The current Coronavirus pandemic has had a massive impact on businesses around the world, whether they are small businesses or large corporations. While all businesses have been hugely impacted, it is the small and medium businesses that are bearing the brunt of this crisis.
Changing Your Sales Strategy
One of the biggest impacts of this pandemic has been on the foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores. And because of the drastic reduction in customers visiting store, this is the time that a small business owner needs to look at changing their sales strategy.
If you do not already have an online store now it the time to get it up and running. People have switched to online shopping and home deliveries rather than venture out and risk getting infected.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should close down your physical store. It means leading sales through two channels rather than just one.
Automating Business Processes
Most small businesses still have manual systems in place, relying on cash registers, excel and QuickBooks to manage their businesses. However, it is best to automate as much of your business operations as possible at this time.
There are two main reasons for doing so. First, customers prefer to shop online as much as possible and if they have to visit a store, then they want the transaction completed as soon and as efficiently as possible.
The best way to do so is by using a point of sale software.
A cloud-based POS system for small businesses works best. This is because this kind of software allows you to manage your online store and your brick-and-mortar store at the same time.
This software will serve as the central component of your business where sales, inventories and even customers can be managed. You get detailed sales and inventory reports that can tell you which of your products are the best sellers. You keep in touch with your customers using the information you have gained about them through your software’s CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool.
Even more importantly, with the need to maintain social distancing, a POS can automate the checking out process so that customers can visit your store while still maintaining health and safety protocols.
Supporting POS with Other Activities
At the end of the day, automation needs to be combined with other activities. You need to re-assess your business and see where you can cut costs and even review your product lines. Take the time to check your stocks, do your inventory and make sure that you have everything you need.
You also need advertise more strongly to attract more customers to your store, especially your online store. This means being more visible online through posts, blogs and even videos. It also means connecting with your customers through social media, answering their questions, putting up promotions, giving them DIY ideas and so on.
At a time like this, it is important to create human connections – not just so that your business can survive, but also because everyone is going through tough times and needs support.