You’re facing unprecedented challenges as a business owner, and COVID-19 could be the greatest trial you’ll face during your career. With your business hat on, you’re probably not so much afraid of the disease as you are the general fear gripping society and how it affects their wallets and therefore your bottom line. Business owners are made to take on challenges, and this is as big as they get.
We know the COVID-19 pandemic is a tremendous health crisis, and our focus as a community, city, country and world needs to be keeping each other healthy and safe. As you, your employees and your customers are talking about the uncertainty we’re facing, try to tune out the salaciousness of most news outlets and just focus on the facts. Your customers will appreciate honesty and calm from you and your brand. The fact is, 80 per cent of people who contract coronavirus will get a mild case, some of them not even knowing they’ve had it. It will hit the most vulnerable harder, and those are the people we all need to protect. As humans, we want to come together and, even with self-isolation and social distancing, we need to connect. We’re finding digital ways to do that while still keeping each other safe. It’s something we all look for to know we’re not alone in this. And, as a business owner, it’s no different.
How to Safeguard Your eCommerce Business
First and foremost, don’t panic or make decisions under duress. If you feel you have to act quickly, you still need to take some calm time to understand the options in front of you. There are steps you can take to position your eCommerce business to survive and even thrive in this uncertain time.
Step 1. Devise a Cash Flow Forecast
Normally, you would probably have a monthly profit and loss forecast, but this environment is so fluid, you’ll want to make it at least weekly. You have to know where you stand, so waiting until the end of the month in a swiftly changing market could set you up for unwelcome surprises. Remember, the effort you put into this report is temporary but necessary. It’s the only way to see if where you’re putting your efforts are the places your customers are responding to.
Get granular here like you would a P&L and include:
- Revenue lines
- Cost of sales and goods
- Net cash
- Closing cash balance
Keep this weekly report going for as long as things are uncertain, then go back to your normal monthly forecasting. For the time being, enter numbers daily or, better yet, have an employee do it so you’re freed up to work on your actual business.
Step 2. Focus on Generating Revenue Through Marketing
No matter what is going on in the world, never stop marketing. During this time, seek advice about the perfect tone and the right approach to inspire action from your customers. As long as people see you’re addressing a need they have or solving a problem they’re facing, they’ll do business with you.
Your messaging needs to take a different tone during this time, although you don’t want to lose the heart of your brand. What you shouldn’t do is ignore what’s happening in the world because each one of your customers is thinking about it. Acknowledge what’s happening using the appropriate tone for the situation from the viewpoint of your brand.
Marketing during this time may not just save you for the foreseeable future, but it could also put you ahead of your competition and add long-term value to your company. And it’s OK to think about that.
Step 3. Manage Your Expenses
Cut whatever you don’t need to spend money on to fulfil your brand promise to your customers and employees. Keep the word “unnecessary” at the forefront of your mind. You don’t want to cut in a knee-jerk reaction and actually diminish the experience your customer needs, but you have to be extremely thoughtful here. The weekly cash flow report you’ve set up will give you a clear line of sight to these expenses.
If you’re a small or medium enterprise (SME), the ATO may have some relief for you. The ATO is being incredibly supportive of Australia’s SMEs in response to COVID-19. Read more about ATO relief available to small business owners here.
Step 4. Help Your Neighbor
As an eCommerce business owner, you are uniquely equipped to handle situations where nearly everything has to be virtual. Your challenges will be ensuring your customers still see value in what you’re offering enough to spend their money on your goods or services. Those challenges are what your friends who have four-walled businesses also face, but they now have to try to add a virtual layer to their business, if possible.
If you can lend some words of advice to those business owners who are trying to understand how to bring their business online, they will appreciate the help. Any time you help another person with their problem, it can help you see your business from a different angle. Don’t help at the expense of your own business, though. Your livelihood is your priority.
Step 5. Seek Professional and Expert Advice and Coaching
Business is hard when it’s just business as usual. This is not that. Don’t do this on your own.
Now is the time to seek advice from people who have faced trials and tribulations and come out the other side wildly successful. Nobody has seen this before, so you can’t be expected to understand how to successfully navigate these unchartered waters. Here’s the thing about A360 Business Coaching – while we may not have seen COVID-19, we have seen every up and down imaginable and have helped people continue to grow their business and thrive during times of collective uncertainty.
Make Your eCommerce Business Bulletproof
Michael Yacoub, the founder and CEO of A360 Business Coaching, has created multi-million dollar businesses that thrived against strong headwinds, generating incredible profits during the toughest of times. When you engage us, we take your business on like it’s our own. We’re offering short-term mentoring or 6-month business coaching programs so you can confidently get through this and not just survive but thrive. Schedule your FREE consultation with Michael to better understand how to poise your business for success today.
You hear bad news every time you turn on the television. And, after a while, that news can permeate your mindset and the business decisions you make. We take pride in helping business owners, just like you, find the positives all around you and how to make that connection with your customers. Michael is not the coach that shouts theories at you from the sidelines. He rolls up his sleeves and gets in the trenches of your business to really understand where you are and show you how to get where you envisioned being when you started your business.
In this situation, he can help you move forward by crafting effective changes with a clear vision of how you will come through this challenge even stronger than going in. Please reach out to us for a very special consultation. We know you’re struggling, so we’re ramping up to help you find answers, add value and forge a clear path through this crisis.
You can’t do anything to improve your life or the lives of your customers if you get sick. Do what you need to do to stay safe and healthy. Ask your friends, family, employees and customers to do the same. We’ll come out of this stronger and more connected than before.Reach out here to make your eCommerce business bulletproof during this uncertain time.