Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you are going through this alone, or that your business is suffering in a worse way than others. If your business is still going at any capacity, it is already doing better than entire industries like movie theaters, cruise lines, and NYC restaurants. Don’t even bother trying to find a Sears at a mall. If you are still opening your doors everyday, consider yourself lucky, and smart.

You stand a very good chance of having a post-Covid business. That is when the real challenges begin. If you have benefited from government relief packages, those will dry up, as will the benefit of being the only store open on your block. You will face new competition. Also, it will be harder to coax shoppers back into your store in pre-Covid numbers. The challenge is not surviving the Pandemic, but surviving the post-pandemic. Here are a few ideas that can help:

Increase Cash Flow by Consolidating Debts

Most small business owners use personal loans to get their business started. Their creditworthiness might be holding them back from getting a large enough loan. So they resort to acquiring and maxing out personal credit cards. This generates a lot of high-interest debt that can eat up most of the profits for the first critical years of the business.

That is where lenders like Patriot Funding come in. They provide you with a loan that pays off those high-interest debts you’ve racked up. You repay that single loan at a much lower interest rate than what you had before. That means you can stay on top of your debts with more money in your pocket. That is money you can use to increase your cash flow.

Post-pandemic, you are going to need that extra cash flow to bring inventory up to sufficient levels, hire more help, and marketing. These are just a few examples of how a consolidation loan can help you prepare for better times than these.

Make Safety Your Business

One day, what is locked down will be unlocked. And you will need to be ready. However, it will not be as easy to overcome the mental and emotional lockdown of your customers. The pandemic will leave lasting, psychological scars. You will need to find ways to use psychology to increase in-store sales post-Covid.

In New Jersey and NYC, inside dining is allowed with some restrictions. But few restaurants have reopened for dine-in customers. Those that have are not seeing as much business as they hoped. Despite reopening, customers are staying away. Psychologically, it will be a long time before enough of the population in these areas feel safe enough to take a subway or bus to sit inside small, inclosed spaces with other people while eating.

Retail is faring a little better than restaurants. But they still have the same issues. They have to make safety a priority even after restrictions are lifted. That might include things like temperature checks and limiting the number of people who can be in the store at one time. This cautious approach will put off some shoppers. But it will give even more the confidence that you care about their safety.

Don’t try to pretend the pandemic never happened. It did happen. And many of your customers will be adversely affected by it for a long time. You have to acknowledge that by making them feel safe and well-served. Little things like contactless payment terminals can help.

Embrace Pre-Shopping and Delivery

People are getting used to calling ahead and having their items ready for pickup by the time they arrive. This type of pre-shopping is a customer-friendly thing that some businesses were doing long before Covid.

If you have the capacity, you should also consider delivery. You don’t have to handle the delivery yourself. If the demand is big enough, you could partner with the companies that are already delivering groceries and pharmaceuticals. There was a time when Chinese restaurants and Pizza were the only things a person could have delivered. Now, they expect everything to be delivered. Make sure your wares are on your customers’ list of deliverables.

Covid has been bad for business. Post-Covid will be worse if you don’t consolidate your debts to free up cash flow, prioritize safety beyond the time you think you need to, and embrace new trends like pre-shopping and delivery. Businesses that handle this transition will have a bright, post-Covid future.

 

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Lauren Sanchez - Author

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