How the Right Strategy Can Set Small Businesses Up for Recovery
The road to recovery will be a long and winding path for many businesses. However, there’s no reason that it can’t be a smooth one. For companies that put the right strategy in place, a comprehensive recovery is possible.
Grab a Rifle, Not a Shotgun
You don’t have to know a lot about guns to understand the difference between how a shotgun and rifle discharge. A shotgun shoots a cartridge filled with buckshot – lots of tiny metal balls or BBs – and creates a massive spray pattern around the target. Depending on the type of shotgun and the distance, the spread can be as much as 40 inches in diameter.
A rifle, on the other hand, is a precision instrument. These firearms are often equipped with scopes that allow the user to narrow in on a target and hit a bullseye with pinpoint accuracy. Whereas a shotgun leaves dozens of tiny holes on a paper target, a rifle creates a single, concentrated point of entry.
As your business enters into a post-COVID-19 shutdown recovery phase, you need to ask a simple question: Am I using a shotgun or a rifle?
In other words, is your business just throwing stuff at a target and hoping that some of it lands near the bullseye? Or are you aiming with precision so that you’re able to hit the target precisely where you want?
It’s not enough to want to recover. If you return to the status quo and expect everything to resume to pre-pandemic status, then you’re setting yourself up for failure. For businesses, strategy precedes recovery. You need to develop a plan today so that you’re prepared to execute tomorrow.
Smart Steps for a Strong Recovery
No two businesses are the same. You have to figure out what recovery means to you and then work backward to develop a calculated strategy that helps you get from where you are to where you want to be. Here are a few helpful ideas to chew on:
- Take Stock of the Damage
The first action item is to assess the current situation and to take stock of the damage that’s been done to your business, your industry, and your customer base. Understanding the level of damage is the very first step in knowing where to concentrate your time, effort, and money in the coming months.
- Stay Lean
We just came out of one of the best decades in the history of American business. It was an unprecedented stretch of robust growth and expansion. And during this time, many businesses got caught up in the moment and let their expense sheets get a little inflated. But there’s no longer any room for bloating.
The key to staying successful and financially solvent over the next six months to a year is to remain as lean as possible. Think of your business as a startup and look for ways to strip out all unnecessary expenses so you can focus on the only thing that matters: delivering value to your clients.
Not sure where you’re wasting money? Companies like P3 Cost Analysts can conduct audits on electric, water, and gas, phone and internet, waste/recycling, and merchant accounts to uncover areas where you’re overpaying (either via poor contractors or errors with billing).
- Invest in the Right Marketing
It’s easy to view marketing as a non-essential expense when you’re trying to stay lean and profitable. However, stripping out marketing is not the right way to go. The key is to invest in the right type of marketing so that you’re able to grow your business with greater efficiency.
Now is the time for organic marketing. If you aren’t already in the content game, now’s the time to dive in. Use this as an opportunity to open up and be honest with your customers. Whether that looks like publishing long-form blog posts, going on Facebook Live every morning to provide a two-minute daily update on what your business is doing, or starting a podcast to reach your clients via a new medium, there are opportunities everywhere.
- Prioritize Your Human Resources
People have and always will be the heart of business. Whether you have a team of two or 200, prioritizing your people will set you up well for a long-term recovery that will ultimately leave you in a stronger place down the road. Sometimes you have to terminate employees, lay off workers, or readjust your approach to human resources. And while you might not be able to do anything about the underlying circumstances, you can control the tone of your approach. Be purposeful!
Do You Have a Strategy?
You don’t need to have everything figured out prior to reopening your business. You do, however, need a precise strategy that outlines some of the specific ways you’re going to lower expenses, increase revenue, attract customers, address financial imbalances, and rebuild your company culture and brand image. A little planning goes a long way.