Most came from the first sectors to have had to close due to containment measures: catering, trade and distribution, services, etc. The majority of requests concerned self-employed people who wondered what financial support measures were planned.
Even if your business is completely at a standstill, there are several things you can do right now to limit the mess.
MAKE SURE YOU STAY REACHABLE
Update your website, possibly give it a facelift, but above all, indicate if you still offer services . Also remember, for example, to correct the opening hours on your Google “My Business” page or on your social networks and to have calls transferred from your telephone to your mobile phone so that your customers can continue to contact you.
TAKE CARE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
If you have a customer database , let them know or better yet, contact them personally . Listen to them. Be empathetic and curious. Ask questions about their current background and what they do. What can you do to help them?
Inform them about possible new actions, encourage them to already buy gift vouchers or explain to them what you plan to organize in the future. You can also ask them what services they would appreciate finding after the crisis. Many entrepreneurs don’t want to contact their customers because they don’t think this approach is appropriate at the time. Others fear that they impose themselves too much. It’s wrong ! Either way, staying absentee is not an option.
DON’T FORGET YOUR CO-WORKERS
This also applies to people who were under contract with you . Call them, ask how it’s going for them. Be honest about where your business is, but don’t be defeatist. Explain to them what Emailnphonelist to do (see below). Even if you yourself are stressed about the future of your business, admitting your worries is crucial to help them be productive. Dare to ask them for help . Who knows ? Maybe they’ll come up with brilliant ideas to save your business (and their job).
IMPROVE BUSINESS OPERATIONS
Use this extra time to think about your strategy and what improvements you can plan for your business. Could you offer your services in a different way to customers to avoid being completely shut down? Is it possible to consider home deliveries? Will you offer your services or products on existing online platforms or still opt for the creation of your own online store ?
This is also the perfect time to analyze and thoroughly review your business plan . The implementation of new services is not useless in itself, but remember to meet the real needs of customers (savings, freshness, speed of delivery, service on demand). Ask now for the necessary price offers if you can take concrete steps, this will allow you later to be perhaps two steps ahead of the competition.
Then consider whether it is possible to work with other entrepreneurs (start a crowdfunding campaign together or come up with new business initiatives. Do not hesitate to glean from social networks the good ideas that will help you innovate or ensure the continuity of your business. For example, if you are active in the hospitality industry, leave your reservation system open and invite your customers to support you by making a reservation now for later.
Also review your business processes : where can you improve efficiency? What are the tasks that you left aside for lack of time and that you can finally tackle? Are there things that you can automate that would allow you to limit unnecessary costs? Seize the opportunity offered by this quieter period to put yourself in order at the administrative level or, for example, take inventory of your stock.
ESTABLISH FINANCIAL SCENARIOS
Also, redistribute your budget and think about what you can do on your end to avoid short-term payment issues and organize extra cash for your business. It is therefore interesting to make a realistic assessment of your finances as soon as possible . List the expected income and expenses for the next few months ( expect 3 scenarios : optimistic, cautious, disaster) and identify where the high costs are. For example, determine the items on which you can save money , who you can ask for a payment deferral, how to stimulate future customer purchases? It may be wise to offer areduction in case of faster payment or to ask customers if they would be willing to pay a deposit.