Times are hard, especially for small businesses. As early as April, one in four small businesses across the US had shut down temporarily. In the following weeks, over 40% of the remaining companies did the same. Of course, with the reopening of the economy, SMBs now have the opportunity to recover slowly. However, even if your business is facing the challenge of surviving in such a predicament, you should still consider your plans for when the pandemic comes to an end.
It is highly probable that the market won’t go back to “normal” after the health risk subsides. Trends like the convenience of online shopping will continue to pervade. Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the lead members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, believes that even if a cure is found, the virus will never truly leave the world. As such, consumers will continue to be wary when they venture out of their homes. They will also prioritize different aspects of a purchase, such as its availability online. Pay attention to how the markets in your industry are reacting now, as this may very well become the new normal post-pandemic.
It’s wrong to think that an economic crisis triggered by a global pandemic won’t happen again. History says as much. In 1957, a new type of flu was discovered in patients in Singapore and Hong Kong, and the roots of the virus were traced to mainland China. It then spread to the rest of the world, triggering a global recession similar to the one we have now. If you want your business to be ready for whatever happens, then you have to be prepared at a structural level.
For example, Chron.com shares that upgrading to a corporation allows you to open your business for raising money via bonds and stocks. This can help you secure additional funding during a time of crisis. You can also use the money to grow your business. On the other hand, ZenBusiness notes that forming an LLC will enable you to have customizable ownership options. This means that while multiple people can own your business, the amount of control each one has can be changed at any moment. This will ensure a business can be much more agile in how it responds to a changing business landscape. The global market is always changing, so you have to prepare your company as much as possible.
Since we’re on the topic of preparing our businesses for future challenges, another thing you should be doing is transitioning your data online. According to the Cloud Adoption in 2020 report, only about 21% of businesses are hosting all their applications in the cloud. 49% are still keeping data on-premises, while the rest are using a hybrid of the two. If your business operations are fully integrated online, then that’s great. You can pull information anywhere and at any time.
If you aren’t on the cloud, then it is best to reconsider. The shift doesn’t even have to happen immediately, but the sooner you start, the sooner you can transfer your files. In the future, if your business has to scale down or move to another location, having your files on a cloud server will be much more convenient.
Regardless of the safety of office spaces, remote work is one business aspect that you shouldn’t part with. ZDNet reports that remote work has several benefits, including lower overhead costs, an increase in employee productivity, and access to a broader pool of talent. Of course, you don’t have to adopt remote work fully. Even just one to two days of remote work is enough to see a reduction in costs. We’ve written a post titled “9 Tips to Make Working from Home More Effective,” if you’re interested in maximizing your workforce’s productivity out of the office. Due to the nature of the setup, it’s also easy to transition from office to remote in case another crisis happens.
It’s difficult to think about the future when everything is so uncertain now, but success comes from the ability to adapt. While you’re busy keeping your business afloat, keep these four things in mind. They will help you not only get back on your feet, but grow as well.