Small businesses have suffered the most in the midst of the worst economic crisis in more than a century, according to a Bloomberg analysis. What are the immediate challenges for small and medium-sized businesses in the field of services, such as many of the users of the Fashion Point system - hairdressing salons, cosmetics, manicures, piercing and tattoo studios, solariums, gyms, wellness and beauty centers, medical practices and others
In an analytical look at the situation since the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, Enterprise.bg points out: “Business has fallen into a serious crisis because of COVID-19. Many companies lost revenue and closed. Companies that are able to continue to work remotely lose customers, pause contracts and cancel services. ”
Ten months later, the economic environment is facing increasingly dynamic obstacles to the proper functioning of businesses - a crisis in development that particularly affects those employed in the service sector.
What measures to take for a successful business in 2021
It is important to take the time to create a plan outlining what needs to be communicated and how we will communicate it both internally and externally. Consistency, frequency and precision will be key goals to keep in mind. These good practices will help your brand survive, writes the online edition entrepreneur.com
Immediate communication is paramount, as breaking news in a dynamic environment leads to unexplained changes. Be wary of updates that directly affect your business and your users' access to it. Communicating with your audience should be almost instantaneous if certain news interferes with your ability to work, so be prepared.
It is better to have a ready-made strategy for behavior in emergency situations, such as lockdown, restrictions on working hours, the presence of a certain number of people on site, and more.
Take the time now to organize your work, schedules, and customer flow, as well as provide message guidelines and communication guidelines for your team.
Give accurate information and beware of too general and vague statements
The situation is changing dynamically - this is perhaps the most valuable business lesson that the pandemic has given us in 2020. Be adaptable, react in time, but be sure to be honest about your difficulties to employees, partners and customers. Even if you sometimes do not have specific answers, transparency is highly valued and crucial.
Organization, structure and procedures
Organize contacts, communication schedules and contingency plans and prepare advance announcements. Start by creating a list of all stakeholders and partners on whom the smooth running of your business depends.
These can be customers, partners, employees, consumers, suppliers, trade organizations, supply chains, support and others.
Document your communication procedures and guidelines, clearly outlining who, what, where and how to do it. This should be widely available in your organization. Clearly tell all staff exactly what they should and should not communicate externally, as well as how they should answer any questions or concerns from contractors. Prepare well-thought-out frequently asked questions to help your team and partners navigate.
If the scale allows it, take advantage of the services of a communications and crisis management expert, even if only for a quick adjustment of your plan. Then decide on a communication schedule and stick to it.
Pay attention to key steps such as marketing, advertising and proper presentation. Look for opportunities for an online booking system with which your customers can easily and seamlessly book a free time.
FASHIONPOINT offers a complete innovative digital service that will take the management and constant talking on the phone off your shoulders. Your clients save an hour with one click, while you can pay attention to other important things in your immediate work.
Focus on positive messages and decisions
It is important to focus on the things that are possible, not on what is not feasible in the relevant circumstances. Be alert, but do not cling to negative scenarios.
The sustainability of a business is measured by its flexibility - it is a good idea to discuss opportunities and ideas with your customers, employees and professionals, who are the most valuable source of information.
How to stay in business
Unfortunately, this is an extremely serious question, the answer to which will concern many of us in the next 12 months. The key to success on this front is the adaptability of your activities, as well as strategic and creative planning.
Start by listing all the ways you can add value or benefit from your current capabilities and experience. Are there any additional services or solutions you could offer? Look for strategic or partnership relationships that allow you to resell additional products or services. How can you identify additional revenue opportunities and keep your energy focused on positive, forward-looking solutions when times get tough.
Although pre-planning is a logical step, you will be surprised how many people suddenly find themselves in the position of managers or owners of a site. This can happen in different ways and for different reasons: change of management, buying / selling a business, approving a loan… whether creating your own salon is the fulfillment of a long-held dream, a chance you do not want to miss or a sudden turnaround of events - always approach with careful advance planning.
Write down the steps you need to take immediately, consider the ones you want to take in the next few months. Think about and discuss with partners what is best to do and prioritize the most pressing and strategic business tasks. This will save you a lot of stress and last but not least - money!
Based on materials from Enterprise and Bloomberg