Covid 19. As the clock struck midnight at the end of 2019 we were celebrating and welcoming in 2020, yet 8 months later we have learnt to bulk buy toilet roll and how to recreate the family gatherings virtually. But what about the world of work? Where does it leave us?
In its path of destruction, the Covid-19 pandemic has now left Britain in a recession. This is the ninth recession since 1945 and the first in over 11 years. The good news is that the country is already in the recovery stages and making good progress. With many businesses already struggling post-lockdown however, it’s important to consider how you can safeguard your business at this time.
So, how can you survive – and maybe even thrive during this recession?
Focus on what you are good at
Your hard work and dedication have got this far, so you must be doing something right? Whatever that something is, that is what you want to focus on. All the distinct attributes that make your business great are what will carry you through a recession. Now is the time to maximise what you already have, rather than experimenting and taking risks with other offerings. The time will come for that – keep all those ideas In your back pocket for later.
For now, scale back and focus on promoting your best and core products and services as much as possible. Perhaps there are ways that you can elevate these products/services and find new streams of revenue through them? Whatever it is, this is where you should be directing your time and efforts.
Look after your current customer base
Now is the perfect time to give a little TLC to your loyal customer base and succeed in obtaining their business all the more. There has never been a better time to secure brand loyalty and customer confidence, so give them a reason to stay true to you.
The key to this is being integral. Excellent customer service is one commodity that we can’t buy, it’s simply about making your customers feel as valued as possible. You know that saying, ‘the customer is always right’? Well, it’s true! Identify their needs, meet their needs and go above and beyond where possible.
Don’t cut back on marketing
Cutting costs is inevitably on business minds at the moment, so how do you justify what to cut back on? It might seem like the logical thing to do to cut back on the marketing spend, but now is exactly when a small business needs marketing the most. Making your presence known is even more vital in a recession.
Instead, think about how you can use your marketing spend more wisely. Investing in your online presence is always important but especially now, as your website is your business’s most important ambassador. How about focusing efforts on sending valuable email newsletters to current customers, or sending a friendly hello to past customers who you haven’t heard from in a while? Why not place some new and exciting online retargeting ads to draw people back in and keep your social media channels populated and full of interesting content to engage and grow your customer base?
Keep an eye on your cash flow
It goes without saying, but keeping a close on your cashflow at this time is really important. The last thing you want is for it to dry up. There are precautions that you can take now to safeguard your cash flow as much as possible.
Firstly, take the time to really study your finances and work out where you could be cutting back on any unnecessary spending. Are there any services, memberships or resources that the business can live without for a while? For anything that you can’t be without, is there any way that you can get it cheaper?
Perhaps your business went remote over lockdown and you stopped using your office premises. Do you really need to go back and continue paying rent, or could you get creative about how to continue operations? Our self storage solutions offer somewhere for businesses to store equipment, files, stock and all those unused desks. Some of our stores even offer flexible safe and clean office space so we can help you with those ad-hoc meetings along with offering a cheaper long term solution to carry you through the recession.
Lastly, there are a few loans and grants available to small businesses that your business may qualify for in order to help get through this time. Grab yourself a cup of tea and take some time to do some research, you may be able to make use of what is available. The Gov.uk website is a great resource.