The economic impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented, we are facing a time of considerable uncertainty, and it’s not clear what lies ahead. However, there are still opportunities for entrepreneurs to come out stronger than before. The first thing to do is to stabilize your business. You need to look at how you can streamline your business so that you’re able to move forward without unnecessary weight. This means looking at your financials to determine how to decrease your losses, evaluating your talent, and reviewing your contracts to decide what you actually need to keep your business going. You should also try to take advantage of financial resources. Educate yourself about the types of resources, aid, and support that are available.
Once you’ve stabilized your business, it’s time to look at how you can thrive and not just survive, an economic downturn.
Here are five ways to be an entrepreneur while navigating these uncertain times:
1.Take your business digital
It’s time to discover the digital version of whatever your business is and get it up and running. For instance, if you run a brick-and-mortar store, consider launching an eCommerce store. Or if you’re a fitness instructor, offer virtual workout classes. Whatever it is that you do, you need to figure out how it can be done virtually. Whether that’s shopping, exercising, advising, real estate, or food, figure out how you can offer your services and products with the least amount of contact.
2. Take advantage of your business’ existing resources and assets
You need to ask yourself, what are my customers’ current needs, and how can my assets and resources be used to fulfill those needs?If your company can’t operate right now, is there a way to change what you do to something that’s deemed essential? Take cosmetic manufacturer LVMH, which switched from making perfume and makeup to manufacturing hand sanitizer. Or clothing makers Nike, Zara, Brooks Brothers, and the Gap, who are now making gowns, masks,
and scrubs. As an entrepreneur, you need to think creatively about how you can leverage your assets and resources to solve the issues of the day.
3. Increase your customers’ loyalty
Client loyalty is priceless, so use this time to continue to build strong relationships with your customers. Reach out to them to show that you care either through social media or email. Explain the steps you’re taking to continue to serve them and inform them about how they can support you in return. As a result of quarantine, people are spending more time online, so now is the time to ramp up your social media presence. Share engaging content that’s related to your business and encourage clients to engage with you. This will keep your business top of mind so that when things go back to normal, your customers will be incentivized to return to you.
4. Look for entrepreneurial partnership opportunities.
It can be isolating to be an entrepreneur, which is why it’s a good idea to consider a partner that can help you leverage your assets and resources. You’ll want to look for someone that has resources you can take advantage of that can help sell your service or product to a new customer base or that provides an opportunity for bundling. You’ll also want to consider what you can bring to a partnership. For example, if you have a restaurant, you could partner with a local retailer to offer to deliver their products to customers as a bundle with your food.
5. Experiment with new business ideas
Now is the time to try new things. A lot of successful companies have grown out of failed ideas. For instance, Twitter was once a podcasting network called Odeo, and YouTube was meant to be a video dating site. So why not take this opportunity to test out a new business idea?
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