If you had to close your doors last year due to the pandemic, you are not alone. Several businesses, both big and small, suffered and closed their operations either temporarily or permanently.
The health crisis dealt a death blow to many entrepreneurs. Dreams were shattered. Employees were displaced. Businesses that seemed to be great ideas and were doing well before the pandemic suddenly became irrelevant. How consumers bought and consumed products changed drastically. Nobody saw it coming. Hence no one was really prepared for everything that happened.
The year 2021 brings with it new hope. The beginning of the vaccination roll-out promises that soon, things may begin to be better for everybody.
However, the roll-out of the vaccines against COVID-19 does not mean that you can forego health and safety protocols, such as social distancing and wearing of face masks. It will be around the end of the year when you can expect to see some decline in the COVID-19 infection and transmission. This will still depend on how many people will get vaccinated and continue cooperating with the established health protocols.
The pandemic is not over yet. This is what you need to remember when you plan for your reopening. To make your business venture more resilient and more successful this time around, you need a strategic plan, realistic goals, and a firm direction.
Make a strategy based on the things that you are allowed to do
Restrictions and guidelines provide you with the things that you cannot do during the pandemic. But what are the things that you can do? Knowing both can help you create a realistic business plan to guide your business operation.
For example, if you are in the retail business, you can only allow limited shoppers in your establishment. If you are in the food business, dining in is discouraged. However, you can do takeouts, deliveries, and even outdoor dining.
Focusing on the things that you can do can help you create a useful plan and strategy. Some of the things that you can safely do, pandemic or no pandemic, include:
- Do business online.
- Improve your products and services.
- Make deliveries available.
- Engage with your customers through digital means.
- Expand your customer base online with the aid of a local SEO expert.
Reopening may require you to make some adjustments to adhere to local guidelines and to operate safely. From this, you can identify realistic business goals.
Review your products and services
You can take this opportunity to revamp your products and services. Are they still relevant? Do you need to change and update your offerings?
Check with your suppliers if they can still provide you the products that you sell. If you have an overseas supplier, you may want to consider travel restrictions. You can scout for alternative local suppliers if you have problems with your usual supply chain.
Having local suppliers is one way of ensuring business continuity. You can receive your products quicker, and you won’t be subject to travel bans and delays.
Identify your goals
From the first two steps, you can identify realistic business goals for your reopening. Do you want to expand your business offerings? Do you want to expand your market? Do you want to take your business online?
Having no goals when you reopen is like treading in unknown waters blindly. Set clear, measurable, and practical goals that will guide you as you do business. Your goals may be to increase your earnings, widen your customer base, or extend your reach. Whatever they may be, achieving them will be much easier when you identify them and create a corresponding plan to achieve them.
Expect the unexpected
It may be cliche, but 2020 all taught everyone that the unexpected could really happen. And when it does, it hits you so hard you don’t even have time to make your move.
In this time of great uncertainty, have a plan for unforeseen events that can disrupt your business operations. Another lockdown, travel restrictions, and stricter bank requirements can all affect your business continuity.
It is important to have reserve cash so that you can face business difficulties that you may encounter. Have a contingency plan to ensure that your operations can continue despite setbacks and calamities.
You should also have back-up plans that you can use in case of contingencies. These plans must be designed to meet different situations. You can research the tactics that other businesses used to survive the same situations.
Creating a detailed strategy in reopening your business can help you find ways to stabilize amidst the uncertainty brought by the pandemic. By being proactive, you can make your business more resilient than ever.