Halal Business

Small Business Survival Strategies for Coronavirus

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Coronavirus pandemic impacts not only public health but also the global economy. Nearly all countries around the world have seen their economies, with businesses closing down, people losing jobs, property foreclosures and other bleak signals.

According to the IMF, the global economic impact of the pandemic is expected to last until the end of this year, and economic recovery will only begin next year.

If you’re a small business owner and wondering how your business would survive for the remainder of the year, let us help you with our findings. We’ve done some research, from academic journals, as well as from reputable world organizations such as World Economic Forum that have outlined their advice for small businesses’ survival strategies.

What are the survival strategies for small business enterprise?

1 -Be Adaptable and Agile

The need to stay agile and adapt to changes in the market conditions, buyer behavior has never been so crucial than now. The first part is the reevaluate your business plan and operations, and then scale up the business operations accordingly.

It’s no longer business as usual, as times are different for the whole world. For instance, figure out what products and services would sell well in these times, and use what sells best to be your core business now. Lean on which suppliers would be able to fulfill your business demands, as supply chains get disrupted.

2 – Leverage on Digitization for Work and Marketing

The ability for office work to be done remotely has been here for the last five to ten years. However, it’s only when push comes to shove, that people are taking this route seriously now with the coronavirus. Make use of plenty of free and freemium software services available to make remote work easier.

It’s the same situation with e-commerce, and food delivery services. Consumers would now embrace the use of ecommerce, food delivery services, and telehealth consultation where previously they would have preferred a walk-in option. Opt to use existing marketplace platforms which have a steady flow of proven buyers, rather than go it alone with a standalone e-commerce store, as the biggest hurdle is to get buyers traffic.

3 – Collaborate Across Stakeholders

Your best bet to stay in business is to cooperate with other stakeholders and business associations. The stakeholders are varied, it can be companies from the supply chain, local authorities, and municipalities, or between the employees in the organization.

4 – Coopetition : Collaborate With Competitors

Working with your competitors may not necessarily be the best options during normal times, but this is not a normal time. Coopetition (working together with your competitors) could be the best way to navigate during these uncertain times, by sharing data and understanding the market better, and by cooperating to share resources during shortages.

For example, in the UK, large UK retailers are sharing data to understand stock levels, coordinate operating hours, and access supply chain networks during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmaceutical companies across the globe are sharing scientific data to find breakthrough treatments and vaccines.

5 – Cash is King: Preserve Your Cashflow

Businesses need cash to survive just as humans need air. Depending on your company’s bank accounts, figuring out how to sustain cash flow is the most important aspect of all of these strategies.

  • Get financial assistance. For instance, some countries provide financial assistance and funding for small businesses.
  • Governments are not the only source of funding, as you can also seek funding from trade associations, and if you’re in the US, you can even set up your own small business fundraiser.
  • Renegotiate your bills and expenses – check if your landlord, suppliers can accept deferred payments
  • Scale down your overheads – reevaluate what items are a must-have, and what are just nice to have for your business. For instance, nice office space is no longer a necessity, since people can work remotely, so saving from paying for office rentals would be a good start.

By doing the above, calculate if your business have enough cash savings to last until the end of the year, at the very least.

6 – Increase Marketing Efforts

In a survey of small business survival strategies in Malaysia, the researchers found that some small business increases their marketing efforts substantially. They do this by selling some of their products online, using existing popular marketplaces, as well as personal selling, by using sales agents as personal selling to other small businesses.

(sources: World Economic Forum, Crick & Crick, 2020, Journal of Industrial Marketing Management, and Che Omar et al, 2020, Malaysian Journal of Society and Space.

In Summary

Businesses around the world are facing the same challenges. To survive this economic downturn, business owners must be able to cope and adapt to changes fast and implement these strategies as best as they can. As Muslims, we’re to have faith in Allah’s plan, and to place our trust in Him. “Do your best and Allah will do the rest.

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