The vast majority of business owners around the globe will have been put through some extremely trying times this year, due to the continuous effects of the Coronavirus crisis.
Though, this awful virus and the pandemic in general has managed to teach us a thing or two about the way we all run our businesses and how working together only makes us stronger.
The lessons that have been offered up to small business owners in particular this year will likely stick with them for a lifetime. You have to look out for the silver lining in a dark and testing situation, after all. These are 5 of the biggest lessons small business owners have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following points are ranked in no particular order, as they’re all equally important lessons to learn. Now small business owners know of them, they do need to carry them forward into the future however. So, without further ado, this is what the Coronavirus pandemic has taught small business owners in the UK, as well as around the rest of the world.
1 – You’re never alone with your problems
The number one thing this virus has taught small business owners is that you’re never alone in your problems. When you’re faced with financial troubles it is always likely that others are too, so you’ll be connected that way and even your most fierce business competitors will show compassion towards your situation if they’re going through a similar thing.
If you’re someone that has recently been faced with unemployment and the loss of your job, you may also find some level of comfort in the fact that others are in the same boat as you, also. Don’t get us wrong, we fully understand this isn’t the place you want to be in, but it’s the reality of the year we’ve been put through and many others will feel your pain. You’re simply never alone with your problems.
2 – You always have to be ready for change
You always need to be ready for change, and dramatic change at that. This is one of the key things the Coronavirus pandemic has taught us as a society this year, but it’s undoubtedly been a key lesson for small business owners. This is something that with hindsight we have the power to overcome in the future with a much greater level of ease than prior to the start of the global pandemic.
In the future small business owners will likely know they’ll need some back up funds to fall back onto, an online counterpart to their business venture regardless of how small it is and a plan of action for when they can’t get into their physical premises due to an event such as the current pandemic. We understand that these are not easy solutions to draw up, but planning for the future will always prove to be helpful in the long run.
3 – The future is digitised
With no other option, shoppers moved online and during the months of April, May and June of this year and there’s no signs of them changing their ways in the future. Retailers reported a significant surge in e-commerce sales throughout the lockdown period. In fact, retailer giant Amazon stated that their sales soared by a huge 40%. This is further proof that when a level of uncertainty hits the public, they’d rather act safely and spend their hard-earned cash online.
Whether you think it’s a good or bad thing, we’re seeing more brands close their physical stores, instead focusing their efforts into the online portion of their respective businesses and making that the main outlet of their sales. If it’s easier to generate profit online and connect with the customer, you’re going to see more and more businesses head down this modern road.
The continued evolution of the internet has made it easier and more convenient for shoppers to browse and purchase goods than ever before. Whether that’s from a laptop, tablet or mobile phone – people can purchase almost anything from anywhere with just the click of a few buttons.
Whether or not you think it’s a good or bad thing, we’re seeing more brands close their physical stores, instead focusing their efforts into the online portion of their respective businesses and making that the main outlet of their sales. If it’s easier to generate profit online and connect with the customer, you’re going to see more and more businesses head down this modern road.
4 – This really won’t last forever
With reports of vaccines fast approaching, the end of the virus is in sight, although no official end date has presented itself just yet. This ultimately means that things will return back to normal at some point in 2021 and small businesses around the world will once again have the chance to recoup some of the cash they’ve lost throughout 2020 and get their ventures on the right track once again.
When the pandemic comes to end and all lockdown restrictions are finally lifted, it will have been a long time coming. Your customers will be ready and raring to go when your business revives itself post-lockdown because they haven’t been able to shop with you in a normal fashion for so long. Your custom will be very high and you’ll be on the receiving end of extremely high footfall when the world returns to normal, which means a boost in sales for you (it’s about time you had some good news).
5 – You can never be too prepared
This is a similar point to our second point in this article, but one that cannot be denied following on from the events of this terrible year. Never worry about over-planning for the future or being overly prepared for multiple situations and outcomes in regards to your venture.
It’s important to have a clear plan for your business when beginning a new venture. Have clear goals and set yourself deadlines to have pieces of your planning done by. Not only will planning lay out clearly what you need to complete in order to achieve your business goals, it will also help to keep your finances stable. Include budgeting in your planning process and allow yourself plenty of time to complete objectives.
All successful businesses start with an original, well fleshed-out plan of action. Although, the key is to be continuously developing these plans for different situations you my run into while running your small business. Never shy away from over preparing when it comes to the future of your company, both to grow it and defend it if we run into a problem like the Coronavirus once again.
Where do small businesses go from here?
From here on out small business owners need to remember the lessons they have learnt this year and carry them with them going forward into the future. The future does indeed remain a little unclear at this point, but the better times are on the way, so face them head on and be ready for change to occur once again at any moment.