Businesses and COVID-19: Doing business in a pandemic
It’s no secret that the pandemic has challenged many businesses. With COVID-19, many industries were severely impacted, and in some cases completely paralyzed. Entrepreneurs across the province are struggling to keep their heads above water with all the closures and restrictions that affect their businesses. Yet, some are actually seeing their businesses grow exponentially and are acquiring new customers. Here are 5 opportunities SMEs can seize during this volatile, yet innovative time.
Sort out the business’ finances
With all the obstacles brought on by COVID-19, Quebec businesses, regardless of their financial health, have had to take stock of their finances. The urgent nature of this situation led a good number of businesses to reduce their operating costs, tighten control over their cash flow, and prepare financially for the relaunch of their SME. Though sometimes a difficult exercise, it is a beneficial one for long-term profitability.
Take advantage of technology
Within the first few months, businesses started shifting towards digital. COVID-19 changed the way consumers shop, and SMEs who took advantage of that are now seeing that their efforts have paid off. There are numerous ways a business can optimize their digital presence: a website redesign, increased presence on social media, promotional initiatives, etc.
Shift to online commerce
Similarly, the shift to online commerce has forced entrepreneurs to rethink how they can connect with their customers. Yes, for some businesses, online commerce meant creating their first transactional website. For other businesses, a completely reinvented offer for online commerce will be the basis for their relaunch.
Rethink the way we work
Working from home, teamwork tools, certain activities shifting to virtual, hybrid models: COVID-19 has certainly shaken up some habits for teams within businesses. Some innovative ways of doing things are now well established and may very well be here to stay. The flexibility they offer has allowed us to be more efficient, to reduce certain expenses, and to continue our business activities despite the restrictions in place.
Return to growth
For many entrepreneurs, the pandemic provided the opportunity to adjust their focus and conduct a major exercise in strategic thinking. Is the business’ service offer still relevant to the market? How have the needs of consumers changed since the business launched? Are our ways of doing business still aligned with these expectations? For SMEs, a relaunch will take the form of renewal. In diversifying their clientele, products, or services, these businesses gained valuable knowledge from COVID-19 and will start anew with an even stronger foundation.
Ready, set, go!
Your local SADC and CAE advisors are here to help you go further.