If ever there was a time for small business to believe in Freidrich Nietzsche’s philosophy that “what does not kill us, makes us stronger” – it is now. Still in the throes of the Covid-19 pandemic, and struggling to dig out of what some have called the Great Repression, many entrepreneurs and small business owners are wondering how and, in some cases if, they will ever recover.
The silver lining? Lessons learned now can actually help prepare your business for any future crisis that comes your way. With the right mindset, a bit of perseverance, and these 3 initiatives, you will not only survive, but thrive.
3 Ways Small Business Can Get Back to Business
1. Address Current Customer Needs
It’s all about being able to pivot and adapt. Those small businesses who will continue to thrive are those that have embraced change. The key is to look at your business with a fresh perspective and determine how you can reach customers and solve their problems in unique and new ways.
For restaurants, that meant finding creative ways to offer outdoor dining, and stepping up their delivery and takeout game. Local gyms shifted to outdoor and livestream classes. Small retailers enlisted the help of website development companies to build ecommerce sites that allowed them to take orders online.
Once the worst passes and these businesses are able to return to more normal business operations, these new products and services will likely remain for the long-term. And they will continue to increase the revenue stream, broaden the customer base, and strengthen connections with customers.
2. Invest in Technology
Like the retailer who took her business online, or the yoga studio that went virtual, offices, too need to embrace technology in order to stay afloat. That may mean creating a “touch-free” experience for both customers and employees. For instance, using artificial intelligence, like Amazon’s Alexa app, to turn on lights, even unlock doors and order food.
Technology will also help to keep you connected to your customers and your team. In fact, many small businesses are finding that they actually communicate more frequently and see each other and their customers even more now than they did before, thanks to video conferencing.
3. Future-Proof Your Office
In a post-COVID world, workplaces in every industry are simply going to look different. In order to get back to business, startups and small businesses will have to adapt their office spaces to accommodate this new reality.
To reduce the spread of germs and cross contamination, everyone will need assigned seats – no shared work spaces. You’ll also need a plan for cleaning the office more frequently, possibly by a professional cleaning company, and you may want to consider temperature checks and other screening protocols for admittance to the office.
In addition, you may need to install a better air filtration system, add partitions, and rethink the office layout to allow for more space between individuals. In fact, forward-thinking small business owners in the Boston and Wakefield MA area are already meeting with interior design and architecture firms to talk about occupancy and space guidelines, and how they can effectively re-design their office space.
Of course, if your old office isn’t cutting it, you may need to think about renting new office space altogether. For affordable, customizable office space in the Boston area, check out the Lakeside Park on Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield MA.
More Tips for Small Business Owners
If you take the right steps now, you’ll come out of this crisis smarter, stronger and more successful, with new ways to operate, a potentially larger customer audience, and maybe even with new products, services or areas of revenue. You’ll also have technology on your side and an office space built for the future.
For more tips for small business owners related to the current health crisis, check out these articles: