With the Novel Coronavirus pandemic thriving in the whole world, health concerns are at the top of everyone’s priority list. With the implementation of various social distancing norms and other preventative measures, the world of work has changed drastically. Offices have been shut down, work has gone remote, and millions of people have lost their jobs. The COVID 19 slump has hit the global economy and businesses hard. Amidst all the health concerns, business owners are having a tough time navigating through the business slowdown caused by the current crisis. So, in this post, we’ll look at 7 awesome tips to cope through a business slowdown.
The economic slowdown due to the pandemic was bound to happen. The outlook of this fallout is pretty rough. The April 2020 annual growth forecast shows a drop of 6.3 percent as compared to the estimates made in January. According to the World Trade Organization, trade may fall to just 13 to 32 percent in the year 2020. According to the World Economic Outlook Reports, the global economy will contract sharply by –3 percent in 2020. This is much worse than during the 2008–09 financial crisis. Although slowdowns don’t necessarily mean recession. However, one may typically lead to the other. This kind of major fallout definitely hits your business as well.
Businesses around the globe are facing the impacts of the current pandemic. Doesn’t matter how well-established they are, companies are suffering losses. It has become quite challenging for most businesses to keep their financial wheels turning amidst the extended lockdowns and slowed down the economy. So, business owners need to buckle up and rethink their business plans, rethink business strategies, and the way they manage and operate. So, here are 7 great tips to cope through a business slowdown.
Conduct A Market Research And Adapt
Because the market is very agile, you must research your market frequently and adapt your business model accordingly. It will help you understand where your business actually stands as far as the feasibility of your business model is concerned. Appoint a task force completely dedicated to diving deep into the current market of your product or service. Look for recent trends, and innovations. Keep an eye on the operations and strategies of your competition. Also, research about companies who were in a similar position as you are now and how they coped with them. So, understanding these aspects of your current market will help you to update your business plan and keep you on your toes.
Update Your Product Or Services
Once you have understood various aspects of your current market including your customer’s needs, next you need to focus on stepping up your game. Introducing an update to your product or service is a great way of overcoming business stagnation. Instead of going through the whole process of building a whole new product from scratch, consider introducing updates. You can build an R&D team and assign them the task of coming up with new updates according to the market needs. This way, rather than going through with mass-layoffs, you can utilize your existing talent.
Curb On Your Spendings
An economic slowdown can cause the cash flow in the business to slow down. That’s why this point can’t be stressed enough. Businesses need to keep a check on their expenses. During the growth phase of a business, additional sales allows it to expand their operational costs. However, amidst a crisis and economic slowdown, your business is most probably strapped for cash. To keep up with your growth, you need to cut down on all the unwanted expenses and overhead costs. Also, delay the spending that can be delayed and are not urgent. Saving on expenses and curbing your spending will help you free up the cash flow and invest it where it’s much needed.
Update Your Marketing Strategy
In a business slowdown, the finances of a business are shaken up. So, most companies often cut back on their marketing needs in order to save money. However, a great marketing strategy is even more important during the time of crisis. Even amidst an economic crisis, one thing that remains put is the restlessness of consumers. They always look for ways to make changes in their buying decisions. Businesses need to take this as an opportunity and tap into the best resources for marketing their products and services. For instance, building and growing a strong online presence can be an amazing source for marketing your brand.
Secure Your Investments
Every business, irrespective of how well it is established, needs capital for its functioning and operation. However, in the middle of a crisis, the biggest question that arises is how and where will business owners and entrepreneurs get this capital. That’s why business owners need to secure their investments for such adverse times. You may think that during such crisis times, it is wiser to pull out from your investments. However, the return on your investments can be the source from where you can get the capital for your business.
Retain Current Customers
One of the painful and dominant factors of a business slowdown is the decrease in revenue. In a situation where it becomes difficult to keep up with the revenues, bringing in new customers is not only difficult but also an expensive task. Besides, it costs way more in bringing in a new customer than simply retaining the current customers. That’s why it becomes extremely important to retain as well as nourish your current customers. The key to retaining your current customer base is to provide excellent customer service. You need to ensure that your customers love what you have to offer and are happy with your product or service. Remember that your present customers can further give you more sales opportunities in the future.
Prepare Your Employees
Your current employees are the lifeblood of your company, especially during tough times of business slowdown. So, the first thing that you need to do is nurture them. Utilize your current employees in the best way possible instead of mass layoffs. The demand obviously won’t be as high as it is in times of growth, but you need to keep your employees engaged anyways. To do so, you need to come up with employee engagement strategies. Consider providing training, retraining, and upskilling your existing teams. Engaging your current employees is a long-term investment. It not only increases the ROI in terms of employee engagement but also boosts your employer brand.
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