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5 Things Small Business Owners Should Do as We Unlock

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” – Eleanor Roosevelt


Presently as parts of the nation hope to begin loosening up lockdown measures, entrepreneurs need to consider what is coming their way and how they will adjust and push ahead securely and sustainably. COVID-19 has affected each business in a unique way. Some had the option to move to a remote work model, while others balanced operations or shut their doors altogether. Many factors have affected organizational timelines and targets, and these will continue to play a role in determining how each organization embraces the process of unlocking; however, businesses can do a few things to ensure a smooth transition into the new normal.


Avail Government Initiatives for Small Businesses:

The Government of India has been getting ready with initiatives and action plans for business coherence and sectoral restoration as well as extending a red carpet for global investors to choose India as their favored investment destination.One of the most notable initiatives that can help small businesses bounce back post-COVID has been taken by the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. The Ministry has announced collateral-free, automatic loans worth Rs.3 lakh crores for MSMEs with 100% Credit Guarantee. These loans will also be eligible for a 12-month moratorium on payment of principal and will be available without any processing fee. This scheme is projected to benefit 45 Lakh SME units. Apart from this MSMEs can also benefit from the Local for Vocal Initiative to enable MSMEs to participate in the Government procurement process equating up to Rs.200 crore.



Plan Your Finances Wisely

COVID-19 might have forced us to take a second look at your business plan and a new business plan needs fresh budget allocation. It is likely that one might have to spend money before making some. This includes rehiring laid-off employees, occupying new office space and many expenses that we would have avoided until now. This requires us to find ways to eliminate expenses and reallocate the budget to necessary areas. If that doesn’t solve the problem, one can simply go for a business loan.Having said that, business owners should keep track of their advances. Another pressing situation in the near future post the COVID-19 pandemic will probably be the death knellfor indebted organizations. Businesses that briefly compromise on growth and avoid unnecessary loans are likely to perform better in the long run.


Focus on Customer Delight

This is an ideal opportunity to be an innovator and helping clients and consumers recover. We are presently serving customerswho have been monetarily affected by COVID-19, who are going contactless, require digital solutionsand who have adopted new life choices and habits for quite some time. Keeping these things in mind and taking steps to meet customer expectations and enhance customer delight will go a long way!


Take Care of Your People:

Retaining your best staff has never been more critical than it is now. As the business world finds a way to function in the new normal and an economic downturn appears to be more probable, holding on to your most talented workforce is more important than ever before. Introduce benefits that aid their growth and improve their Quality of Life as they continue to work from home. Offering new-age employee benefits like Learning and Development, Gadgets and Furniture, Health and Wellness, Child Care etc.can speak volumes about organizations and their people policies in times like these.


Gear Up for Newer Opportunities

And finally, be ready for new opportunities. They are everywhere and they should be adopted with empathyto make our offerings relevant to the people we serve. With our workforce safe and happy and a future-forward outlook, it’s time to reassess the situation and consider how effectively we can rise together. This is probably going to be an extraordinary occasion that could bring an abundance of opportunities for new-age entrepreneurs. Search for immediate profits like renegotiating contracts with suppliers and merchants. Catch up with clients and show them that you’re thankful to them.


Author :- Harish Sarma, VP and Head of Marketing, Sodexo BRS


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