(NC) Small businesses are the bread and butter of our economy and our communities. It takes many years of hard work and dedication to make it as a small business. Since most small to medium-sized businesses struggle to survive their first five years, making it through this past year and the next, calls for some major support and resources.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help small businesses recover and stay strong.
Embrace new opportunities
It might seem scary to try something new right now, but shopping habits have changed, and it’s time to innovate. Shifting to online and social media sales was the saving grace for many businesses last year. If that’s what you did, use your new capabilities to make your online presence a long-term bet. Keep improving the user experience so customers keep coming back and take advantage of online tools like good SEO practices to boost your ability to connect with consumers.
Partner up with the community
Chances are there are other small businesses nearby facing the same struggles you are. Get together to share your experiences and learn from one another. You don’t have to go through this alone as a business owner. You never know, you might even be able to help each other out with new cross-promotions and partnerships.
Update your contingency plans
As we’ve seen, the COVID-19 situation changes all the time, so you need to stay flexible. There’s no magic date when all of this will be over, and recovery will be an ongoing process. So, be sure to create and frequently re-evaluate your business plans. Regularly re-assess your spending and cash flow, and revise top goals and priorities. Have ideas ready for what you’ll do differently in a potential next lockdown, such as how you will communicate with your customers or offering flexible hours.
An easier way to find support
Many small business operators try to do everything themselves. Your mental health and your business will thank you if you can streamline your day-to-day tasks and get support on the go.
The Canada Business app 2.0 is a one stop shop for government supports and information for businesses, including links to available funding and training to help stabilize and grow your business.
You can search and filter for resources based on your situation, location or other keywords. There’s also a chat feature to help you get tailored recommendations, and the option to set up personalized notifications on program changes.
Having this information right on your phone can speed up the task of going through all your options and give you answers right when you need them. Find more information at canada.ca/ business-app