Bélinda Monpremier is a Business Expert at Square. In her role, Bélinda oversees a team that provides technical and operational advice to Canadian business owners so they can focus on what they do best.
What is your key advice to small business owners during these challenging times? And what steps should they take to keep their small business afloat during the current crisis?
Owning a business today means owning a lot of uncertainty. Businesses of all shapes and sizes across Canada need to find new ways of doing business to get ready for whatever is coming next.
Technology is now a must-have, not a nice-to-have, for reaching more customers, gaining efficiency and improving margins—all of these factors are integral at this time. Whether you own a retail or a service-based business, being able to accept contactless cards and online orders, host in-person and virtual appointments, or offer curbside pickup and delivery is of great importance. In fact, it’s imperative that business owners now offer more options that cater to all of the ways buyers want to interact with them. One source of traffic won’t cut it. Whether that’s in-person, Instagram or online, businesses need to be meeting their customers where they are.
The pandemic has also led to the blurring of lines between business verticals, and this is a path business owner should continue to follow. Businesses are no longer doing one thing. They are getting creative and reimagining how to stay afloat. For example, restaurants are now selling groceries and meal kits like retail businesses and offering online cooking classes like service-based businesses. Buyers in turn are becoming accustomed to these blurred lines and will expect more of this.
The key is for businesses to cater to their customers’ new expectations. As they do, they may find their business not only recovers but grows long after COVID-19.