4 Strategies for Small Business to Outlive Quarantine
Flash – the economy is on fire. You heard it on the news, we wrote about it, but, aside from the updates on the actual situation, you won’t really find the recommendations of what to do and how to survive through these hard times.
It might seem that businesses that are working online are far away from the potential crisis, but the reality is that we sail all in one ship. The complicated economic situation will hurt buyers in the first place. People losing their jobs and sitting 24/7 at home on quarantine are much less willing to make non-essential purchases, even if your business is out of the risk zone. So, if you think that you’re safe now, it probably wouldn’t take long until you experience money loss, client shortage, and the general consequences of a good old world crisis.
Internet payment gateway PayOp developed four business strategies that are dedicated to damping or completely eradicating the possible damage from our current economic situation. They will allow you to benefit from it both in the short and long run. Without further ado – here’s what you should do to keep your business afloat.
A universal recommendation for all businesses that is actual to all times, company specifications, and situations. It is especially acute for the current state of events, as all businesses whose main income was generated through physical salespoint are now on the edge of wrack.
Start selling your products online if you still don’t do that. With millions of people being quarantined and locked into their houses, shopping through online payments became the only available channel of getting the essential home products. You need to hop on this train and make the best of the digitalization trend (that, for fairness’ sake, was present for the past 10 years.)
This is what might help you start working online, or boost your current engagement rate to the max:
- learn as much as you can from the courses about social media management and marketing strategies
- don’t be stingy to pay for advertisement on Instagram, Facebook, Google
- study your audience, its preferences and behavior using statistics provided by Google Analytics
- make sure your payment methods are accessible to people all over the world, diversify the list of website payments with the help of payment processors like PayOp
- follow the respectable business newspapers and magazines – Bloomberg, Business Insider, The New York Times – to keep up with the course of events
- make sure to check PayOp blog often, where we publish useful and entertaining articles about what interests you the most
Benefits: Transition to a semi-digital form of business dealing is a great strategic step, as with time, the influence of eCommerce and Internet payments is expected to grow exponentially. Currently, this tactic will allow you to compensate for the lack of physical buyers and get rid of the risks of being closed and go completely bankrupt.
Change your advertising strategy
With thousands and thousands of people discovering the spectacular world of online shopping, all merchants have noticed a sizable increase in customers number. This is especially true for entertaining industry – games, movies, cartoons, gambling – as well as for products and services that can be delivered door-to-door.
You probably already know your audience – its portrait, interests, income level. Your advertising strategy is also connected to the idea of the regular clients you have in mind. But now, the new variable has entered the market, and you have to study it to get the maximum profit.
Do it all over again – analyze the traffic, talk with your clients, gather statistics to notice the changes (there probably are plenty of those.) This will allow you to change the way you promote your brand to do it with maximum efficiency and through the channels that “outshoot.”
A tip, you’ll often hear these days from numerous marketing experts – be humane. People are scared, and you need to show that you understand their problem and can help. This will increase customer loyalty towards your brand and would influence your checkout revenue both at the moment and in the foreseeable future.
Benefits: A regular review of your target audience would allow you to understand better the customers’ needs and the ways you can complete them. As for the quarantine period, through the past month, a number of online shops have experienced an uptick of clients, and, probably, so did your eCommerce website. Therefore, having a precise picture of your audience would make it possible to target users better and promote your business in the most efficient way.
Optimize & cut off
It is a challenging time for all businesses, including online shops. To survive and thrive, you’ll need to concentrate on the sustenance of the most basic business functions – and, unfortunately, get rid of everything else.
Get priorities straight. If your business produces and sells certain types of products, you may want to stop paying attention to those branches that make the least profit, instead concentrating on the most popular positions. That’s not only about items you sell – if your website has tons of additional services and features, those also have to be optimized and cut off for the good of the website’s primary set of functions. Some features like a wide variety of payment services is an advantage rather than a complexity, but others like gamification elements or loyalty programs might be a burden to a struggling business – each case has to be solved in an individualized approach.
Your current goal is to outlast the quarantine period with minimal losses. When all the non-essential features are turned off, you can dislocate your efforts into what can help your business increase its income. For example, you can try these approaches:
- SMEs that had to close their physical points of sales can ask their clients to buy coupons and certificates. This money will help you to pay rent, wages, and utility bills to not lose your tenancy.
- Make sure you can accept credit cards of all the world’s countries – this will positively influence your sales, making it possible for people from all corners of the world to shop on your website.
Benefits: By relocating your money and time into a couple of the essential features of your business, you increase your chances of surviving the quarantine. Finding money now is your primary goal, and this tactic helps to not spend efforts in vain. You can always get back to the services and products you’ve cut out as soon as the proper times come.
Be ready to re-enter the market
The quarantine is a catastrophe to all small and medium businesses, but, as cynical as it may sound, there are still positive sides to it. The pandemic will eventually go down, and the normal life order will be restored, but not many SMEs will survive to witness it. On the other side, people tired of months of home detention will be eager to buy a lot – and here’s where a businessman should see an opportunity to jump in.
Oversaturated niches (food, entertainment, retail in general) would be almost empty without thousands of small businesses, and, with a hint of promptness, you’ll be able to re-enter the market when it experiences its peak of sales.
Aside from the profit that is expected to beat all records, opening a physical point of sales will be much easier, with a fifth part of the country’s population being unemployed and eager to find any kind of job. This will make the process of recruiting much easier and quicker.