The Covid-19 pandemic hit the global scene with a devastating impact on human lives and the economy. While we may not tell the exact extent of the damage that the Covid-19 coronavirus has had on the global economy, economists unanimously agree that it has been unprecedented.
Some estimates indicate that significant world economies such as the United States lost around 4.5% of the gross domestic product. That translates to a massive loss of about 3.9 trillion US dollars. As of September 2021, over 220 million people had been infected by the virus worldwide with the death rate slightly at over 4.6 million.
Governments and private corporations have intervened by offering small business grants to small businesses to cushion them against the effects of the pandemic. Such financing has gone a long way in supporting the working capital and payroll expenses of these businesses. Learn more here.
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Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on Small Businesses
Small businesses were particularly vulnerable as they were financially fragile given their little savings.
- Lockdowns and restrictions of movement crippled many small businesses:
- Loss of jobs
- The death of business owners led to the imminent collapse of many businesses, particularly sole proprietorships
- Lower productivity due to employee absenteeism
- Massive defaults as businesses were unable to service their financial obligations to banks, suppliers, and landlords.
- Disruption of global supply chains leading to the closure of dependent companies.
- The collapse of sectors like travel, entertainment, education, and tourism. Small businesses depend on these industries directly or indirectly.
- Disruption of capital as governments and large corporations diverted funds from development projects to emergency response. Contractors on these projects had to stall work.
6 Critical Tips To Survive A Continuous Pandemic
1-. Re-thinking your company’s strategic focus
You need to recalibrate your business to keep up with many changes resulting from the pandemic to be relevant in a new marketplace. You’ll need to readjust to changing consumer preferences in accessing services and redefine your target market where necessary.
2-. Think business continuity
For continuity, you need to be deliberate on succession planning so that your business doesn’t stall when you lose a key player in the team. Have a structured way to develop leadership and communicate values and best practices in the organization.
3-. Leverage on digital marketing platforms
You’ll need to revamp your digital marketing and sales channels and have a more substantial online presence to increase your participation in your target market’s buying journey. Consider opening an online store to supplement your physical store. Look out for grants from the government, state corporations, and private organizations to help with financing for this.
Run effective alternate delivery channels that drive online traffic and reach a broader clientele base.
4-. Managing your employee costs
Introspect your business processes and look for ways to streamline your operations and optimum staff engagement and productivity.
Hire a workforce that’s capable of driving a digitally-driven forward-leaning organization. Outsource functions where it makes economic sense to hire freelancers to design your website, maintain your digital channels, and create content. By outsourcing, you access high-level expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring them full-time.
With a work-from-home policy, you can consider a leaner floor space and decrease your property leasing costs.
5-. Pursue new opportunities when they emerge
A rapidly changing business landscape presents new opportunities that you can tap into. As an entrepreneur, be woke for opportunities and envisage ways of developing matching solutions for emerging problems.
For instance, a general medical equipment manufacturer could specialize in making PPEs.
There’s an explosion of opportunities on the digital front as companies adopt videoconferencing, working from home, and online learning. Businesses that position themselves to offer IT services can exploit these openings.
6-. Fix your finances by reaching for business grants
Reach out to business stimulus packages like small business grants to boost your business. Take advantage of debt restructuring offers by financiers to lower your monthly repayments. Look at renegotiating credit terms with your suppliers to free up cash to support your trading cycle.
What to do?
Businesses need to be prepared to manage a continuous pandemic. Since we’re in this for the long haul, you need a strategy to remain resilient by adhering to the tips we’ve offered. Make a point of reaching out for small business grants in your locality.