How can businesses survive the corona crisis?

While most markets and businesses have been somewhat decimated by Covid-19, there are ways in which firms can cope during these unprecedented times. But what precise steps can companies take to achieve this aim? 

Let’s face facts, while the corona crisis may be a health crisis first and foremost, it’s also likely to have a telling socio-economic impact across the globe.

It’s certainly true to say that a number of markets and industries have been decimated by the coronavirus outbreak, from brick-and-mortar retail to cinema chains and public houses. In fact, only a select few industries have actually thrived, with the iGaming niche and platforms such as offering a relevant case in point.

In this post, we’ll focus on the markets and companies that are floundering as a result of COVID-19, while asking how these entities can survive the fallout and subsequent financial crisis.

1. Secure liquidity

One of the biggest challenges facing both businesses and governments during the corona crisis is access to cash, which is why administrations across the globe have creates huge financial stimulus packages for companies to help sustain them in their time of need.

Of course, small businesses are particularly vulnerable in this respect, as while they dominate the commercial market in terms of volume many also struggle to last longer than five years overall.

The key issue here is that many businesses have seen their revenue streams dry up during the implementation of various lockdowns and social distancing measures, while many have had to make difficult decisions regarding overheads such as rent and payroll despite the assistance offered by the government.

This has left many ventures with minimal cash flow, creating a ticking time-bomb that may well explode before nations are able to safely navigate their way out of lockdown and the corona crisis.

In order to combat this, firms must optimise their access to cash by seeking out the bespoke government solutions and aid packages that are most relevant to their circumstances. In the UK, for example, there are various packages available in the form of loans and grants, and in some cases, it may be better to seek out smaller cash grants that don’t create (or exacerbate) a cycle of debt in your firm.

This includes the furlough scheme, as while your company may need to retain a small body of strategic employees in the near-term, it’s unlikely to require full employment levels or the help of contractors.

So, be proactive in your attempts to cut your cloth according to your circumstances, while retaining the talent that you need to keep your venture afloat in the near-term.

2. Engage with policy makers

Of course, there has (in some instances) been significant criticism of governments and the efforts that they’ve taken to protect businesses and entrepreneurs.

Much of this has come from SME owners and sole traders, who feel as though some of the provisions made have not been rolled out with their best interests at heart.

There’s arguably good reason for this, however; as it’s big businesses and corporations that tend to have the ear of governments and therefore retain a more significant influence in terms of policy decision.

It’s therefore important that you’re vocal and active when advocating for the type of assistance that your business needs. Such efforts are more effective when undertaken as part of a trade or lobbying group, or at least in partnership with like-minded entrepreneurs and business ventures.

In the digital age, social media is also an effective way to communicate directly to local MPs and politicians, although the most important thing is that you develop a concise, consistent and coherent message that’s also viable in the current economic climate.

One of the biggest things to reinforce is that small businesses remain key economic drivers in nations such as the UK, where SMEs account for a staggering 99.3% of all trading firms.

3. Seek out new revenue or engagement streams

It’s all too easy to become consumed by negativity during the coronavirus outbreak, but this mindset can cause you to overlook opportunities to reimagine your business and seek out new revenue streams.

This is especially true for online ventures, as where there’s technology or an app, there’s always a way to engage with customers, sell products and generate income that can help to sustain businesses during their time of need.

In terms of the former, it’s important to remember that most people are now spending more time at home and (in some cases) have less to occupy their time. This therefore creates an opportunity to engage new or existing consumers across a host of markets, simply by creating a viable hook and making contact through platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Zoom and even Microsoft Teams.

At the very least, this can help to build or retain customer bases for the longer-term, while it may also enable you to boost sales during the lockdown.

When it comes to sales, it’s fair to surmise that the corona crisis may offer an opportunity to adapt your existing product ranges or create new offerings that are likely to see increased demand.

This may require some thought and a little investment on your part, but this type of endeavour can have a positive impact on turnover while boosting profits and helping to see you through these challenging times.