It has been a turbulent time for most in the business world during COVID-19. While there are reasons to be optimistic looking ahead, it is clear that there are still issues ahead with the unpredictability of the pandemic, the long-term impact that this will have and the implications of Brexit, which are thought to put 1/3 small businesses at risk. So, how can businesses prepare to succeed in turbulent times?
Focus on customer retention
During challenging periods, it is a good idea to focus on customer retention as a way to prevent reductions in trade. When you are able to retain your existing customers, it should help to weather the storm even if you are not making much growth. Acquiring new customers can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive, so it is smart to focus on retention but capitalise on any opportunity to attract customers when the time comes.
Know your values & strengths
Following this point, in difficult periods a business should always fall back on its values and strengths. These are the elements of your business that brought success so far and will be important to your existing customers. Some businesses lose focus when going through difficult periods, which can see them lose sight of their values and lead to decisions that could backfire.
While you need to know your core values and strengths, it is still important that you are agile during turbulent periods. COVID-19 has been a good example of this as the businesses that have managed to succeed during this time have been the ones that have been agile, such as those that embraced remote work and implementing contactless/digital solutions to keep the business going even during lockdowns. In order to be agile, you may need to invest and upgrade areas of the business and an unsecured business loans could be an effective way to raise the required funds.
Similarly, difficult times create the perfect opportunities for innovation. Entrepreneurial spirit can come alive when situations are difficult and/or changing, so do not be afraid of making positive changes to your business in the short term as they could be crucial for success where others fail. Obviously, you will want to reduce risk when making any kind of changes so you should always try to mitigate risk with research, data and consulting with experts.
While there are reasons to be optimistic moving out of the pandemic, it is important the business owners understand that there will still be turbulent times ahead with the fallout of the pandemic along with the implications of Brexit. While it might be challenging, you will also find that changing times can create new opportunities and it will be possible to find high levels of success even during difficult times.