As a small business owner, I was required to make a series of quick decisions at the onset of COVID-19. Only this time, I was without my normal data set on which to base the process.
Initially, I asked myself these questions: How will this virus affect sales? Can we carry on with the current cost base? What will be the long term effects of this pandemic? Will we still have a business/market in the next 12 months?
As is often the case, we have ended up making progress carefully down the middle.
Firstly, we looked at costs and made cuts where necessary, as it’s vital to preserve cash while still maintaining support for those clients that need it.
Next, we looked at our products and determined the areas of development that we could concentrate on for a few months, without the burden of constant sales pressure.
Thirdly, we looked forward to how the market may change in the future, which industries to concentrate on, and how our products can adapt to be effective when things start to return to normal.
Positives and Negatives
The obvious downside to any of the above projections is that we have never been here before. We, like all individuals and businesses, are navigating uncharted territory. Uncertainty leads to pressure and risk, and normal plans will need constant resetting.
On the upside, we now have time to improve our systems and process. We are being deliberate and data-driven in our response. Will our competitors become less competitive, we wonder, and handle the crisis less adeptly than we do? Time will tell.
The Short Term
At the moment, the best thing we can do is listen to the market; learn from our clients as they verbalize their needs and try to provide a response at a reasonable cost, while remaining competitive and relevant in the new environment. As always, we are here to receive feedback and adapt our services to meet our customers’ changing requirements.
They say fortune favours the brave. Well, we’re about to find out…