Starting a business is not very easy. Every small business owner has their own share of story of their beginning and what people are afraid of is a new start.
In the same context, many dreamers and small entrepreneur started their businesses last year. However, due to the pandemic which broke last year, unimaginably every business, every work, every home, every place had to be shut down.
Does that mean that the very small and first step taken towards their dreams is now shattered and nowhere to be imagined?
Not for the tough ones…
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happened at all or by having everything happen all at once.”– Paulo Coelho
We are living in a very uncertain time. We don’t know what will happen next and if we can face it or not- we don’t know what is going to happen next.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is continuing to cause disruptions for many small businesses and is fundamentally changing the way you do business, now and in the future. It can be overwhelming for business owners to keep up with the new laws, rules, and regulations, let alone work out an action plan for your business.
Business owners must face recovering from the loss caused due to pandemic.
No doubt many business owners have spent the last few months recovering from the lockdown situation. Now is the time to turn your attention toward Recover mode as well to ensure your business is ready to Thrive from the COVID-19 crisis.
Now, you know the importance of taking action right NOW.
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Without any ado, let’s start knowing about the steps we need to take as a business owners to respond, recover and thrive our business.
1) Multiple streams of income
It has already been said and suggested by many people, bloggers, founders, and entrepreneurs that depending on a single stream income is a recipe of failure and if not failure, a very risky game.
Although as an entrepreneur, we as a founder, small business owner, or startup founder take an amount of risk. But it is better to plan ahead for risk as what insurance does. Insuring decreases the impact of risk and so is the occurrence of risk itself.
Of course, everyone wants to earn more income and it is not a bad thing to have more as I always proposed and said in my other blogs.
Looking or having a way to have multiple streams of income by any small business owner or founder is very well worth and effort should be given towards working on having regular multiple streams of income.
As you already know that,
“ On an average, a successful entrepreneur has at least 7 streams of different income”
That not only applies to an entrepreneur but also to small business owners.
Very few businesses are stable in the long run only by selling a single product. If you go through deep research and look at the decade-long established companies who are standing strong and faced multiple calamities have turned their products into different products and multiple types of services. The more products you have to sell, naturally the more income you are capable to generate.
Creating multiple sources of income not only is difficult but also takes a lot of marketing efforts and continuous production of engaging content.
Some of the ways a small business can generate multiple incomes are:
It is the most common and simplest way to start a new source of generating income along with your business product promotion. As a small business owner, you need to make sure that your product is properly promoted and marketed to tell your users what all products you are offering. YouTube is a great platform to get the dual benefits of promotion and income generation.
As per YouTube statistics,
YouTube is the world’s second most visited website
Also, people watch more than a billion hours of videos on youtube every day.
That’s insane and believe that it is growing more every day!
So why not use the platform to get the dual benefits of marketing and views.
It is a win-win situation for a business owner and startup founder who are in desperate need to tell people about their products, their services, and their stories.
You have the power over your service and your products and so is your market.
Since you are into the business, you know the in and out of the market deep down the smallest details to the broad level of practical knowledge.
You can use your experience, your current situation, and your ongoing learning process to help other new budding business owners to build a strong connection with your audience and their business process. They can learn from your knowledge and you can guide them at the right time, in the right moment to help the new business owner avoid mistakes, minimize risk and help them grow their business faster than ever.
Of course, for the time and knowledge you provide, you will charge some fees. It is an income stream where you can use your knowledge and past learnings to grow more money and a brand value in the market as a business owner.
Products complimenting your active products/services
Since you have well-established active/main products or services you cannot always rely on the positive market side but also be well prepared for risk. Hence, with fewer resources and minimum time, as a business owner, you can start creating additional complementary products or services which will help in increasing your revenue streams
There are many other ways of generating income that can help you bring an additional amount. Here, you have to decide on what venture, ways, or things you want to invest in and start a new way to earn more income or revenue to income. Many business owners are moving towards blogging as a way to generate income. They are also a major source to generate leads for your products.
A recent survey shows that,
Almost 50% of business are generated through blogging and created lead through blogging.
If there is a will, there is a way.
As a startup founder or business owner, you know what will work best for your business and how you want to go ahead with the process. The only denominator will all these is your will to do it.
Of course, there are risks associate with every step or action taken.
But, I believe you already have taken a big risk to start a business and know what it takes. The only thing which we should be worried about as business owners is not being well prepared.
We need to reduce risk, not get away from risk.
2) Services that are exceptional and unique to your clients
”Customers are the king of business”-Witmaze
These are the mantra for the success of any successful business owner. You know that if your clients are happy, your business starts growing and flourishing.
Understanding your customer’s needs are crucial.
Doing Business is not a one-time selling transaction. If you want that your business keeps growing and earning its share of profits, it is very important to keep continuing repeated clients to purchase or buy your products or services over a repeated period.
Recent research shows that
“ 95% of business fail who has poor customer service quality”
That’s how important is to provide a good customer-client experience and more so for any small business owner or startup founder.
Big corporations, Multinational Corporations (MNC’s), Big Brands, and Big Personalities already have the power of economical production and massive connecting subsidiaries assistance which help them to get a grip over a large market product ratio. It is not easy to compete with them in terms of price.
However, what we can do our best is to provide personalized or unique service skills that can provide our clients a happy and memorable experience and would like to keep giving us their services.
Having a strategic plan to have a client service experience that is exceptional and unique will make your clients and prospects feel important and valued.
This feeling of being important and valued is far more important than having a product with less cost.
It is even more important in this pandemic situation where everyone is tied up in their homes and feeling alone. We should make our clients feel more valued and happy and that’s the only way we can have an upper hand in the competition in grabbing the market share of our segment or niche.
Investing in client service means investing in future incomes.
3) Assess the financial health condition
Since we talk about investing in quality customer service, of course, we need funds to make sure that we can walk the talk.
As business owners and startup founders, we all already understand the importance of keeping our promise. Be it in terms, of quality, in terms of product discrepancies, in terms of process, or in terms of doing what we are promising. If we cannot perform what we promise, how anyone would want to buy from us and trust in our products.
However, it all goes down to money.
As the saying goes,
“We need money to make money”
The next step after deciding to provide client service that is satisfactory and unique, we need to assess our own financial health condition. By own, we mean your business current expense, revenue, and profit margin. It is also important to understand the balance sheet and reserve funds.
Also, know about the future income prospects and future expense projections too.
“When we know our own business financial health better, that’s the backbone of our future shield and a protection/insurance to risk”-Witmaze
Assessing business financial health conditions is a must and should be done at a regular interval as suggested by your accountant or business strategist or your consultant.
It is important not to neglect this important procedure/step and to follow diligently,
Identifying where your strength and weakness lies is a strength in itself as a business owner or startup founder.
4) Consider if you need external fundings or internal fundings are sufficient
This time, we all have faced a pandemic and are still suffering from its effects.
Many businesses shut down during that time and many are still struggling to go back to the state they were in earlier.
In this critical situation, many business owners are questioning their own abilities and start doubting their business survival.
Instead of planning to grow further, they are planning to shut down at minimal cost or expense.
It is a very heartbreaking moment for both the startup founder and also those loyal clients who are still waiting for their products services to thrive again in the market.
As business owners, we understand this tough situation and also know that all these are due to bad planning.
Yes, BAD planning!
You might be thinking why we are saying it is your fault. You tried your best, you tried to survive, You dreamt, you care about clients but in all these, you failed to plan to insure yourself and your business from RISK.
We understand that no one has predicted this pandemic situation, nor the virus situation but every business owner or startup founder understands that risk and unfavorable situation is inevitable.
As small business owners, we believe and trust that everything will go fine unless we stop selling.
That’s the biggest myth and an extremely big mistake.
We do not plan, we do not insure, we do not believe that we will ever suffer loss to the extent that we will fail to recover.
Now, you have to deviate yourself from this type of thinking and always be prepared to face challenges where they are seen, unseen, or foreseen.
“ A startup founder or business owner is equal to a warrior and we are in a battle to survive, surrender or succeed”Witmaze
All of them needs to be ready every moment, every day, and in every situation
To face challenges, To face tough times, To face good times too
Once you check on your financial health condition and know your business overall condition, try to understand its need and future requirement. Consider getting or preparing for external funds if required. It is better to be well prepared than never.
Planning for funds can be done in various ways and one way is to get external supports. Some of the common ways in which a business owner can take some funds are:
- Venture Capitalist
- Startup India Seed Fund scheme
- Traditional SBA loans and microloans
- Small business term loans from banks, credit unions, and online lenders
- Business lines of credit
- Business credit cards
- Vendor tradelines
- Accounts receivable financing
- Merchant cash advances
- Inventory financing
- Purchase order financing
- Equipment financing
Each option can have pros and cons.
As a startup founder, analyze both sides of the coin and weigh each side.
The more favorable side for your business and with greater opportunity, the more reason to choose that option for your business funding program.
Funds are the final lifelines in extreme situations and must be kept well preserved.
Through it, a business can survive, thrive or extinguish as it gives the power to take risks and take benefits of opportunities.
You better know as a business owner and startup founder that planning well in advance and striking at the right opportunity is the secret of success and win.
5) Use of Social Media
The time of pandemic showed the importance of cloud services and social networking power.
It showed that change is inevitable and we need to change our plans and process as per the external factors impacting our business.
It’s almost a free pool of resources a free pool of potential buyers and a free tool for letting the world know that you exist.
Digitally enabling your business and making use of digital tools and assets to increase growth is not only a way to success but a must-have strategy if you want to grow your small business plan to be on track and keep generating revenues.
More than ever now is the time when potential clients are wandering around social networking sites to gather information about the products they need and new things in the market.
“Trends” are what we all are looking for!
Being a trendsetter is normal and a unique thing to be for any brand. It will give your business an edge over the other and also an increase in awareness in your potential market.
The most important thing for any business or startup to thrive is to be known in the market and to be known for being the first, being like a consumer satisfactory, and being like you know the hungry information seeker person.
With the proper use of such a vast and powerful resource, you can attract fortune and many clients towards your business products, business values, and customer service.
Not using social media platforms is a waste of opportunity and a grave mistake, especially during this time.
Using digital services like,
- Digital marketing service
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Content Management
- Content Writing
- SEO management
- Website Development
- Account Management ( Digital Media )
- Keyword management
- Analytics and planner
There are many more services and ways to utilize this vast resource of open community and tools.
They can be either free, paid, or a mix of both.
Nonetheless, it is better to include them into your business marketing plan or tactic before it is too late.
If you have heard about the story of businesses who not only manage to survive but thrive and are continuously growing due to including social media tools and strategy in their business plan at the right time and the right moment, You can never say NO to the use of social media platform or digital services and management into your business strategy.
Even though we are running on a small scale, we still need to follow those startups, businesses, or founders who are now into unicorn stages and are setting the right path for all of us as founders and business owners.
Hey, we just wanted to share with you a “behind the scenes” video tour that covers all the elements to have in your business to maximize the power of web video.
The video shows you 12 different specialized areas on the “what, why, and how” to add a video to your business. It was created by two marketers who have collaborated in web video development for many years and who work with several marketers on their web video marketing, creation, and web-video campaigns.
You can watch this video tour here.
6) Workforce re-management or Human resource Upgrading
We all understand that the most consuming resource and expenses at the same time for business are human resources or our employees.
They can be our assets and they can be an expense in the blink of an eye.
Humans have always been complicated beings and so is their nature and chances or predictability.
Think and analyze on How do impacts from the crisis affect the capacity, capability, and affordability of your workforce?
You need to make sure that your business has enough workforce capacity with the required skills and values that are aligned with your business.
Even more so when at today’s time people are working remotely, as a business owner you need to have a plan which can help control, care and cover the activities of employees working remotely.
Having a proper infrastructure and line of supervision is a must.
Selecting a workforce that is capable, adequate, and loyal is very hard but we must have a plan and strategy to make sure that they align with the business.
Upgrading and re-learning the existing employees are equally important.
Encourage employees to take appropriate actions and communicate.
Turning employees into assets is a major indicator of a successful business and a creation of a strong pillar.
7) Adopting technologies and new ways of working
Storing and collecting information data is very vital for any business and more so during the pandemic situation. Identify the potential threat and working to protect gathered information is the most important responsibility of any business which are information-driven
Almost, 92% of businesses are industry-driven and are looking for ways to protect their companies, their employees, their clients, and their products/services information
Adopting anything new is not an easy task.
Here are some tools that we suggest that can help you in the easy planning of your new ways of working.
Check them out as we trust that these can help you in easy planning and team collaboration to make your strategy, project or any idea more easily trackable and flowing
It is an unfortunate reality of the pandemic crisis that not every startup or small business will recover from the loss and start growing. But what will be a common motive and winners of those who do recover will be their ability and desire to take charge of their business’ future and a sense of optimism about what lies ahead.
Every problem has solutions and every solution has a new problem that needs to be resolved using your strategy.
The best use you do with the available resources, the best outcome you can expect.
You should ask the 5 whys of the root cause analysis tool and a problem-solving skill method that has helped businesses and many successful business owners and startup founders to get your answers to the problems that you face. You can read more about this tool here.
We know it’s overwhelming to read till now, but, hey, you made it. You did not run away half the path, you did not take half the knowledge and wonder if it is worth it, you did not get distracted.
For risk-takers and determined business owners like you, we would like to summarize all the points here for your quick recap. Here you go:
- Create multiple streams of income
- Provide services that are exceptional and unique to your clients
- Assess the financial health condition of your business or startup
- Consider if you need external funding or internal funding are sufficient for smooth running
- Use of Social Media is a necessity to promote and market your product
- Workforce re-management or Human resource upgrading in your business will help you be up to date
- Adopting technologies and new ways of working
We believe these points help you out in planning a new direction to run your business.
Even if you are able to apply one point from the above, you will be able to see changes in your business overall health.
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