Jon Parrish Discusses COVID-19’s Long-Term Effects on Small Businesses
Small businesses are experiencing anxiety, uncertain about their present and future prospects as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put the squeeze on their operations. Entrepreneurs, in an effort to prevent a complete shutdown, are thinking outside of the box on how they can continue providing their products or services to the public.
According to a National Small Business Association member survey, three out of four small business owners are highly concerned about the economic impact of COVID-19. Nearly half of these owners are reporting reduced customer demand already and 38 percent are doubting the financial future of their business.
Jon Parrish, the owner of Oceanic Blue Retreats and several other business entities in the United States, has detailed some of the long-term ramifications that COVID-19 will have on small businesses.
Consistent communication will be crucial for small businesses, especially with their consumers, Jon Parrish says. Through proactive communication, companies need to establish trust with current and potential customers, proving that they are available during these difficult times. While many businesses are presently postponing operations, they should effectively offer and communicate a refund or rescheduling when necessary.
A company’s online information will also have to be updated frequently; on their website, social media platforms and in their search engine appearances. Keeping customers in the loop, small businesses are going to be expected to address their hours of operation, business description, any changes made to their daily process, and all precautions that the company is taking to protect the well-being of the consumers.
Workplace culture is certain to undergo dramatic changes in the future, Jon Parrish states, with more policies allowing staff the opportunity to work remotely. Understandably, employees will be rather reluctant to return to the workplace immediately, perhaps at all, which will initiate additional flexibility on this matter. Working from home might become a permanent solution, the new norm that small businesses will have to be comfortable accepting.
Specific businesses, such as restaurants, are presently altering their methods by offering pick-up and delivery options for their customers. Until these companies recover financially from the setbacks imposed on them by the COVID-19 pandemic, they may have little alternative but to continue business behind closed doors.
Cutbacks, in personnel or budgeting, are another obstacle that small businesses will be pressed to contend with in the long-haul. With the decline in leads and foot traffic, budgets will be lowered and non-essential campaigns placed on pause as businesses focus their expenditures on the more urgent areas.
There will be a transitional period centered on re-building for small businesses, Jon Parrish notes. After companies secure the required funding to pick themselves up, they can then determine a timeframe for re-hiring employees, refilling inventory and removing the lock from their doors.
As a return to normality ensues, the majority of small businesses will track their progression week-to-week, noting what is productive and what is problematic. Once business begins to stabilize again, they can review their business financials every month and, finally, consider what sort of contingency plan they should develop to protect the business from a possible future crisis.
Final Thoughts from Jon Parrish
Unfortunately, despite their best attempts at coming out intact on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of small businesses will be forced to cease operations and close, says Jon Parrish. For plenty of business owners, the rising debt that is accumulated throughout the upcoming months will be too much to overcome. Their lack of financial reserves will lead to employee lay-offs, company setbacks and, when there is no further recourse, a complete shutdown.