The global pandemic has disrupted our everyday lives, from personal to business, in many different ways. It has certainly caused many small business owners increasing financial uncertainty.
However, there are two sides to every coin. In fact, there are more and more businesses who embrace the changing environment as a catalyst for innovation.
So, how can small businesses innovate during this pandemic?
When it comes to digital transformation, it’s important to look at it from two angles. Your internal business and your external business, what you are selling to customers. A digital transformation from the inside out can help your business to stay relevant, manage your finances more efficiently, save costs and ultimately increase revenue.
Start by determining if your business model can be modified to only use digital processes and whether it would be beneficial from an economic and ethical perspective. If so, what steps do you need to undertake in order to digitise your business model?
The other part of the digital transformation looks at how you can offer your products or services online. This is especially relevant in case your business currently only has a physical presence. Selling online can help you reach more customers or simply allow for your business to continue its operations during COVID-19 and protect you from loss in turnover during potential lockdowns.
If you can sell online, start by creating a user friendly website and promote it through digital advertising. Consider channels such as Google Ads or Social Media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, depending on which channels your target customers use.
Some might say that the future of work is here. Until the pandemic many businesses had still been reluctant to allow their staff to work remotely. Since COVID-19 we no longer have a choice in that matter.
While we wait for more conclusive evidence from studies on the potential mental health benefits of these more flexible working conditions, many of us have successfully adapted to this new way of working. Meeting online via Zoom (say 🤚 to your colleagues’ entire family) has become second nature. There are plenty of useful online tools and resources such as Asana, Slack or Xero that your business can tap into for tasks involving project or financial management.
Working remotely also means your business might not require a physical presence or head office, which can help you save money and resources that you can invest in other areas of your business like product development, marketing, hiring more staff, or increasing your cash flow etc. If you require further financial support in the form of an unsecured business loan or line of credit, Lumi specialises in flexible funding solutions for SMEs and would be more than happy to consult with you.
New Product Niches
The pandemic has also created a lot of new consumer needs across different industries. So, what can your business offer the world that is needed or wanted right now?
For instance, if you are a restaurant owner, you could offer online cooking classes or sign your restaurant up to delivery services like Deliveroo or Menulog. As a fitness instructor you could host fitness classes online and if you own a coffee shop you could offer online orders and contactless pickup. Opportunities are endless and it’s up to you to identify in what ways your business can reinvent itself to bring value in that new reality we live in.
Of course, launching new products or services is always a financial investment at first. So make sure to research the opportunity properly and work it into your business plan in order to make sure that it’ll be economically viable in the long run. Once you decide on your investment and in case you need additional funding, make sure you research lenders who offer lending solutions that are tailored to your needs and circumstances.
At Lumi, our mission is to offer our clients easy access to flexible finance. So, whether you need once-off funds ranging from $5,000 – $300,000 on terms up to 36 months or ongoing funds in the form of a business line of credit, we can support you with cash flow or cost management.
If you need any help to choose the right funding solution for your business, get in touch with our small business loan experts here at Lumi, who’ll be happy to assist you.
Your Lumi team