While awaiting the reopening of economies, entrepreneurs should start developing strategies for trekking and navigating the foreseen uphill climb toward business recovery .
The first step is to lookup examples of playbooks for business recovery. The first of several strategies suggested is to develop a mindset that aims to address, not just the problems of the present, but also of the future. Inasmuch as the post-coronavirus markets and consumers still face uncertainties, employers must first take actions that will ensure the health and safety of employees and consumers when interacting in the business place.
That way, implementing changes that will allow the business to gradually step out of a downturn, will have greater chances of producing positive and effective results.
The Matter of Cutting Down Overhead Costs as a Step to Recovery
When studying examples of business recovery playbooks, cutting costs particularly those that pertain to labor, is oft mentioned as an important step to recovery. Yet this option is not readily available to businesses that have taken out government loans under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) of the CARES Act,
PPP borrowers are barred or discouraged from laying off employees within eight weeks after a PPP loan has been granted. Otherwise, the business owner loses eligibility for loan forgiveness not only on amounts spent on salaries and employee benefits, but also on cost of utilities, lease/rental payments and/or interests on mortgage payments. Moreover, conditions for PPP loan forgiveness require that at least 75% of the loan taken out had been used to fund costs of payroll.
Consider Cost Optimization Strategies Instead
When downsizing workforce is not an immediate option, business owners should consider cost optimization strategies as alternative recourse.
Streamlining Processes – In navigating one’s business out of a downturn without resorting to layoffs, it is important to closely examine the efficiency of business operations. This is to find out additional ways by which processes can be streamlined, which denotes further shortening the time it takes for employees to complete transactions, but with fewer delays and errors.
That way, there will be less man hours spent on redundant and repetitive work, particularly in attending to customer complaints or requests for product replacements. Streamlining the processes by which a business operates will enable the business to instill loyalty among existing patrons, attract new customers, promote good relationships with suppliers and creditors, as well as enable business owners and staff to focus their attention on new products.
Negotiating with Suppliers for Discounts – Since every business will be navigating itself toward recovery, consider bringing one’s business only to vendors of products and services open to negotiations for discounts and flexible terms.
Limiting Inventories to Fast Moving Products
– Instead of tying up limited funds to slow-moving inventories, stockpile on fast-moving items, particularly those that have greater impact in terms of purchase discounts and/or faster sales conversion. As much as possible, convert all non-moving inventories into cash sales by offering them at largely discounted prices.
Leveraging New Technologies to Enhance e-Commerce Operations First off, keep in mind that the coronavirus crisis had proven the importance of harnessing the benefits of e-commerce as a way to augment business income even during the lockdown period. That being the case, take steps to enhance one’s e-commerce operations by collaborating with providers of call center solutions.
Outsource call center service and technology firms like 31WEST offer business-to-customer (B2C) solutions that ensure 24/7 coverage for their clients; whilst employing only best practices to make certain that their call center agents and automation technologies will increase levels of customer satisfaction.