Business Optimism in this Time of Crisis

The turn of events this year had not been good for several businesses. If you are one of those that had to close shop in the first half of the year, now is not the time to focus on your losses.

Several governments are pouring in incentives in efforts to pump back the economy. See what you could capitalize on—tax breaks or subsidy. Check whatever your national and local governments are offering.

Consider taking out loans.

Loans are both good and bad. If paying off a loan is actually your main worry, for sure, you would think twice about taking out another loan. But weigh your options. There might be offers right now for lower interest rates. Check if you could work out a new loan to pay off your old one and have enough to revamp your business.

The US Small Business Association, for one, offers low-interest loans for small businesses affected by the Coronavirus. If you didn’t make this year’s cutoffs, plan for the following year. The US Department of Treasury is also funding different relief plans through the government’s various agencies.

Other countries have similar economic protection packages, so check those out before looking to private lending institutions.

Adjust your plan to the current trends.

As your usual buyers continue to tighten their belts and feel anxious about their finances, it’s time to focus on the essentials. The pandemic has changed people’s spending patterns, and you might want to realign according to the emerging market.

Industries catering to basic needs—like food and health—are flourishing. But you need to see further what kind of products have gone up or down. In general, people have become more health-conscious, and the market for healthy lifestyle products and services have expanded. If you are in the food industry, you might want to have more nutritious items or look for a way to interject nutrition in your existing menu.

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Because of social distancing, households that could afford to do so use their time at home on DIY projects, putting up backyard gardens and other things they could not with their harried schedules before. See if your business has a niche there.

Demand for home entertainment has reasonably gone up, but so has goods used for outdoor activities. People are either staying indoors or going to the great outdoors—engaging in farming, hiking, camping, and other activities that do not involve a lot of people.

Be Internet savvier and expand your market reach. Online businesses were in full swing with everyone cooped up in their homes, and in the first few weeks of the pandemic, consumers unleashed their retail therapy needs online. Amazon and Alibaba could clearly vouch for this.

There is probably no business today without an online presence. But not all have mastered the art of online marketing. If you have not fully explored the online platforms yet, do it now. There are several free online tutorials in maximizing social media platforms and setting up websites. Plus, digital marketing allows you to reach a bigger market beyond your local clients. Think about it; consider the basic logistics you need if you would ship goods or hire workers in other localities to offer services under your brand.

If nothing really works, file for bankruptcy and start anew. The best way to do this is to have an expert handle this to protect your assets. States may have different laws on bankruptcy. For example, Utah has a provision in Bankruptcy Chapter 7 that would allow an individual to retain personal assets while eliminating debt. So familiarize yourself with your state’s laws and consult with your lawyer.

Then, plan out a new strategy to restart your business or shift to a different enterprise. While this pandemic will come to an end, the lessons learned from its suddenness can be applied to long-term strategies.

For example, we know that businesses that are not limited to on-site markets can adapt more to unprecedented situations. However, a network of logistics has to be in place as disruptions in the supply chain can also be a major setback (ex. the transport of goods overseas had been stalled for a long time during the lockdowns). We also learned the industries that can flourish when people are forced to cut budgets.

If you are starting fresh, consider the insights that arose from this coronavirus pandemic crisis. But if you already have an established business and are looking to salvage it, try to ride and capitalize on the current trends but at the same time look towards the new norm that is to come after this pandemic.

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