250 businesses over the last ten years, and I can assure you that most of you are not at your full breaking point, you just need help getting over this little hump.
If you’d like a free consultation call, feel free to contact us. Right now, our goal at Avintiv is to help as many businesses get through this troubling time as possible because it’s scary and not comfortable. We’ve been in situations of fear for over a decade and are used to fighting for our client’s lives (clients with competitive industries).
If Worst Come to Worsts, Take Out an SBA Loan
I would usually never recommend a business going into debt unless it was a strategy to leverage debt to grow quicker. In this case, some companies will most definitely need to take out some form of a small business loan to get through these troubling times. Lower your ego and know that it’s okay if you need to take out a loan. There is no time for you to feel sorry for yourself because you have a business to run and grow.
Below are some options for the best options for small business loans during Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- Nerd Wallet – Compare Top Loan Options
- Business.org – Compare Top Loan Options
What we’re going through right now with COVID-19 is scary. There’s no lie in saying that. When you created your LLC or corporation, you made a silent promise to yourself that you would do everything in your power to protect your business at all costs. Nothing has changed. Maybe COVID-19 is a huge wake-up call to a lot of companies out there that haven’t changed much up over the years. All I know is that everything in life happens for a reason and it’s not about what happens to us, it’s about we reacted to the situation and handled it. I don’t know about you, but I took a much deeper dive into my business and noticed there is still much work to be done to hit my full vision. If you need any help or even a little advice, feel free to contact us, and we’ll set up a time to chat with you. Keep your head up and stay positive!