Lessons Learned: What Small Business Owners Learned From CovidFebruary 9, 2022 8:16 am
Business owners and leaders are always learning and growing as they juggle the varying aspects of their small businesses. In the last two years of this pandemic, however, business owners have experienced a crash course of important lessons to ensure the future survival of their fledgling companies.
Our blog today takes a deeper look into a few of the lessons learned by small business owners during this turbulent time and how it can help other companies as they go forward.
Be Prepared … for Anything
Just like the Scouting motto says, “Be prepared,” for just about anything. Part of the job of being a small business owner is being able to roll with the punches.
Now granted, this pandemic was not something anyone could predict or plan for in advance, but many business leaders were able to adjust and shift gears, as if on a dime.
For instance, many restaurants, bakeries, and food stores shifted to curbside pickup, delivery, and contactless pickups. No one could foresee the need for this just weeks in advance, but innovative leaders were able to see the advantages of this and pressed forward to be able to continue their business dealings in a safe and profitable way.
Build an Emergency Fund
The Growth Institute recently published findings from the National Academy of Sciences that showed, “that out of businesses with over $10,000 in monthly expenses, 75% of organizations had enough cash to last them only two months or less at the beginning of the pandemic.”
This research suggested that businesses should set aside 3-6 months worth of expenses. This may take some time and effort to cut spending and automate deposits into a fund for circumstances such as future catastrophes, but it can be done, even for the smallest businesses.
Take Advantage of Government Assistance
If you encounter an event similar to what we have experienced over the past two years sometime in the future, be prepared to take advantage of any government assistance programs that can get you through a lockdown or work shortage.
During the early months of the Covid-19 shut down, many small and medium-sized companies, as well as larger corporations were able to tap into the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) through the Cares Act.
This funding supported 50 million jobs by providing up to eight weeks of payroll expenses, and allowed for “businesses to hire back those employees who were laid off and cover other expenses.” (Growth Institute)
Enhance Your Online Presence
If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to optimize your website to include ecommerce abilities and ways to attract your audience without having to step foot into a brick-and-mortar building to do business.
Instead of just relying on people being able to do business with your organization in-person, ensure they can find you and interact with you online. This can be done by redesigning an old website, updating your social media channels, branching out to videos on your site, and installing chat features on your site so you can connect, no matter what the circumstances.
Mitigate Your Employee’s Stress
There is nothing more certain from this pandemic than knowing many people’s mental health has plummeted in the last two years.
Business leaders should make it a priority to not only care about the bottom line but for the well-being of their employees. These loyal workers need assistance, flexibility, and guidance in a time when not a lot of that is possible.
Listen and act according to your employee’s needs. Making them happy and secure during chaotic times will help both their mental well-being and your business as a whole.
What did your business learn from the pandemic that you can share with other organizations? Drop a line here.