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Small businesses which operate in a small working capital cycles are the most affected due to the shutdowns/ slow downs in the business environment.
Except for essential goods and services, most other small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, including us.
We can do two things.
As an organization we chose to do latter, and below are the exact things we are doing right now/ and things that we expect you can do as well.
Building Brand equity by adding value to the community
Given that most of people work from home and schools are closed, the time people spend on digital media is very likely to increase significantly.
We use this as an opportunity to build the brand equity/ create awareness in the market by the means of adding value to the customer and community.
Each and every business can add value to the target customer segment and the community as a whole. We extensively use digital media to ‘organically’ reach our target market and community via engaging posts which are mostly focused on educating them on the latest trends and tips of analytics/ business. Depending on the domain you operate, you can add value to the community by either education or entertainment.
Whilst we use “organic reach” as the way to go, one can use paid digital campaigns to reach larger segment of users.
We stopped selling
We had just hired a top-class business development manager. But we stopped selling immediately as the disaster stroke!
This is our response of empathy towards our potential customers. As a B2B company, it did not take us much to understand that our potential customers are also struggling to make sure the core functions of the business are managed, whilst taking care of their team. They will not have enough bandwidth to focus/ invest on additional services, doesn’t matter how important they are.
Instead we focused on strengthening the relationships with the existing customers, checking if they need any additional assistance for them in the hard times, and adding value to the potential customers via No. 1 above.
This may not be relevant to all the businesses however. If you are operating in any of the fields that are essential at the moment, such as e-commerce, tele-medicine, fintech etc. it is the time for you to reach out to as many as possible and offer your services. Support, while making money.
Analysing how we can be ahead when the market goes back to normal
The hard times are not going to last forever. We took this time to critically analyse our data and processes to figure out how to be better when times are better. And we are doing No. 1 as a result of that.
You will never get a better chance to do this, so please pay attention to your data now.
Investing in digital
COVID-19 has been the digital transformation catalyst of the decade.
So much for those of us who were thinking by 2020, we will have flying cars and augmented reality class rooms.
Our latest digital investment was on Jira, the team management platform. And it costed us nothing (in terms of money) and a little time and effort in learning the tool and getting the team onboard.
If you always struggled to make your organization digital amidst of the daily rat race, now it is the best time to do so, with this list of free/ near free tools.
Taking care of and up-skilling our team
The most important part of all.
If you ever have been contemplating on letting go part of your team, think twice. For two reasons.
If you cannot afford to pay them the same way you used to, be open with them, discuss and see if both the parties can compromise to survive the difficult times. Check with them on their wellbeing.
In addition to taking care of the team, we use this as an opportunity to up-skill them on the key areas that we always wanted them to excel. We mostly use online learning resources to help them achieve that, other than our weekly “Show and Tell” sessions where the team share their new learnings in the week