Many businesses all over the world are crying out for help. The main reason for their suffering? The ongoing pandemic that forced many to take shelter inside their homes and brought practically the entire world to a standstill.
With tourism and a large part of the retail and services industries on an indefinite pause, and with most other markets losing customers due to the shift in people’s priorities, it’s no surprise that this crisis has left companies of different sizes in a dire state. According to a report by Startup Genome released in March, three-quarters of over 1,000 startup founders globally have been forced to lay off employees. In addition, more than three out of every 10 also admit that they would most likely run out of money by September.
A separate study released July 10 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), shows that as of late March, small businesses all over the U.S. had been forced to reduce their workforce by an average of 39 percent. The result shows figures from companies that were forced to halt operation due to the pandemic and ones that remained open all this time — with the latter still experiencing around 17.3 percent of decline in headcount.
As the crisis continues to heavily affect the country, many business owners find themselves hard-pressed to find an immediate solution that will allow their businesses to survive.
And while cost cutting seems to be the most apparent and feasible solution for many, it actually does very little to help you sail to the end of this pandemic.
So what can you do?
Agility is really key. You need to be able to adapt well and adapt quickly. This means a shift in both strategy and mind-set. Especially for small business owners, you need to stop focusing on trying to grow your business at this point, and instead devote your energy to helping your business evolve one way or another.
Adapting comes naturally for most entrepreneurs, but adapting purposefully, well, that’s another story. As you move forward, you need to take time to look at the different aspects of your business, and ask yourself, “How can I make this more effective so that I’m able to survive in this new world given the resources I still have left?”
My agency, Publicity For Good, is still undergoing some changes as a response to this pandemic. We’re very fortunate where we are right now. We always worked remotely, so we had very little adjustments to make. That said, we’re also looking for ways to make the business more secure in the coming days.
We’re a relatively young organization. The company has been around for just four years, and almost everyone I work with are a millennial or a Gen Zer. I guess that’s why it’s been so easy for us to adjust to this new normal — we’re so well-versed with technology. Also, the nature of our business really allows us to work from various locations. However, not everyone is as fortunate. And for businesses whose nature doesn’t allow them to function remotely, your biggest challenge will be making things work while ensuring the safety of both your people and your clients.
The changes that your business has to make don’t have to be big, they just need to be the right ones. Even the smallest efforts, when done properly and communicated effectively, will serve their purpose. So ask yourself these questions:
- Are my products still relevant?
- Is there a way I can tweak them to be more relevant?
- Are there other ways I can satisfy my clients’ needs?
- How should I communicate these changes?
As a communications expert, I would like to emphasize that now more than ever, it’s important for brands, companies, even public personalities to understand the importance of using the right channels to express their messages.
Everyone’s emotions are so high right now, and rightfully so. It’s been a rough year for everyone. And social media has amplified all the negative emotions that everyone is feeling. That said, almost anything can easily be taken out of context. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the how, when and where when it comes to properly delivering your message so that, again, it just really works to help you achieve your goal and not work against you.
In addition to embracing change, one thing that has personally helped me is sharing knowledge with others. Those who love teaching would agree that there’s an unspeakable sense of fulfillment that comes with seeing people take the knowledge they got from you and using it to empower themselves. This is why if you go to my Instagram account, you’ll see that I regularly share new information and realizations with my followers.
Recently, I’ve decided to up my teaching game by holding a Five Day PR Challenge, which I’m teaching for free to help other business owners, marketing or PR professionals, business coaches, and just about anyone during this pandemic. It’s my way of giving back to the community, and is something I hope can create a positive change in people’s lives.