This article is not about a certain country, nor about a certain continent. This is an article to be used by all the entrepreneurs who feel uncertain about their economic future. Take it as a simple guide to help you pass this difficult times.
Some of you might find this article too optimistic. Some might consider your situation too difficult to cope with. Some say 25 million jobs will be lost worldwide during this crisis. Disregard of the case, this article encourages you, as an entrepreneur, to go on or, in the worst case scenario, to pause your activity for a few months. This crisis will be over and the good times will return.
Economic context during COVID-19 measures
The governments from all over the world took drastic measures for combating the virus. Among these measures, some which hit the national economies very hard: closing the restaurants and pubs, beauty salons and public gyms, forbidding public activities and even closing down entire cities. A disaster for the economy.
On top of this, authorities all over the world recommended or even ordered their citizens to stay at home, in an attempt to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
All these lead to a big hit taken by all the small businesses which depend on the people’s presence for continuing their activity, such as the restaurants, gyms or cosmetic salons. These entrepreneurial initiatives can’t survive without customers, and now their customers are isolated and quarantined at home.
On the other hand, there are companies who depend on other companies, and the bankruptcy or even the economic difficulties of a company determines, on a supply-and-demand chain, problems for lots of others.
What should you do in this situation?
5 Advices for the entreprenerus to follow during COVID-19 economic crisis
1. Don’t panic
First off, don’t panic, don’t despair. It is very important to take decisions rationally. Besides protecting yourself from getting infected, you also have to protect your business from bankruptcy.
Calm down. Try and think about the measures to be taken in a rational manner.
Whether you decide to go on for a period, to see if you can survive, whether you think about closing temporarily, it’s important your decision is not influenced by fear or panic. If you are an entrepreneur, you are a survivor. You will pass over this as you did over most of the obstacles you met along your way.
2. Plan everything for at least the future 3 months
The pandemic is to be over in a few months, might they be 3 or 6. The China’s example is the best one: they got rid of the virus in a few months, by taking the most drastic measures ever. This allows them now to start working again, after closing almost all the economic activities in the last 3 months.
Of course, depending from country to country, the economic crisis generated by Coronavirus might took longer to end. UK is one of the European countries which took the necessary isolation measures later than other countries, which might mean it will take them longer to defeat Coronavirus spread and to get their economy back on track.
Still, in most of the countries, if the necessary measures are taken in due time, everything will be over in 3-6 months. Again, China is the best example to confirm this.
So, plan everything for the next 3 months. Don’t close permanently, close temporarily or, if possible, go online.
3. Evaluate your business model and look for opportunities
You might have a restaurant which was ordered to shut down. It doesn’t mean it ceased to exist as a business. You can adapt. Deliver at home.
You might have a store selling dog food. Your clients won’t go to your shop anymore, but you can move your business online. Run Facebook ads, target the right audience and get online or phone orders. Deliver at home.
You might have a marketing agency providing digital marketing for your clients. Talk to your clients, see what’s their perspective. See what you can do for them during this period. Some might close temporarily, some might close their doors definitely, but some might try and continue their business during these months. Offer your services to those who need them most and thus you can get more clients.
Anyway, get back to the point 2: plan your business ahead as the crisis is going to end in the future 3 months.
Very important: keep close relations with your clients. They’re going to get back to you after the Coronavirus pandemic is over.
4. Keep investing in marketing
Keep communicating with your customers or with your potential customers. Whether you choose to move online or to start delivering at home for your clients, tell them. Create a Facebook post and announce that. Run some Google ads.Make sure your services or products are visible for those who stay at home.
We don’t advise you to increase your marketing budget, but for sure you need to adopt a marketing during recession strategy. The guys from TUYA Digital think this is the best tactic to adopt during recession. We can’t argue with this opinion, but this can be applied only in certain cases. If the Government close your business, there’s nothing more you can do about it, but re-invent yourself.
Henry Ford said “A man who stops advertising to save money, is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” So, keep investing in marketing, keep advertising your products.
Of course, this advice might not apply to some of you. Some might consider closing the business and re-start marketing after the crisis is over. Some might not have enough capital to run ads. So this depends from situation to situation.
5. Take care of your employees
Your employees are, along with your clients. the best assets of your company. Make sure they’re both OK.
Especially, when it comes to your employees, you are the one responsible for their health and wealth. Make sure they work from home to avoid getting infected or, if they can’t, make sure they know how to protect themselves from getting infected.
Also, if they are to be sent at home temporarily, make sure you offer them all the advantages possible in this case. This is from country to country, but governments took some measures to help entrepreneurs during this hard times. In some cases, there might be a state help scheme for those whose businesses suffer from Coronavirus crisis, or there might be a help to pay your employees a certain amount of their regular salary.
Check with your national authorities to see what kind of help they offer for employers or employees.
Instead of conclusion
The health crisis might be over in the next 3 months, if we look at what happened in China. The economic crisis might be over in the next 6 months, if entrepreneurs like you will re-open their business after the pandemic is over.
If you can keep your business alive during this period, do it. If you can’t, make sure you close it temporarily and offer your employees economic compensations.
Stay safe and be confident in your future!