Three focuses of my blog are Current Events, Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. We’re still in the Coronavirus/Covid-19 storm with no end in sight. Furthermore, the effects will be felt long after the storm has passed. Even in the aftermath, businesses will have to figure how to move forward. The following contributed post is entitled, Lockdown May Be Over, But Your Business Is Still Vulnerable.
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The fear and uncertainty of spring are now a distant memory. Businesses of all shapes and sizes all over the country are dusting themselves down and trying to resume a semblance of “Business As Usual”. Yet, while the lockdown may be over (for the time being at least), things are still far from back to their normal speed. You will likely be making fewer sales (unless your business name rhymes with Glamazon). You may have had to lose members of staff or radically change your operations to enable your team to work from home. You may have had to invest heavily on a physical and digital infrastructure that allows you to operate safely.
While it’s nothing you can’t navigate, you know better than to kid yourself. The next year and change could make or break your business. And while you should absolutely retain your sense of optimism, you also need to be aware of the very specific vulnerabilities your business faces in this challenging time…
Customers are scared to come back
While your business may be ready to receive customers now, not all customers are ready to do business. Many of your customers will have lost their jobs or at least lost a portion of their income. As such, consumer confidence is still at its lowest in years throughout much of the world. As such, you need to devote your marketing efforts to making customers know that they can return to your business without endangering their safety or their financial security.
Entice them in with promotions and targeted offers. Let them see what measures you’ve taken to keep them safe on and off-site. Establish yourself as someone they can rely on in this time of crisis.
Remote employees mean cyber security vulnerabilities
Unfortunately, times of crisis tend to mean open season for cyber criminals. And in the wake of the pandemic, they’ve been hard at work coming up with all kinds of phishing hoaxes, ransomware attacks, DDoS attacks and all manner of other nasty schemes designed to exploit vulnerable businesses. And although you may be able to protect yourself on-site, when employees are working remotely, this can create extra vulnerabilities. Work with an outsourced IT company like Levit8 IT Solutions to ensure that you’re covered on and off-site.
Cash flow is more important than ever
You’re more than likely facing a future of increased expenses and reduced sales. Which means that cash flow is more important than ever. Take your eye off the ball and you may find that you lose control of your finances resulting in unpaid vendors, late fees, charges from your bank and all manner of other avoidable costs that can further restrict your cash flow.
You need to focus on more than just staying afloat
Finally, if you’re to thrive in these punishing times, you need to focus on more than just staying alive. You need to focus on how each department’s performance metrics tie in with your broader business KPIs and goals. You need to ensure that you’re doing everything you can to maintain your profit margins and invest in Business Intelligence solutions to mine actionable insights from your data. Strategy is more important than ever. Don’t just react!