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Large scale pandemics are (thankfully!) few and far between, but this relative rarity often leaves business owners scrambling when the time comes. 

Besides lives, businesses are often some of the largest casualties left in the trail of a global outbreak. That’s why it’s critical for businesses, whether large or small, to take lessons from past events and future-proof their operations for any manner of disaster. 

Here are 5 lessons businesses can learn from the COVID-19 outbreak:

  1. Don’t cut it too fine – the relationship between profit and cashflow can be hard to identify, but most savvy business owners would agree that the latter is more important. If you’ve had 2-3 days of bad trading, this shouldn’t be enough to completely wipe out your business. Restructure your operations to ensure that you have enough cash coming in to last for a few weeks – at a minimum. You never know how long events will last and how far the ripple effect will carry on. 
  2. Have a plan and be prepared to adjust it – even if it’s just a one-page document with some ideas, make sure you have a plan as to what your business will do in case of a global or even regional downturn in sales. This will help you to think clearly and avoid making any irrational and potentially damaging decisions. That being said, take each and every day as it comes and be prepared to adjust your actions according to how events unfold. 
  3. Be realistic – if every other restaurant on your street is shutting down, it’s likely a sign that you should too. Don’t focus on your sense of pride in these situations – instead you should pay attention to what others are saying/doing and don’t be afraid to follow along. The herd mentality generally proves right, as other business owners may have more knowledge or experience in situations that you lack. 
  4. Be open and focus on communication – during a mass downturn in business, it’s going to be tough for absolutely everyone. Don’t fob people off if you can’t afford to pay their invoice or come up with excuse after excuse as to why you can’t continue working with a supplier. An open line of communication will always ensure you and said supplier/partner are on the same team and can work effectively to come up with a fair solution for both parties.
  5. Don’t axe marketing budgets first – with money tight, it’s tempting to cut services you may deem ‘non-essential.’ But in fact, tough times are when you really need to be focusing on marketing! You want to be building brand awareness and woo-ing your market – ready for them to spend when the saga is over. Keep your business in the minds of your consumers through social media, advertising, and remarketing, and they’ll flock to you when things are back to normal.

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Jordan Baker

Jordan Baker


About Sanity Marketing

THE GROWTH AGENCY: Putting the sanity into your marketing. Focus on the sanity (sales). Millions of revenue & investment made for 500+ clients (small business to big boys). Monthly rolling contracts. Pick N’ Mix services with low fees. Pay Per Results PR Services. London & NYC.

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