The novel coronavirus or SARS-nCoV-2 has caused considerable damage to entire economies on top of the death toll it has amassed since it was first detected in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The pandemic has pushed governments to implement measures to contain the spread of the virus while the race to develop a vaccine is underway. In India alone, the virus has claimed over 4,188 lives and infected 146,498 people as of May 5th.
Until then, businesses will have to face a very uncertain future. With restrictions to economic activities in place, business owners will find it difficult to cope with the so-called new normal. The same is true in countries that have decided to lift their lockdown measures and save their economies from sinking further.
The real impact of the pandemic is slowly being uncovered, so how are businesses faring in a world where face masks, social distancing, and Zoom meetings are becoming a part of daily life? Let’s take a look at a few key takeaways:
Repayment of business loans
Small businesses that were financed by loans are heavily affected by the pandemic. A reduction of in-store sales has made it very difficult for these businesses to repay what they owe to banks and other loan providers, thus increasing the risk of default. Fortunately, some banks are offering relief programs for highly vulnerable businesses.
Penalties and charges are either being waived or postponed to provide breathing room. Other than that, there are also banks offering business lines of credit at no interest. This will be beneficial for when the economy picks back up after months in limbo.
Highlighting the benefits of online shopping
Since people are encouraged to social distance from each other, businesses are adapting their sales around eCommerce. Indeed, the pandemic has highlighted the value of online shopping as an alternative means for people to buy anything without putting themselves at risk of infection.
For sure, eCommerce transactions were growing even before CoViD-19, but we have seen an abrupt surge in online shopping as people remain cautious about going outside. Many businesses have had to migrate online to ensure continuity.
Multi-channel marketing becomes crucial
Despite the pandemic, businesses will still need to reach out to their audiences. This will highlight the need for digital marketing campaigns where brands can reach out via social media, email, or their own high-traffic websites.
It’s only a matter of knowing how to create messages that are both promotional and valuable. Businesses will have to know how to fully harness their multi-channel approach in order to get the most benefits. This would mean making the most of their search marketing activities. In spite of such issues as Google bias against right-wing content and problems with the search engine’s ranking system, businesses can still get great value if they are able to use the right keywords and create content that highlights the usefulness of their products and services during the pandemic.
Experts are saying that the global economy is suffering a recession due to the pandemic or may soon be in recession. But from the looks of it, small businesses still have many opportunities lying ahead.