How small businesses can navigate the return – Eye Witness News

By Lazar Delorenzo Charlton

The roller coaster of Covid-19 goes up and down, up and down, and we all have no choice but to stay on the road. It doesn’t matter if you’re sick or just want to leave, we’ve all learned to move forward or, in fact, whiz forward in an effort to make up for the time we think we’ve lost.

Lazar Delorenzo Charlton

In the latest survey conducted by the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC), just over 40% of Bahamian businesses saw their revenues drop 60% or more due to COVID-19. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have not been immune from this self-generated urge to recover lost money and time. So how do you get back to full “normalcy”, or closer to it?

Competition is good

There is room in the market for all budding and veteran entrepreneurs, but there is only so much room at the top. There aren’t many things more galvanizing than having to fight to reach the top in your arena. To be seen, heard and considered the best.

There are dozens, if not a couple of hundred, of companies that have sprung up and / or flourished in the Bahamas since the start of the pandemic, a large number out of necessity. The best pastry chefs, landscapers and food delivery services survived because they quickly realized there was no other choice. The result of this expanded database of entrepreneurial wonders is the return of the service industry, with new and improved gears and cogs.

Convenience and good service are two of the pillars of a growing business, especially in small communities, and nine times out of ten the top finishers will have learned from the mistakes of their predecessors. This collective acquired competitive advantage has not only made life easier for the consumer, but has also helped to ease the sting of pandemic restrictions and give us the feeling of “regularity”. Budding entrepreneurs shouldn’t just take note of their favorite businesses, but really pay attention to what keeps bringing them back to patronize them.

Marketing that grabs attention is no longer enough

As we all know, marketing is an essential necessity for any company. Value propositions, market research, marketing plans, branding and especially social media plans are essential to reach and capture the demographics you want.

However, investing money in marketing campaigns with bright colors and beautiful people is no longer enough. People with pandemic fatigue want a guarantee that their “problem” will be solved. These “problems” are in some cases still exacerbated by COVID-19 restrictions.

For example, if a customer’s problem is hunger and you have a small capacity at your restaurant due to covid restrictions, how will you make up for waiting time for a table? The food has been marketed as delicious, but a tasty fare coupled with fantastic service will most likely please the customer and fix the “problem”.

Giving the customer more than they usually expect is the only way to ensure the success of your marketing efforts once you reach your target audience. After all, your customers and clients will become your best marketing agents when they spread the word about your business.

Adaptability

“You don’t have to prepare yourself if you stay ready.”

I have always liked this modern colloquialism because it succinctly illuminates the importance of preparation and adaptability. No one could have predicted the pandemic and the lasting effects it would have on the economy, especially SMEs.

However, most SME principals have an idea of ​​their company’s ability to withstand external shocks (vulnerability) and the ability to recover from such shocks (adaptability). Due to recent global events, every business owner should now have a playbook on how to manage demand through either foot traffic blocks or economic downturns. Being able to punch not only looks great but is an invaluable skill to possess when it comes to survival of your business.

This skill will undoubtedly strengthen the legs of your business when things get tough and eliminate any visible dent in your organization. For the everyday customer, you would be reliable. Everything would be normal for them.


Lazar Delorenzo Charlton is a luxury real estate agent at Condo Vikings & Jolie Luxury Homes and is a co-owner responsible for business development and public relations at The New Duff.

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