The economic impact of COVID-19 is staggering. It has thrown the world into a sudden recession whose effects will be felt for years to come. The future predictions notwithstanding, businesses are suffering major losses right now. It’s a crisis that has left most Australian businesses with limited or absent cash flow. Those that haven’t shut down yet are only being sustained through reserves and limited business.
Despite devastating losses, It’s not the end for many businesses. There are ways to power through the situation and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Here are some ways that can help a struggling business sustain itself during this difficult time.
#1. Keep up with the news
The pandemic situation has developed with astounding speed, which is why many businesses have been caught off-guard. As events unfold rather quickly, there’s no telling what the next week will bring. This is why businesses need to stay well-informed and up-to-date with how the virus will impact their industry.
Government safety measures can directly affect how you do business, as they already have for many high-traffic lines of work. Any changes that are introduced shouldn’t catch your business unprepared. It’s extremely important that you are able to adapt your business to the changes and measures that come into play. Without the right information, this isn’t going to be an easy task.
Don’t just stick to one news source, either. There are many misleading and uninformed bits of information floating around. Consult diverse sources for information and check government websites to learn about new lockdown measures. Should they become more lenient, you have to quickly act and adapt your business accordingly.
#2. Review travel and mobility
One of your top priorities is the safety and well-being of your employees. You have to make sure that they aren’t exposed to a hazardous workplace while doing their jobs. This is part of the reason that many businesses have gone under, as many employees work in tightly-packed areas and high-traffic offices. Taking care of this is relatively easy, but what of the employees that have been sent overseas?
Establish exactly where your current employees are overseas. This will help you gauge whether or not they are in any danger. If they are in heavily affected or vulnerable territories, it would be best to have them return. If there aren’t any commercial modes of transportation available, contact your embassy to help have employees repatriated and back in the country.
Create clear policies regarding mobility for employees at work. There should be a well-established protocol for people working on site. If commutes aren’t possible for some employees, make sure you offer up any possible alternative. Offering customer support is a lot more difficult now, especially if it requires a professional in the field. Make sure you provide employees with the tools they need to communicate and support consumers from a distance, if they are able to.
#3. Revisit your crisis plans
Businesses are often warned to prepare crisis plans for situations like this one. However, nobody expected the pandemic to reach this level of economic chaos. Still, there are ways to salvage the situation, which is why you should stick to your plans and apply them without hesitation.
No crisis plan is perfect. You can never know how a situation will unfold and how it will affect employees and business. If you had an evacuation plan for employees in a high-risk zone, having fewer transport options available can disrupt this plan. This is a common problem during the pandemic, as most flights are cancelled.
Plans will need to be adapted and tailored to this specific situation. If transport isn’t possible, arrange for the employees to stay in a relatively safe location. If they can work from there, good. If not, you’ve at least minimized the hazard.
Since there’s a lot of work that will need to be done remotely, make sure your business is prepared for this. Establish constant communication with remote and offshore workers that can’t otherwise come in to work. This will help minimize preparation time for the switch to remote work.
#4. Tap into online markets
There has been an enormous boom in online business in the past couple of years. People adore the convenience of being able to browse products and services from the comfort of their own couch. Getting everything you want delivered right to your doorstep is another convenience that a lot of people find invaluable.
This convenience has turned into a necessity during the pandemic situation. Since going outside and entering crowds and businesses is a risk, most people would rather simply stick to online shopping. This is a great opportunity for businesses that normally deal with brick and mortar sales. Adding online avenues for shopping was already a lucrative idea, but now it’s something that can help save a business.
For many Australian businesses, suddenly transitioning online can be a difficult venture. If you don’t have the resources and logistics for transporting goods, it might be too much of an investment. The good news is that these elements aren’t absolutely necessary. They can be handled by a third party, of which there are many nowadays. Amazon and similar distributors offer platforms for businesses to transport goods. Even simply making use of delivery and courier services can be enough to entice consumers to continue doing business with you. It’s a massive, but necessary change for many businesses that are struggling today.
#5. Improve marketing efforts
With business being scarce, Australian companies are looking to cut costs left and right. Some of the hardest-hit departments in business include marketing. It’s often seen as a non-necessity, as it doesn’t directly contribute by increasing labour or reducing supply costs. However, cutting marketing budgets is a big mistake, especially in a situation like this.
While other parts of business are hit hard by the pandemic, marketing remains nearly as effective as ever. While people aren’t shopping as much as they used to, they are still taking notes of what they wish to purchase once the situation blows over. More importantly, businesses with an online presence are still seeing good numbers, despite the pandemic. This is because people are still eager to acquire goods and services that they need.
Honing your digital marketing strategy can have quite a few benefits for your business in times of need. You can establish a much bigger following now that a record number of consumers are going online. To achieve this, you need to focus on SEO for your links and web pages. Optimizing your website will keep it on top of search engine results, bringing new users to your business on a daily basis.
Provide diverse and informative content for visitors so that they remain engaged with your brand. Find an SEO Agency to help you optimize your link building and content strategies. With proper optimization, you could start seeing good results even before the pandemic and lockdowns are over.
#6. Avoid bureaucratic obstruction
High-profile situations present an enormous problem for medium and large businesses. Before any changes are enacted, there’s often lots of bureaucracy involved. Senior management and corporate affairs will try to review the situation to determine the best course of action. Over-managing can be a good safety net when times are good, but not when quick action is necessary. If you allow too much negotiation and planning to go on, problems won’t be getting solved any time soon.
Instead of allowing the bureaucracy to slow your pace, try to avoid it entirely. Assemble a small team of trusted management personnel to enact necessary changes. Give them leeway and permission to act quickly when things take a turn for the worse. Each day brings something new to the table, and there’s no time for everyone to be completely in on the changes before they’re applied.
Make use of live digital documents to help communicate changes to your team. This will help create a traceable log of measures and adjustments to be made, while also making sure the pace isn’t slow as a snail. You can update it as soon as alarming news pops up, and remove measures whenever necessary. This also helps avoid the senseless back and forth of sending documents to be approved by one department or another.
When acting quickly, it’s important that the information you receive is factual. When there’s news, make sure you can distinguish between speculation and confirmed facts. A hypothetical future doesn’t measure up to what’s happening right now. Leave the predictions for later and act so that your business can be effective right now.
The Coronavirus situation has affected every market across the spectrum. Businesses all across Australia have been dramatically impacted by the virus and the measures that come with containing it. Those that haven’t been instantly shut down by the change have struggled all the same. When business is so slow, it’s hard to determine whether or not it’s worth continuing. However, there’s still hope left for most businesses.
Applying the right measures during these difficult times can help a business weather the storm and continue flourishing despite these dramatic losses. Even if cash flow remains sub-optimal throughout the lockdowns, it’s crucial that businesses stay on track. It’s going to be a tremendous help once measures are removed and lockdowns are lifted. Only the businesses that applied changes like these will be able to continue moving forward.
About the Author!
Maggie Holmes is an Australian blogger. Recently, she has been searching for different ways to help entrepreneurs to continue their job in Corona crisis. She recommends GWMSeoBrisbane to those who want to improve their marketing goals. She believes that content and social media marketing has helped companies and businesses keep growing in this universal crisis. SEO Companies are always there to give businesses advice on how to be successful and rank higher in Google.