Should you change your business model during COVID-19?

5 min read

Small businesses across the country are facing stark new realities and tumultuous changes. If left unchecked, this could jeopardise your business.

It may be necessary to forge new business models, services and products in order to rise above the circumstances we currently find ourselves in.

Your business, especially if it’s one that has been shuttered during the pandemic, will likely need to adapt to survive.

Some businesses will be able to adapt more seamlessly to the new reality than others. What should you be thinking about if your revenue streams have been snipped? Is there a new way of doing the same business using technology?

Look to online strategies and ecommerce if physical locations are untenable. If your business revolved around travel and physical interaction, seek digital and online alternatives.

New revenue streams

Your business may have to start stretching and become flexible enough to adapt and overcome the current challenges.

If you’re COVID-19 affected, you should consider adapting your revenue streams or create new ones.

Can your business open up new and profitable avenues to replace or supplement unhealthy or unviable sales channels?

What’s selling? What’s not? You’ll have to be reactive and decisive when it comes to where you should be concentrating your efforts.

For example, many cafes and storefronts across the country have diversified their offerings to match the restrictions of the pandemic. Local eateries have begun selling toilet paper, veggie boxes, milk, bread and eggs to replace eat in trade.

Think deeply about your business. Take a good look around to discover what other businesses are doing. Then act.

Ecommerce

Selling online was already a ubiquitous part of modern life long before this pandemic.

This means there’s a plethora of ecommerce solutions and models out there to draw from and reinvent the way you work.

If your business is retail oriented this may be an easy transition. Others not so much. If ecommerce is viable for you, consider the following:

  • Make sure your website is up to scratch. Your site will likely need some work to transform into an online store.
  • You’ll certainly require a modern, full function ecommerce platform to integrate into your site.
  • You’ll need to nail down viable shipping solutions.
  • Make sure your website solution has adequate cybersecurity.
  • Market your new ecommerce business ruthlessly using physical signage, social media campaigns, paid ads and e-newsletters. You’ll need to drum up clicks quickly.

Further reading on how to run an online store

If you require further, practical information on running an ecommerce business, please read on below.

Delivery and takeaway

If you’re used to patrons visiting your small business for consumables, moving to delivery and takeaway could be the only legal way for you to trade at present.

As an example, you may have seen cafés delivering locally for the first time.

Make sure you advertise these changes through positive physical signage, (distant) word of mouth and through your traditional marketing and advertising channels.

Think about focusing these efforts into a marketing campaign. Coordinate your marketing around a single message and drum up local support for your new delivery or takeaway service.

Create specials, offer deals, and try to do something nobody else is doing by creating a unique offering wherever possible.

Think creatively about what people need right now and deliver it.

New tools

Is your business armed with the right tools to tackle the situation, run your business remotely or under changed circumstances? You may need new software or solutions to adapt and overcome.

Cloud solutions, with their cheap and remote nature, will be paramount.

Some solutions you may need to consider:

  • Proper accounting tools to keep on top of cashflow, expenses, invoicing, payroll, bank feeds etc. Cloud accounting tools will be instrumental in making use of government stimulus packages through the ATO.
  • Connectivity tools for your business.
  • Productivity apps to manage teams, workload, tasks and communication.
  • Contactless payment solutions for retail.
  • Ecommerce solutions for taking your business online.

Adaptability is the new game and those agile businesses who respond quickly and thoughtfully will have the best chances of thriving.

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