10 strategies to survive and thrive in business during COVID-19 lockdown

Many businesses are being temporary closed due to this pandemic situation without even an opening date. We are passing a desperate time of the mankind and we should face it together.

So many companies are facing their worst time ever in business. Here, I will be talking about businesses in general which are affected by the situation.

For the ease of study, I will split up the businesses into three different categories based on how bad they are being affected. These strategies I discuss would be practical learnings for small and medium organisations. First, understand where you stand and work from there.

Handpicked Related Content: 7 Industries to get highly affected by COVID-19 and how to face it

Category 01: Worst affected businesses

If you were in construction, production, restaurant or retail clothing for example, you belong to this category as you can not continue doing business at all in most countries.

Following strategies and steps can be used to minimise the losses for the businesses in this category.

1. Seek out government support

Most governments are willing to help businesses at the moment. If you are a tax paying business, they would help. Grants, loans, tax reliefs are some of the ways they support. Remember you would only get half of the help you ask for. So ask for it.

2. Talk to your bank

If your business had a strong relationship with the bank, now it’s time to test it. They can extend your over drafts, give you debt moratoriums or they can rearrange your loan periods to reduce the monthly instalments.

3. Try a merge operation

Though your business is totally closed down, there are some businesses still functioning which are in category 02 or 03. Think about how your resources can be shared with them.

For example, you are a travel and tourism company with a fleet of vehicles and drivers temporary closed down. There would be so many grocery retailers out there without their own fleet of vehicle to deliver customer orders or essential goods. Make a quick partnership with them.

This is how uber twitter page looked like
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This is how Uber twitter page looked like

See how Uber is moving from category 01 to category 03. They could have simply ended up in category 01 creating tremendous losses with the lockdown.

4. Think about the possibility of home delivering your product

Community mobility has been drastically reduced to the business locations with the COVID-19. Checkout the google report on community mobility in different countries. The results are astonishing.

Google community mobility data- Germany
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Google community mobility data- Germany

More people stay at homes and if you are a business with a product which can be home delivered, though you haven’t done it before, this is the time to think of the possibilities.

6. Focus on the markets you can exploit

If you have multiple businesses in different industries or markets, this is for you. Check whether you have one business in the portfolio which can be used to serve the community.

Allocate your resources to that business or the market to provide the best service. Try to focus on that one business you can yield and stop worrying about other businesses for a while.

Eventually you can consider whether there are any synergies you can create with other businesses to improve your service.

Category 02: Less affected businesses

Companies which can continue their operations even in the lockdown by working from home belong to this category. Most IT companies fall here.

7. Think of new ways of doing business

Some companies which started working from home might already have realised how much cost they can save with such approaches. There could be better ways to do business and we just don’t realise them.

8. Explore new markets

For example, if you are an IT company previously focused on creating software products for international markets currently with a staff working from home, think about what products you can create to your local market to help them in this situation.

There could be plenty of possibilities. Social distancing is creating so many opportunities for online and software products. People need better payment methods, new ways of retail shopping, even brand new ways of dinning.

Just think!

9. Help the community and the businesses to survive

Take this time to create a strong relationship with the community. It would push you forward and help your company thrive even after the lockdown.

Help other businesses to survive.This is a time we should help each other and stand together.

See this example of the Sri Lankan tech company, Bhasha lanka pvt ltd which has taken the initiative in its capacity to help the community while building up a great business. Shophere is a platform for small retail shops to sell their product in the COVID-19 lockdown time and this became a great relieve for the affected people to do their shopping of essentials.

Shophere: A service started to connect small retailers to the customers
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Shophere: A service started to connect small retailers to the customers

I repeat. Creating an authentic relationship with the community is priceless for any business in this era.

Category 03: Businesses with no substantial effect

Businesses such as grocery retail, online entertainment, digital products, fall in to this category and these businesses in fact getting more sales than anticipated as a result of the lockdown.

Remember, you are lucky. But you have a duty to the community at this dark hour.

10. Use resources wisely

You would probably be not ready to handle the instant demand from your customers. Short term staff requirements, capital requirements, and other service requirements would arise. So be ready to hire more people, invest where ever necessary and make ties with other companies to deliver your best.

Target is ready to accelerate to its full speed
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Target is ready to accelerate to its full speed

You can help the community while helping other affected businesses as well.

Which businesses you have seen carrying out their marketing in a more responsible and human way even achieving their business targets? Comment below

That’s the beauty of modern marketing. More you help, more you make!

Thanuj Gunawardana

Freelance writer specialising in marketing, business and tech. Say Hi on Twitter
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