The COVID-19 crisis has put many incomes and livelihoods in jeopardy. Businesses, big and small, are scrambling to offset the financial crisis, but much of these efforts are falling short of anything which could save their operations.
Although many business owners view COVID-19 to be the end of their careers, this does not have to be the case.
With adaptation, innovation, and a little luck, this health pandemic may have introduced a whole new way of doing business in the modern world. The examples we discuss below have already proven sustainable, an assurance that your business can succeed if you consider these suggestions.
New Business & Operating Models
There is a clear distinction between a business model and an operating model. A business model outlines how your business will generate value. An operating model distinguishes and emphasizes each core part of your business, so every factor contributing to your business’s overall value is underscored.
Due to low consumer confidence and the customer’s shift in priorities when using products, a reimagining of your business model will be beneficial. A product usually offered in-house, such as financial consulting, could be conducted over video chat or phone call. Clothing stores, for instance, may allow customers only by reservation to maintain appropriate social distancing standards and set up a virtual simulation of outfit fittings with prompt delivery options.
For businesses that offer services related to home repair or renovation, a guarantee that all workers have tested negative for coronavirus in the last week would be convincing enough to convert potential customers into paying ones. Technology companies will have an easier time than companies offering other products and services, but creativity is essential.
In terms of generating a new operating model, emphasizing online services instead of in-store assistance, marketing solely on social media rather than utilizing billboards or vehicles, and partnering with online influencers to offer discounts in place of merely advertising through a store window are a few methods that can help your business better adapt to the current status quo.
Using New Technologies
With the adventitious incorporation of Zoom into work, school, and other everyday activities, it has already been proven that there is potential for change. Besides Zoom video conferencing, other technologies are making the forefront in this crisis.
Contactless payments are essential in stopping the spread, which plays well in offering mainly online services. Near field communication (NFC) technology allows a debit or credit card to make a quick connection with another device that processes payments. Google Wallet and Apple Pay are some products which use NFC technology.
Setting up an app where a customer can order your service before entering the shop to avoid crowding is another excellent way to follow coronavirus guidelines. Increasing consumer safety also includes employing devices that routinely check workers’ temperatures and track symptoms. Merely demonstrating that your business takes public health seriously will assuage the fears of customers who need to purchase your products.
Seeking Financial Help
The United States government has already implemented financial aid programs for small businesses adversely affected by COVID-19. For starters, small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and non-profit organizations can take out Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Another example is the Express Bridge Loan, which allows businesses already connected to a Small Business Administration’s Express Lender to receive up to $25,000.
The Paycheck Protection Program gives a loan to small businesses that promise to keep employees on the payroll. The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering residents in Los Angeles and Ventura, California interest-free loans, with small businesses being able to access funds valued up to $36,000.
Invoice factoring is an option for a small business owner to sell unpaid invoices to a factoring company for a cash sum and that company is responsible for collecting payment. Invoice financing is the alternative where a small business owner uses invoices as collateral to acquire a cash advance but is responsible for collecting payment on the invoices.
COVID-19 has left businesses scrambling to get ahead of the financial pitfalls that come with any crisis of this magnitude. It is reassuring to know that the government has put measures in place to combat the detrimental effects of COVID-19, but they may not be enough.
The responsibility of crafting a revised but convenient business model falls on you, the owner, which can prove to be manageable with the right implementation of technology and a focus on the consumer’s present needs during this pandemic. The wonderful thing is that COVID-19 has only made businesses rely on technologies already deemed useful, creating a safety net of expertise and reliability.
Grey Idol is the head of digital marketing for altLINE. With over five years’ experience in small business operations, content creation and digital marketing, he helps businesses find the information they need to make informed decisions about invoice factoring and A/R financing.
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