The past year has seen dramatic change for many small businesses, from operations and personnel needs to customer preferences around purchasing and delivery of products and services.
While some businesses have thrived and experienced growth during this period of change, others are faced with overcoming financial losses as we emerge from the pandemic.
The “new normal” post-COVID-19 is still developing, giving small business owners time to develop and begin executing a strategic plan to recharge their business’ batteries and begin recouping lost revenues caused by changing customer behaviors and safety restrictions that affected their operations or ability to stay consistently open.
Consider the following options when evaluating your small business and what steps you need to take to be profitable in a new business environment.
Review What Has Worked – And What Hasn’t
A fall 2020 WSFS Bank Business Survey revealed that 88% of businesses made changes to how they operated due to COVID-19. As restrictions have eased in the ensuing months, small business owners have continued to adapt and pivot to keep up with changing customer wants and needs.
While some businesses thrived on the new operating models, others used the changes in how they operate to stay afloat.
Now is a great time to assess what worked and is sustainable for long term growth, and what was more of a short-term adjustment to keep revenues coming in but may not be enough to bridge the financial gap moving forward.
Raise More Capital to Drive Growth
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) introduced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020 to help businesses keep employees on the payroll and cover other expenses during periods of the pandemic, but now that PPP is ending, consider contacting your SBA-preferred lender to evaluate government-backed loan options.
The Federal government continues to announce programs supporting small businesses as well, so keep yourself informed of what is available and how these initiatives could help your business.
This is also a great time to contact your business’ bank to look at favorable loan options to infuse money and investment into your business, whether you need more operating capital, new equipment or are considering purchasing property for your business that can also open up new revenue streams.
If you uncovered new opportunities for sustained growth, this is also a great time to work with your banker to develop a plan to help accelerate that growth.
Cultivate New Relationships and Build on Existing Partnerships
During the pandemic, many small business owners joined forces to provide customers with the products and services they needed, when they needed them, under unusual circumstances.
In some cases, those circumstances have become the “new usual.”
Consumer and B2B customers alike are now accustomed to a new way to engage with businesses and these habits will likely continue to some degree well into the future.
If you partnered with other local businesses to deliver one another’s products and services in mutually beneficial ways before or during the pandemic, consider discussing new ways to take those relationships even further, driving revenues and profits you and your partner businesses.
Take some of your key learnings to cultivate new relationships as well. Collaboration with new partners can open new revenue streams, efficiencies and drive a renewed entrepreneurial spirit among all involved.
Take a proactive approach to these steps and others that are specific to your industry to infuse new ideas, revenue streams and cash flow options into your small business. While recovering from financial losses due to the pandemic may take time, establishing a clear, sustainable path can lead to long term growth and success.
Helping you boost your financial intelligence.
Read our financial resources from your friends at WSFS.