Someone said, saying “when the pandemic is over” is starting to sound a lot like “when Rihanna releases a new album” and lol, I couldn’t agree more. We should start adjusting to what life looks like now, instead of making plans for when the pandemic ends, because we have no idea when that might be. Everything around us is constantly changing, including the way we do business. The World Economic Forum says that the businesses that are most likely to survive this pandemic are the innovative ones. I also believe that businesses that have made good financial decisions in the past (have emergency funds) are most likely to survive the pandemic.
For businesses that are still in their infancy stage, this might be a very tough period as they don’t have a pool of savings to tap into and unfortunately have to depend on their creativity. We’ve come up with a few finance tips and tricks that businesses can utilize to not only survive the pandemic but operate smoothly even after it is long gone.
1. Don’t put your eggs in one basket
You have probably heard this piece of advice a thousand times before, but you need to listen to it now more than ever. With so many businesses closing their doors, the least that you can do as a business owner is diversify your income. Depending on one source of income/sales is way too risky, you need to start thinking of how to improve the customer experience and in turn, get more sales. What else do your customers need apart from what you already provide? Can you provide that product/service? Try by all means to think of ways to introduce new offerings to your existing customer base or start providing something new to a new clientele.
2. Everything is becoming virtual, why aren’t you?
This tough period has forced so many business owners to think on their feet and execute immediately. We’re also seeing so many businesses hopping onto the online scene and honestly, it makes so much sense! Think about it, do your customers need to visit your office for all of your products/services? Is there a way that you offer your services online? Can customers order and have your products delivered to them? If there is even the slightest chance that you can continue with some parts of your business online, then GO FOR IT! You don’t have much to lose, setting up an online platform is less costly and has higher returns, in most cases.
3. Make Smarter Budget Choices for Your Business
We need to make smarter money moves this year and that starts by budgeting better. Also, try by all means to increase your income and decrease your expenses. The first thing you can do is ask yourself; what costs can you absolutely live without? Think of all the costs that are not vital to your business operations and all the costs that are unnecessary now that some employees are working from home.
For example, you no longer have to buy coffee and tea because, if no one is in the office, no one needs these during coffee breaks. Most landlords can give their tenants payment holidays and cuts on their rent, you will never know if yours is keen unless you ask them. Administration costs such as stationery can lower your spending, see how much money you can save by not buying these. To save the company from costs of petrol, try to arrange all meetings online so you don’t have to travel to any venues or offices. The last thing you can cut out of your budget are events (if you’re still having those), as great as they may be for employee morale, the business can do without it for now.
4. Invest in learning new skills
When push comes to shove, become the jack of all trades. For the time being, try not to outsource services such as Marketing and Finance. Tough times call for tough measures, so as a team, this is the time to invest in a new set of skills. There are a lot of free online courses, make use of them. Take a social media course and handle your own social media, this cuts out the Marketing consultancy fees you pay. Your finance team should also try to learn how to create professional and accurate annual financial statements, that way you can pay less on finance fees to other businesses.
We’re all trying to survive the pandemic so we need to do business better, the key is to try and see if you can do some things in-house instead of outsourcing.
5. Apply for relief grants
Do your research and find out if your local government and banks are still offering relief funds. If they are, take full advantage of this opportunity. Apply for your business and hope for the best. After all, who doesn’t like free money?
I hope you find these tips helpful, here’s to successful and thriving businesses in 2021!!!