Your business survived the 2020 pandemic and is still in operation in 2021. In that case, it is a sign that good things are ahead after the coronavirus pandemic disruptions to world economies via broken supply chains and loss of workers, productivity, and sales in the traditional work and marketplaces. COVID-19 has proved itself more than a temporary disruption. We work from home and interact with coworkers in virtual meetings, attend streaming classes, and rely on social media for business and social connections more than ever. The good news for surviving small businesses is that their inherent agility and adaptation will continue to be their strength moving forward.
Considering COVID-19, What Are the New Business Models Emerging for Small Businesses?
Emerging and new business models in response to COVID-19 will continue to be the mainstay of business profitability. This year is an excellent year to engage in SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) to identify how your small business practices are faring. Perform a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) before committing to new initiatives or revamping internal policies. This analysis will help you discover strategies to leverage your strengths and opportunities to overcome disadvantages or threats.
Strengths – Identify what your organization excels at and how it differentiates from competitors. Look at concepts like loyal customer base, strong brand recognition, creative workers, unique technologies, a strong balance sheet, etc.
Weaknesses – Look for business areas that stop your organization from performing at an optimum level. Those areas require improvement to remain competitive. A higher than average worker turnover, significant debt levels, lack of capital, a weak brand, or inadequate supply chain are some areas to consider.
Opportunities – These are favorable external factors that provide a competitive edge, such as taking advantage of PPP loans or responding to changes in laws that can create a new market, increasing sales and market share.
Threats – Identify factors that can harm your organization, such as new competition, rising costs for materials, or a tight labor supply.
These assessments you make will help with project planning and reduce ineffective marketing techniques and business practices. Create realistic timeframes to address these changes and act on what you have learned. Acceptance of the long-term business changes brought about by COVID-19 is key to survival.
Some examples of what these changes look like include:
Expansion of digital offerings like online shopping, mobile offerings, fast and low-cost shipping, and remote service.
Additional focus on all marketing collateral like websites, email lists, and social networking platforms as primary advertising vehicles that connect you with customers.
Identify successful competitors and learn what they do well, then transition these techniques to your business model. Look for industry and marketplace gaps that your brand can fill.
Add services and simplify delivery mechanisms to help consumers in the post-pandemic world. Not everyone is tech-savvy, but they still have money, so don’t lose market share by being overly complicated in your online approach.
The Importance of Flexibility for Your Small Business
The Value of Wellness Check-in for Your Business’s Employees
Finally, take care of your team. Implement wellness practice. If we have learned anything from coming through a pandemic, we are better and stronger handling adversity and challenges together. Check-in with your team often, especially if they are working remotely. Foster community using digital bulletin boards where employees can share updates or have an outdoor gathering if everyone is inclined and the get together meets public pandemic policy. Provide resources that can help your employees identify stimulus payments or assistance programs that can help.
Keeping your small business running and profitable is not an easy task, but meeting the challenges head-on can provide an environment of continued success. Things are looking up, so be positive. No business model is better suited to the adaptive needs to move forward than small businesses.
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