Milwaukee, Wis. – Even during an economic boom, it’s not easy being an entrepreneur. Now flip that upside-down and add a national health pandemic on top of usual stressors of launching a new business adventure. The COVID-19 pandemic has many entrepreneurs facing incredible financial pressures and uncertainty. But with struggle comes strength. Change brings new opportunities and young leaders must embrace the hardship to build a stronger, more innovative company with the resilience to thrive at whatever obstacles come their way. BBB offers tips and financial advice for entrepreneurs to stay ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eight Ways Entrepreneurs Can Stay Ahead During Pandemic:
- Act fast and stay informed. Time is of the essence. Small-business owners should confront the situation and take immediate action to stay afloat. Be sure to routinely check updates to legislation and policies because they are continually evolving and changing, like the CARES Act, recently expanding SBA Disaster Loans, and Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- Build Cash Available. Talk to your financial advisor or find financial services near you for help.
- Increase Customer Satisfaction. Identify unique opportunities to grow your customer base. Discover innovative ways to fulfill consumer needs that competitors ignored. Entrepreneurs can capitalize on building their patron base from those who might have neglected or didn’t make customer retention a main priority during the crisis. Leveraging your skills and assets to provide potential customers with a product or service they need can help build your business.
- Adapt and pivot. Tap into your entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and shift your mindset from surviving to thriving. Identify new challenges that can be solved by a fresh idea, method, or technology. Discover pain points businesses or consumers are facing during the pandemic. Pivot your current business model to provide a solution or service. When one door closes, make a key to unlock a new revenue stream.
- Embrace your local community. A new consumer is emerging from the COVID-19 health crisis. Based on Ernst & Young’s Future Consumer Index Report, consumers will show a greater preference for shops, restaurants, and brands that feel local. Consumers are more interested in value for money rather than price. Rally those within your community to support your business. Give back to your local area and they will return the favor.
- Be prepared to bounce back. Eventually, the world will return to some semblance of normalcy. Make sure your business takes steps now to be ready to recover. Evaluate your staffing and determine which team members you’ll need first, analyze your costs and consider increasing margins, and prepare for a staged reopen, that includes a marketing plan.
- Invest in your people. Businesses retaining employees that have a skilled workforce will be ready to take advantage of the recovery. Those that fired a large portion of their workforce will realize how expensive — and time-consuming — it is to rebuild. People may be the only competitive advantage many small businesses have left now. Move forward by hiring for fit first, eliminating non-performers, abandoning your annual reviews, building a virtual team of top potential candidates, and creating a work culture anchored in trust and accountability.
- Believe in yourself. Confident entrepreneurs are better poised to start and succeed in new business, especially during a time of crisis. They are more opportunistic, persistent, resilient, and accepted.
For more business tips, see BBB.org/smallbusiness and visit BBB.org/news. For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2019, people turned to BBB more than 183 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.8 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Wisconsin which was founded in 1939 and serves the state of Wisconsin.