As much of a nightmare as the coronavirus pandemic has been, it’s important for businesses to begin thinking about the lessons there are to be learned from it. While such a pandemic is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, it has shed light on mistakes that businesses have made, and shouldn’t repeat once the quarantine ends and normal life resumes. What follows are three of the most significant lessons that your business may learn from the coronavirus pandemic experience.
Diversifying your business can leave you less vulnerable to novel threats
A business that operates in multiple areas is less likely to suffer catastrophic damage from even the worst kinds of unforeseen challenges. As an example, a business that ran a gas station alone would be vulnerable to a situation like the coronavirus pandemic, in which people stopped driving much. But if the business also operated a cargo truck fleet, it would see some revenue come through even if private drivers stopped filling up their cars.
It could help to think about your business — do you depend on just one industry or customer type for most of your business? While it might be easier to focus on one customer or industry type, doing so could leave you vulnerable to shifts in economic or business climate.
Coming out of the pandemic, it’s important for every business owner to seriously consider diversification so that they may be in a better position to remain stable through the next crisis that may appear.
You need to focus on maintaining a cash cushion
If you’ve been following the stock market, you know that in the midst of the coronavirus shutdown it’s the companies that have comfortable cash reserves that are doing well. When the shutdown brought business revenues to a standstill, it was the companies that had cash reserves that were able to continue keeping employees on, and paying them. Just as personal finance experts advise individuals to maintain an emergency fund capable of seeing them through six months of income loss, business finance experts recommend that businesses build cash cushions, as well. When the members of your staff know that their employer has a cash cushion, and they don’t need to fear for their livelihoods, they are likely to be far more effective at their jobs.
Help your customers learn as much as possible about doing business with you
The pandemic has introduced a number of unknowns into the environments that businesses operate in. No one knows if the pandemic will see a resurgence, what will happen when the states do lift their quarantines, or if small businesses will be able to restart operations successfully. What you can do as a business, is to help your customers understand your business as much as possible in an effort to lower the number of unknowns that they deal with. Resolving to be an excellent communicator when it comes to giving your customers the information that they need to better be able to do business with you, can be a healthy direction to take.
The pandemic has been a jolt to businesses everywhere. Many businesses will emerge from it learning important lessons for the future. All you need to do is to make sure that your business is among them.
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