The 4 Best Tips for Your Business to Survive and Thrive During COVID-19
Our tips will put you ahead of the competition and make this crisis an opportunity for your business

Is this the new normal? As a business owner, you have probably found yourself wondering this while trying to figure out what in the world to do about it. Unfortunately, thousands of small business owners have found themselves blindsided by the fact that, whether the pandemic will permanently change our world or not, businesses need to act fast to stay afloat. 43% of businesses in the US temporarily closed in response to COVID-19, and many may not reopen alongside the reopening of the broader economy. 

Things aren’t all fire and brimstone, however. Every crisis breeds opportunity, and some sectors and businesses are seeing record growth due to their quick responses to the pandemic. We’re here to help you become one of those savvy businesses with our top 4 expert tips.

1. Audit and Optimize Your Processes

First things first, you have to take the time to get your bearings amid this crisis. While markets are still slowed by pandemic prevention measures, you can seize the day by taking the time to thoroughly conduct an audit of your business practices. 

As part of your audit, you’ll be better able to understand the risks your business faces, what contingency procedures you’ll take to face future market turbulence, verify the sustainability of your business processes, and gain vital information to help decide on improvements to ensure your long-term success. Focus your efforts on these questions:

  • What is your burn-rate?

How quickly is your business spending money as opposed to bringing money in? This is a crucial question to answer so that you understand if your business is currently sustainable, how much of a safety net your business has, and how urgently you need to alter your current trajectory.

  • What is your bare-bones scenario?

How much could you cut expenses while maintaining a viable product or service? What is your worst-case scenario, and if faced with it, how many months could your business last? What changes could be made to extend that survival period? Use these answers to find places where you could cut expenses without cutting value in normal times, while also developing contingency plans for if another market crisis were to hit.

  • What are the biggest uncertainties your business faces?

Brainstorm and clearly understand the potential threats to your business, analyze how prepared you are for those threats now, and further develop contingency measures. For example, if customer churn is a primary concern in your industry, work on developing long-term package deals with customers to reduce that churn rate. 

  • What decisions have a timer on them in either the short or long term?

Whether it’s money spent on subscriptions for your business services, rental payments, inventory restocking decisions, or anything else, you need to list out these deadlines and assess their value for your business. Inventory and rental decisions are vital considerations, as COVID has forced many companies to reevaluate the value-added of physical office space and in-person merchandise displays for their organization.                              


Use the answers to these questions to assess if you’re on track to meet your business goals, if you are prepared for another market shakeup, and what areas can be optimized to minimize expenses while maximizing value provided to customers.  

2. Invest in a Downturn 
We all have a lot more downtime at home these days, even with things slowly reopening in some areas. Instead of taking this time to binge Netflix, invest a little bit in yourself and your business. Invest in marketing training to adapt to the increasingly vital world of digital marketing, seek out tips from the treasure-trove of online business gurus, or take some training courses on how to become a better manager of remote teams. 

Just as important as investing in your own business skills during this time, is investing in that of your employees. With employees working from home and/or having to navigate more interactions online than ever before, you need to make sure they are equipped with the digital skills, communication know-how, and resiliency necessary to stay afloat.

When deciding on what skills both you and your employees will benefit from most, you should start by brainstorming how the day-to-day work is changing for employees in your business, and then identify what changes have occurred and what behaviors and skills are needed to equip your employees most effectively to manage their workload. For example, your sales team may have to shift from in-person sales techniques to nurturing leads remotely. Products like Coursera, Skillshare, and Udemy are three inexpensive resources that can help you get your employees top-level training on a variety of topics. 

3. Step up Your Communications Online

There’s no question that things are moving online, and they’re moving online fast. According to research by Deloitte, digital traffic has grown 13% compared to last year, and the traffic from social media grew a whopping 33% more quickly than the same time last year. To capitalize on this trend, start out by assessing your current online marketing and advertising strategy. Start with these core questions: 

  • What social media channels are you currently active on? 

Are those social media channels the same channels your target customers are active on? Are there any channels you have yet to explore that your target audience may use?

  • How often are you posting? Which posts are getting the highest engagement, and what are the driving characteristics of those posts? 

Are you setting the right tone with your posts and online communications? Do you seem knowledgeable? Are you responding in a timely manner? 

  • Do you have a set client communication policy in place? 

If not, what standards do you want to put in place as far as tone, timing, and topics in your brand communications?

Once you’ve assessed your current online communications, it’s a good time to refine your messaging. Keep in mind the concept of “spotlighting” when analyzing your messaging strategy. The “spotlight” should always remain on the target customers, their problems, and what you can do to help them resolve those issues. For example, if you run a training business, you may find yourself tempted to make a post like this:

“I’m a three-time national champion in power-lifting and have set records in numerous categories. I’m great at pushing boundaries and my limits. Contact me at www.[website-name].com

Do you see the problem? This trainer is talking about their accomplishments, but that doesn’t help a consumer understand how the trainer can help them. Here’s an example of how this trainer could employ spotlighting tactics effectively:

“Are you looking to upgrade your performance in the gym and crush your weight-lifting records? I’m Joey Lifts-a-lot and I’ve helped countless athletes like you reach new heights in the gym with my unique training system. Let me help you, too, by signing up for one of my training programs: www.[website-name].com

This makes it easy for consumers to understand how Joey can fix their problems, rather than making them have to do the work to connect the dots between Joey’s accomplishments and their needs. 

Once you’ve implemented all of these practices into your digital communications strategy, you can go even further by joining Facebook groups relevant to your industry, employing relevant hashtags on Instagram to become a part of the conversation surrounding that topic, and starting conversations on other online groups. 

Another method to upgrade your social strategy is to utilize sponsored posts and paid advertising. By paying for advertising on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you can reach a targeted audience of people that might be interested in your business. Even better, you can pay influencers to advertise your product or service. For example, if you’re a fitness coach, you can pay fitness influencers on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms to post about your product or service. 

4. Adapt to Consumer and Competitor Trends

Most importantly, all businesses need to adapt. The pandemic has changed us all, including your potential customers and competition. Look at recent customer reviews for products or services in your industry and see if you can notice any new trends among these reviews. Are they commenting on the distancing protocols of the business? Are they praising their digital presence? You can also reach out to your customers directly, and ask for their feedback. They’ll appreciate that you’re seeking their expertise and are concerned about making sure your business is offering as much value to them as possible. 

As for your competitors, visit their website and social media pages. See what changes they may be implementing, and assess the value they may provide to your business. You can also look at forums for your industry for other ideas on how you can get ahead of the competition. When considering potential changes, assess how robust these changes will be across the possible market shifts of the upcoming years. Additionally, consider what leadership and organizational capabilities may be necessary to prepare for and sustain these changes. 

One of the key ways that business is changing in the post-COVID era is through the digitization of merchant payment processes. Some payment platforms have seen as much as 600% growth since the start of the pandemic. This is a signal to your business that, if you haven’t already, it’s time to optimize payments for the digital age.

At Pathpoint Merchant Services, we know that figuring out the logistics of payment systems isn’t what inspired you to become an entrepreneur in the first place. That’s why we developed a product to make sure that digitizing and coordinating your payments for the new world is seamless and simple. Whether you need physical payment systems, an easy-to-understand online payment gateway, mobile options, or another payment solution, we can be your one-stop-shop. 

Check out our packages and offers here, and let us know what tips you think businesses should keep in mind while navigating these unprecedented times via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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