The COVID-19 lockdowns have caused immense economic disruption in Malaysia, Singapore, and across the globe. Many businesses were forced to shut down in adherence to the COVID-19 prevention protocols to prevent further spreading of the virus. It is financially challenging for businesses that were forced to pause their operation for a long time.
With the recent surge in the number of positive cases in Malaysia and Singapore, the authorities encourage people to stay home and are restricting and even closing some businesses, except for essential services. With the adoption of the new normal practices, let us share some actionable survival tips you can apply now and prepare your small businesses to take advantage of the recovery.
1. Digital Transformation
One of the outcomes of COVID-19 is the glaring realisation that businesses need to adopt digitalization to stay relevant. Apart from automating various aspects of the business process, digital transformation also involves creating and maintaining your digital presence in the internet world. You can achieve this by maintaining an informative and user-friendly website and social media accounts. These platforms serve as avenues to run your online campaigns and offer your goods and services digitally. This is where you attract, engage and build customers relationship digitally without in-person interactions.
2. Increase in Online Sales
As people hunkered down in their homes to protect themselves during the pandemic, they took to the internet to continue engaging in some activities they would have done in-person pre-lockdown. Shopping online is one of them. Various e-commerce or online retail platforms such as Lazada and Shopify are becoming increasingly popular due to the lockdown.
Many small businesses are building an online presence by selling on these e-commerce platforms to make up for the lack of a physical operation and compensate for revenue loss. Selling online helps small businesses remain viable, reach a wider audience, boost sales, and deliver their products seamlessly.
3. Use of Accounting Software
During this challenging time, it is crucial to streamline business processes and free up your time to focus on the more important task of the business. You can do that by implementing easy accounting software designed for small businesses.
Accounting software makes accounting and bookkeeping easier and manageable for businesses. It makes recording of transactions and analysis of business financial information more straightforward and more accurate. With this, you can make well-informed business decisions with all the insights you get from the software’s reporting features.
In addition, there is some accounting software that integrates with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and Lazada. Click to read more about how easy it is to sync your e-commerce data into your accounting software.
4. Updating the Financial Statements
Financial statements are vital metrics for businesses to gauge their performance in this turbulent time. Ensure that you have gain and maintain access to accurate and up-to-date information of your business accounts to make the right financial decisions. This is the top reason why many businesses have adopted bookkeeping software.
5. Performing a Financial Health Check
Businesses must keep their financial health always in check. Having accurate information about your business’s financial health enables you to determine the best practices, minimise mistakes, and position your business on the right trajectory. This is done by frequently analysing your financial statements and restrategize your business plans.
6. Acting to Improve Cash Flow
Businesses are experiencing shrinkage in sources of income and exploring new ideas to improve cash flow. One effective way of doing this is by using accounting software that systematically stores financial data and can be accessed anytime, anywhere. With this, you can prepare a cash flow forecast and update it as often as weekly to make sure you catch hold of any forewarning of financial problems. It would be best if you also kept your cash flow smooth by investing your cash into expenses that will generate revenue. Hold off on discretionary costs such as renovations, employee training, and business entertainment.
7. Increase in Market Research
There is no better time for engaging in market research than during the lockdown. This is a trend that businesses are rapidly subscribing to. The best way to evaluate how to deliver optimal services when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts global activities is to utilise market research. Market research enables you to figure out niches in the market to invest in, understand customer behaviour, how they want to be served. Mastering this will allow your business to thrive.
You can do this research online by following the digitalization trend and understand how you can serve customers in better ways virtually than in person.
8. Leverage on Government Aids
The governments of Malaysia and Singapore are already putting together initiatives to support small and medium businesses. These supports include loan payment deferment, direct loans and grants, and subsidies for going digital. Check out our SME Support Page to find out more about the various government aids available.
In a Nutshell
The COVID-19 lockdown has put small businesses in a situation that they could never have envisaged. Businesses quickly devise ways to optimally adapt to the new global situation and keep their doors open for operation. This requires understanding how the market works and seeking financial advice from professionals. For more information about how you can help your business evolve with accounting software, feel free to get in touch with us.