Small Business Lessons Learned from the Pandemic: Get Creative, Efficient, and Resilient

Small Business Lessons Learned from the Pandemic: Get Creative, Efficient and Resilient

Small businesses everywhere have experienced many challenges throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many, like yours, rose to new levels of creativity, efficiency, and resilience to overcome those challenges. These five key business lessons learned from the pandemic show how small businesses became more efficient, better aligned with their clients and employees, and even stronger financially.

Five positive business lessons learned from the pandemic

Small businesses across the country experienced an economic climate and ongoing uncertainty that could’ve closed their doors on many occasions – but instead, small business owners dug deep for resilience and creativity.

Here are five key takeaways from this experience:

Lesson 1: E-commerce and online capabilities are critical

When lockdowns occurred, small businesses that already had a hybrid mix of in-store and online offerings were better positioned. However, businesses that only offered in-store goods and services before the pandemic but quickly pivoted online ended up thriving, too:

  • From e-commerce solutions to Zoom and Facebook Live, small business owners tapped their entrepreneurial creativity and developed new, and lasting, revenue streams. Even very hands-on businesses found ways to reach clients and maintain loyalty: Salons created videos to show clients how to trim, color and style their hair, while masseuses showed them how to work out stress at home.
  • Thousands of businesses expanded client bases from 100% local audiences before the pandemic to national and international reach, boosting brand recognition and revenue.
  • Free and low-cost software programs, like Zoom, enabled business teams to work together and now these same solutions are helping businesses keep their existing employees on board.

Lesson 2: You can never be too prepared for the unexpected

The pandemic hit like a bad storm that just wouldn’t move on and nearly all small businesses were caught off-guard by its swiftness and force. Now, as you move forward, it’s critical to have a plan in place. By taking steps to put a plan in place now, you can prevent many of the problems that small businesses faced over the last two years and help you strategically invest in your business’s future.

These are some of the key areas which you need to be prepared for: loss of your primary customer connections, financial stress on your business, loss of staffing through layoffs or resignations, and supply-chain disruptions.

Now’s the time to catch your breath and remember how you were impacted, how you reacted, and what you can do differently with the knowledge and experience that you’ve gained. As you move forward, think about the various components of your business that were impacted during the pandemic and come up with workarounds that can keep you going.

Lesson 3: A business is only as strong as the team behind it

In the thick of the pandemic, many business owners learned they could be more flexible with work schedules and more open to hybrid home/workplace situations. In addition, many small businesses found that if they opened a little later, closed a little earlier, or reduced the work week from five days to four, they were able to balance the loss of revenue with lower labor costs, reduced employee stress, and increased retention.

With the hiring market becoming increasingly competitive, keeping your dedicated and engaged employees is essential for your business. Now’s the time to talk to your team, find out what’s working for them and what’s not, and discover where you can find happy mediums that keep your business strong while meeting their needs, too.

Lesson 4: Health and wellness are priorities

The pandemic has taught us to prioritize personal wellness. Take steps now to improve your physical and emotional well-being. Your business, your team, and your friends and family need you, and everyone understands the need for balance more than ever.

Lesson 5: A strong financial foundation is essential and empowering

One of the key lessons learned from the pandemic is that you can never have too many resources available to help you get through the toughest of times.

Businesses that had sufficient working capital and accurate financial statements were better positioned because they had funds available to meet the financial challenges of the pandemic, as well as the documents needed to apply for relief funding.

Having cash reserves on hand or the ability to take on additional funding, means that your business could get creative and implement a business pivot that could lead to new opportunities.

Small businesses still face many challenges from the pandemic, as well as relatively new issues, like rising inflation. So, understanding how much working capital you need to overcome these challenges and help your business stay on track is always a good idea.

Pursuit can help you get the funding you need to rebuild and thrive

As you apply these business lessons learned from the pandemic to your business, take a look at our loan options to find the best funding solution to meet your needs. Then, if you’re ready to apply or simply want to talk to one of our business advisors, contact us today. Pursuit has funding options for small businesses no matter what stage your business is in, and our experienced team is ready to help.

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