The global health crisis forced businesses to either close or adjust their plans to suit the situation. Even large retailers closed due to the lack of sales as people stay home to avoid getting infected.
But the situation improved over a year after the pandemic started. With more than 50 percent of the population getting vaccinated, people started traveling again. Businesses welcomed this development as they saw it as an opportunity to recover after a year of low revenues.
Some businesses may have plans to grow even though the pandemic is not yet over. Here are some things that these businesses can take into account while they are planning to expand.
Focus on Health and Security
The first thing that a business owner should focus on is health and security. When the virus spread across the country, it resulted in more than 37 million people getting infected. It also caused the deaths of more than half a million Americans.
Due to this, businesses should implement health protocols designed to protect their employees and customers. If there’s a need to interact directly with customers, the business may set up Plexiglass barriers to prevent droplets from hitting the employees in case customers take off their masks.
Another option is to allow work-from-home arrangements for employees. This reduces contact and allows the business to maintain social distancing in the store if it’s necessary for some employees to work on-site.
Connect with the Customers
Businesses can also connect with their customers both online and offline. Connecting online means they can open their physical store and welcome back customers who couldn’t visit them since the pandemic started.
On the other hand, connecting with customers online can be challenging, especially if they have many competitors in the industry. Businesses should work on increasing their online presence using search engine optimization, social media marketing, and other digital marketing techniques.
Connecting with the customers allows businesses to inform them about any changes in the way the business operates. It also allows businesses to retain loyal customers who may have to remain out of touch due to the pandemic. The business can even promote its new products and services to its customers and ask for feedback from those who already bought these new products and services.
Work with the Suppliers
Businesses that relied on supplies from overseas manufacturers saw their sales going down as the pandemic caused shipping delays. To prevent the spread of the virus, authorities implemented lockdowns that affected international shipping activities. These lockdowns resulted in cargo getting stuck due to the closure of warehouses in different parts of the world.
To avoid this issue in the future, businesses should work with their suppliers to develop contingencies in case the same situation happens again. They can also negotiate better payment terms since they are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
Additionally, businesses can also look for secondary suppliers in case their primary suppliers cannot fulfill their orders on time. These secondary suppliers should be reliable and offer the same products that businesses get from their primary suppliers.
Review Cash Flow
The pandemic had a considerable effect on the cash flow of businesses across the country. Many of these businesses had to scramble to connect with their customers and stay afloat. And after more than a year since the pandemic started, the situation has improved.
Businesses that aim to grow during the pandemic should review their cash flow so that they’ll have an idea of where they stand financially. They should make sure they earn more than they spend. Knowing its cash flow also allows the business to have an idea about the working capital it currently has in its bank account.
Businesses should list all inflows and outflows of cash. This means they should look at their sources of revenue and their expenses. The revenues should also include the receivables of the business. And based on this list, business owners can estimate the cash flow the business will have in the coming weeks.
Growing a business during a pandemic can be challenging. Business owners should get a full picture of their businesses before planning their expansion to avoid issues in the future.