You want to know how to restart your small business after a lockdown? Read on.
So you are a small business owner and your business is still here after the lockdown or quarantine.
I want to say congratulations to you, that you are still in business after the lockdown is a big achievement.
Not many businesses made it this far, a lot of big businesses have closed shop, and a lot more will follow.
I know you are a small business and you may say that you do not have the deep pockets that big businesses have.
That itself is a good thing because being small means you can maneuver and quickly change to adapt to the new normal.
Any business that does not innovate now will die off in the coming months.
So are you ready to learn what you must do to restart your small business after a lockdown?
Lets get to it.
7 steps to take to restart your small business after a lockdown.
The first thing you should know if you are a small business is that the strategy you wrote down to follow this year has gone out the window.
The winds of times just changed and you need to be ready to adjust yourself to the new normal.
As a small business owner, you may be struggling with alot of things, perhaps cash flow, getting the right staff or having to boosttrap your business.
But one thing you should never do is to jump into business without a plan for the new age we are in right now.
If you do, you will kill your business. The first step to restrategizing your business is to ask critical questions about your business.
Where is the money going to in my industry?
Are my core business offerings still in demand or am I in an industry that has been overtaken by events?
How do I rejig my business to still be relevant in these times?
What digital strategy can I put in place?
All these questions require deep reflection that you should use the remaining days of the lockdown to provide answers to.
To help you quickly design a post-COVID-19 strategy for your small business, I will be creating a small business strategic transformation planner.
My planners are designed to help you overcome the restraint of planning for your business.
It simplifies your work process and cuts down hours you would have lost trying to come up with the ideas yourself.
Tap the button below to sign up so you be the first to know when it is done.
Designing and developing a strategy for your small business will help you to know how to pilot your business in the coming months.
For example, if you are in the travel industry you would know that your business will not pick up as quickly as other businesses.
This is because travel will be less for now until there is a clear headway for different countries.
What business offering will you have in place to keep treading water until things pick up?
2.Double down on your core business
Once you are done with writing your strategy down, it is time to double down on your core business offerings.
That is if your business offerings are still relevant post COVID-19.
To double down your core business offering, here is what to do
- Provide services and products that your business is known for.
- Close down or stop business offerings that are not essential
- Isolate your high-income bearing products and increase it
- Create cheap alternatives to your expensive products
- Understand the shift in demand and begin meeting your customer’s needs
- Isolate your income bearing products and create varieties for those products
My strategy in my business is to double down on product creation and also increase my freelance writing income stream.
3 Pivot to new income streams
In step number 2, I talked about closing down nonessential parts of your business.
This is to enable you to focus on what is bringing income to your business in the now.
To restart your small business after a lockdown, you must look at your business value chain.
Find out where your new income streams could come from.
For example, in my blog, I just created an affiliate program for my printables products.
This has given me the opportunity to enable others to earn money from the products I create.
It will also bring in a new stream of customers.
The customers I get through the affiliate partner will not only become my customers but also my blog readers.
This means I am increasing sales, growing my email list, and at the same time helping others to make money.
How cool is that? If you want to become an affiliate partner to my printables product shop. Kindly sign up below
Affiliate partners earn 50% of the sale price of the product.
In times like this when budget is lean and business is low, alot of people want to cut back on adverstising.
This seems sensible but it is not the right way to restart your business.
If you have done your strategy well, you should be able to get some money from the services that you let go of. Or perhaps from some business grants.
For example, one of the ways I got some business money that I funneled into advertising is a small business grant that I got from Tailwind.
I pay 15 dollars per month to use Tailwind, but I applied for a grant that gave me 3 months of Tailwind free.
I use that same amount I would have paid to Tailwind for 3 months to pay Facebook to advertise my products.
Tailwind is a software that helps you pin your blogposts on Pinterest on autoplilot.
It saves you hours you could have spent in pinning manually. Tailwind is free for the first 100 pins.
Alot of small businesses got money from the federal government to help them restart their businesses
If you were among those who got some money, you can use that money to advertise your small business.
To advertise your business when you have scarce funds, here are steps to follow
1.Target your customers
When you have little funds and you require results, be precise in targeting your customers.
This is not the time to waste funds targeting everyone.
Design your advert to target your demographics.
Use your knowledge of buyer persona to ensure that you are getting your message across to the right people.
2.Use low cost and effective advertising methods
There are so many ways to advertise your business.
But in the presence of scarce funds, you need to determine what method is effective and low cost.
For example, blogging advertises your business because you are giving free information to attract your customers.
A lot of small businesses do not like to hire freelance bloggers to blog for their businesses because they feel it does not bring in immediate sales.
What they fail to understand is that a well-written blog post can bring in hundreds of thousands of customers, especially if that post is ranking on the first page of Google.
This will bring in revenue that will cost you nothing except for the amount invested in the article write up.
Which is usually small compared to the benefits.
The shelf life of a Twitter post or a FB post is very small, but the shelf life of a post well written can last for as much as 5 years.
If you want well-written and SEO optimized blog posts for your small business, you can hire me.
I have several of my posts ranking on the first page of Google, you can check it out here.
5. Re-think your business processes
If your business requires a lot of in the face meetings with your clients before you close a deal.
Realize that as long as there is no cure for COVID-19, there will always be the threat of contracting the disease.
This is a major concern as you gear up to restart your business.
Consider writing policies that will take into consideration the current realities.
Let your staff know about these policies so that you can all work in a safe environment.
For example, if you own a hairdressing salon, consider letting your customers know that you are now reducing the number of clients you can book per day.
This makes it easy for you to practice social distancing while you do your business.
Last-minute bookings cannot take place anymore no matter how much extra will be paid.
6. Digitize your business
If you are working online already, this aspect does not apply to you because your business is already digital.
If you own a brick and mortar small business, it is time to realize that you have to permanently move certain aspects of your business online.
For example, if you are a restaurant owner consider offering your meals as take out alone.
This will mean having a website where people make orders and pay for your food.
It may also mean taking a look at your entire business process and looking at touch points that must be digitized.
If you want a small business digitization consultancy, book my services here.
7. Cut down your customer journey
The best way to get your business moving again at this time is to cut down your customer buying journey.
This means cutting down the loops they need to get through to get to your payment check out page.
Optimize your sales page and business website to collect payment right on that same page.
Avoid using payment buttons that keeps redirecting your customer to countless pages.
This may make them loose patience and take their money elsewhere.
There are many payment buttons available, I recommend using a simple one named iSell-
It comes as a plugin to be used on WordPress sites, and can be used with only Paypal.
iSell will direct your customer straight to their Paypal account.
This button by passes all the drama of using a form like other payment buttons.
Realize that the more forms or loops your customers have to fill before they make a payment, the lesser you will get paid for your products.
You will get a higher number of abandoned carts because they will lose patience.
To restart your small business after a lockdown may seem daunting, but if you can do all I have suggested above you will be fine.
Let’s start our businesses, but let us keep safe. You can rebuild a business but a life lost cannot be recovered
Stay safe and save lives.
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