Since the year began, entrepreneurs have observed a serious global economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses have been impacted greatly by this crisis because they have limited resources to adapt to the changing context.
By CHRISTIAN KRUSE
If you own such a business, you must have experienced sales go down as well as an increased difficulty in accessing business inputs. While it might look like the end of your business, you should not despair. There are tips that you could employ to keep your business open and thriving. They include:
1. Outsourcing essential services
Small businesses have a challenge in maintaining in-house support services because of their small budgets which makes outsourcing essential for them. One of the major services that they can benefit from is outsourcing call center services. Utilization of these service providers will help you maintain your customers because their queries about your products and purchases will be dealt with by the call center. Additionally, given that these centers provide services around the clock, your customers from areas with different time zones will also be attended to effectively. Apart from call centers, you could outsource human resources, accounting, information technology management as well as shipping and logistics.
2. Competitor analysis
Whenever you are in business, you are not trading in a vacuum because, apart from demanding customers, there are rivals as well. Your competitors may be selling similar products as you and will try to get the attention of your preferred audience. Therefore for your business to thrive, you will need to learn tactics from your competitors. Knowing who your competition allows you to amend your flaws. A thorough assessment of your competitors will also help you to improve your product, revamp your marketing strategies as well as help you build relationships with customers and other stakeholders.
3. Take calculated risks
To keep your small business open, you need to always calculate the risks of every decision you make be it small or big. Often, what sets you apart from other competitors is the ability to take calculated risks. There are critical steps you should follow when you take this approach, they include:
Step 1: Weigh your bottom line along with innovation. This step involves balancing your innovation with your revenue model.
Step 2: Critically analyze upcoming opportunities by assessing the potential risks they present along with possible benefits that they render your small business.
Step 3: Learn to say no at times to opportunities that seem profitable.
Step 4: Be flexible to shift gear when the need arises.
4. Get creative
Currently, companies conduct business in a diverse, highly creative global environment which makes creativity essential. Being creative as an entrepreneur will help you come up with big cutting-edge ideas that will keep the doors of your business open. It is said that creativity breeds inspiration and innovation. Thus, you will need to encourage your team to think outside the box. To achieve this, you will need to acknowledge that you do not know anything and be open to different approaches and new ideas.
5. Stay focused
Maintaining a focus when you are running a small business is critical to the success of your franchise. But how do you achieve this? Among the things you need to do is:
— Properly manage your time at all times.
— Develop a to-do list that outlines the major things that you are supposed to do.
— Streamline your duties and tasks so that each one is performed efficiently.
— Make sacrifices for your business.
— Limit networking to focus on the core things in your organization.
— Develop only those relationships that will enhance your productivity.
Additionally, keep your eye on the prize which happens to revenue for your business to thrive.
6. Maintain your records
Having an elaborate record system will tell you how your business is doing. Records will monitor your progress and tell you what products are selling, what strategies need revising, and highlight the areas that need to be worked on.
When you are running a small business, you need to tread carefully because every decision and strategy is vital to the success of your enterprise. You should be able to have flexible plans as well as the right skills to execute them. Challenges will always be there. However, how you handle them is what will count. Additionally, being consistent will also put ahead of your competition enabling your business to stay open and thrive.