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COVID-19 made small businesses vanish by the thousands. The pandemic left 140,104 marked temporarily closed at the beginning, according to Yelp.com's Local Economic Impact Report, but by August that had fallen to 65,769.
More than 97,966 businesses have permanently shut down during the pandemic, according to Yelp.
Sixty-four percent of small business owners believe they can continue operating under current conditions for more than a year, up from 34 percent three months ago, according to a CNBC/SurveyMonkey survey of small business owners.
Tips for Getting Back on Your Feet
Here’s how to get back on your feet after the pandemic.
Tip 1: Take care of your people.
First things first. Your employees are your most valuable assets. Always keep that first and foremost in your mind. If you continue to treat your people well, it will affect your long-term success. Check out a few things you can do to take care of your employees:
Did you have to furlough your employees? You might not realize how worried they are. They may wonder about their future in the company. Do your best to reassure your employees — honestly — and let them know what to expect. Put yourself in their shoes for a little bit and get sensitive to their needs.
Other employees who have been working remotely may worry about working in an office with other people again — and the germs involved. You need to make them as comfortable as possible, complete with social distancing and hygiene implementations.
Ask about their concerns if you’re not sure what your employees are worried about. Your honesty is necessary and your clarity about everything is so important.
Tip 2: Revamp your marketing strategy.
Are your current communications in a great position to weather a post-COVID-19 world?
For example, your marketing materials may seem completely out of touch with the economic and social climate. The last thing you want is a marketing funnel that comes across as naive and insensitive.
Strive toward messages that communicate that your business is there to help — keep everything you communicate that meets your customers where they are. You want to succinctly communicate with your customers’ deepest felt needs. Don’t keep your awesome offerings a secret, either. Tell your customers how proactive you are and how you’re actively helping them during this time.
Tip 3: Analyze the “before” and “after.”
Take the next step past communicating “I’m here for you!” Figure out how your customers’ lives have changed. In truth, their lives may never be the same! They may never interact with your business the same way!
Online experiences are the way forward.
Customers want and crave entertainment, comfort and hope.
Many of your customers are poorer due to the pandemic.
They may permanently scar due to contagious disease.
Don’t assume you know their fears and problems. Learn how their lives have changed and how you can offer your customers what they need. Ask them what they are looking forward to and keep them warm if they aren’t currently buying from you. You want them to buy from you again.
Tip 4: Examine your books.
Have you done a good job of keeping up your revenue during the pandemic? If not, chances are, you’re likely going to need to make some hard decisions.
The most important thing you need to know is to know exactly what cash flow availability you have both during and after the pandemic. Then, ask:
How does that interact with your fixed expenses?
How can you cut exampenses?
Where can you get flexible with your expenses?
Can you delay some expenses?
Can you tap into public assistance and other ways of bridging the gap as they become available.
Scour your books daily to make sure you know exactly what to do to make sure you can float your business.
Tip 5: Help your business by getting online background checks with TransUnion ShareAble for Hires.
Are you hiring right now? During this time, you need to make sure you’re hiring the absolute right people for the job — it’s imperative during a pandemic.
You want to know as much as you can find out about your next potential hire. TransUnion ShareAble for Hires offers credit and criminal background checks and offers:
Pay-per-use, no setup or hidden fees or subscriptions
All online and mobile-friendly
TransUnion credit check
Criminal background report that covers nearly all jurisdictions
A built-in applicant identity verification
Why should you check an applicant’s credit report? You can:
Review that candidate’s financial habits
Ability to manage budgets
Get more information to assess your risk
Obviously, you won’t base your hiring decision on more than just a credit profile. But without an accurate background check, you won’t know whether the job candidate is financially responsible or has a relevant criminal background.
Tip 6: Be honest with yourself about your best profit opportunities.
What are your most valuable products? Are you an online yoga business and your beginner Intro to Yoga class is way more popular than your Advanced Yoga class? Dump the advanced class and focus on what’s making you money right now.
What do your loyal and profitable customers prefer? Ask them! They’ll tell you what they need and want. Focus on those parts of your business — the ones that have broad appeal.
Tip 7: Keep bringing in business.
Continuing on the theme of those things that have broad appeal, focus on bringing in more business. Once you get clarity on what your customers want, manage your cash flow and keep sailing into your business.
Tip 8: Hoard cash, if you can.
Once you’ve identified where you can get flexible, get rid of expenses you don’t need cramping your style — company credit cards, travel, employee 401(k) contributions, raises, bonuses or overtime pay.
Stockpile cash as much as you can so you keep your business afloat in the most possible way.
How to Strategize with Shareable
Ready to figure out how to get the best people on your team? Here’s how to use ShareAble.
Step 1: Send your request to your applicant.
ShareAble for Hires emails a screening request to your applicant.
Step 2: Your hire goes through ID verification.
The applicant enters their personal information and their identity is authenticated.
Step 3: Reports delivered.
The reports get delivered to you.
Get ShareAble and Get Back on Your Feet
Opportunities and risks: It’s important to hire those who represent the right fit for your culture and those who you can trust with sensitive business information. You also need to feel confident in your new hire’s ability to interact with your customers.
That’s where ShareAble for Hires comes in. Small business owners can make better hiring decisions by enabling a web-based, self-service, employee background check service that delivers fast, reliable and easy-to-perform employment background checks.
ShareAble’s technology delivers comprehensive employment background checks — a solution specifically for small business owners who need accurate work background checks fast.
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