It’s been an incredibly tough journey for online businesses during COVID-19. When you resume business, it is to be expected that there will be a recovery time when you may be operating at a reduced capacity, potentially offering a portion of your normal goods and services.
It will be important for you to monitor all aspects of your business in much closer detail than prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, particularly your financial performance, to help your business get back on track.
We recommend approaching it in two phases:
Assessing the impact COVID-19 has had on your business. You won’t be able to create a proper plan until you work through the full extent of the impact of COVID-19. Part of this planning will help you reveal the priority areas you should focus on first.
Start checking off the priority areas one by one. We’ve created a checklist that you can use to inform this process:
Evaluate your financial position. Whether you were able to operate in a reduced capacity or if you had to close, your source of revenue was likely impacted. Take stock of any debts you’ve incurred and any outgoing costs you’ll need to pay in order to get your business restarted. Look into if there’s government assistance you might qualify for, to help get you back on your feet.
Try to estimate and conservatively forecast the revenue you can expect once you’ve reopened or resumed your normal business operations. This will help you understand how much you can afford for staffing and supplies. If you take direct debit payments, put out some feelers now, maybe by email or SMS, to gauge how many of your customers will be coming back once you return to business as usual. Remember some of your customers might not be in a financial position to come back just yet.
Create a SWOT analysis of your business in its current state. A SWOT analysis looks at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats to your business. Maybe one of your strengths is your relationships with your customers; a weakness might be the different ways you were limited when it came to conducting business during COVID-19. An opportunity might be a new way of doing business that you implemented during the restrictions and can carry on now that business is returning to normal. Finally, a threat could be a local competitor that better adapted during the restrictions. This will help frame how your business is doing, where you need to go, and what to look out for.
Assess your usual suppliers: were they affected by COVID-19? Did they have trouble getting their equipment or goods into the country? Look at this time as an opportunity to reevaluate your supplier needs and offer support where you can to strengthen your business relationships. Maybe you won’t need to make your orders as large, or maybe there’s a competitor that can offer you different pricing options. It pays to shop around, just make sure that you work out a deal that works with your new situation and you don’t burn any business relationships
Assess whether your current technology will meet your new needs. Is there a better system you can use, or can you get more value elsewhere? Are you looking to make the move to taking online payments? These are all important considerations as you get back into the swing of things. In your SWOT analysis you may have uncovered the need for more flexibility so your customers can pay you in a way that suits them and that is safe and secure. Check out eWAY’s all-in-one-payment gateway solution if you’re looking to streamline your online payment experience and turn your focus back to building your brand.
Getting your business back on track might seem like an overwhelming task, but break it down into the sections in this checklist to guide you through the process. You have the opportunity to take a deep look into how your business runs and how you can make it better.