From one small business to another, we understand how difficult it was when the pandemic first hit over a year ago. With the sudden and unforeseeable need to halt all operations, no one could have imagined how long and severe this would affect small businesses. However, with Ontario entering stage 3 in the Roadmap to Reopen last week, this transition finally feels like the light at the end of the tunnel. Though no recovery is linear, we wanted to provide a framework of some tips to recover from the pandemic:
1. Take note of any workplace changes that need to be made
There's no question that many of the public health measures taken this past year will persist onwards past the pandemic. Especially if you are non-remote, it is important to research any updated public health requirements to run your small business. To ensure you comply with the health and safety obligations of your community, resources can be found on your province’s public health website. (for Ontario residents, you can find it here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace).
2. Update your contingency plans
Prior to opening, it may be beneficial for you to first re-evaluate and revamp your business plans and budget. Include assessing your plans, cash flow, and spending into your regular routine. In preparation of another unforeseeable situation arising, it may also be valuable to create or update your contingency plan and how it will cater to your customers.
3. Survey the changes in your consumer base and update accordingly
With many modifications to people’s normal routines in the past year, this may have affected a number of different factors, such as financials or preferences. For this reason, it is important to take note of these changes, especially within your regular customer base. Take into account how you can cater your business to any changes in your demographic, as well as if your own finances can support these customer changes.
4. Take advantage of the online transition
With a global shift into a virtual setting, use this new medium as a golden opportunity. Take advantage of the online tools you have at hand and even consider investing in advanced, premium tools (eg. paying for ads, investing in product design outlets, etc). Effective seo (search engine optimization) practices will improve the user experience of your customers, as well as potentially even create returning customers.
5. Partner up with your fellow community members
If your business entered some disruption in the past year, nobody would understand you best other than your fellow small business owners. By being in the same boat, you can both leverage off each other by collaborating or doing cross-promotions, ultimately benefiting everyone involved.