As COVID-19 became declared a pandemic, many countries in the world have imposed quarantines, urging people to stay home and observe social distancing. Countless business establishments have closed down, affecting revenue and thereby the income of business owners and their employees.
For a home-based business such as a bakery, your products are considered essentials since they’re in the food category, so you may keep on accepting orders. However, in times of crisis, consumers aren’t thinking of cakes and cookies as much. They’re prioritizing loaves of bread over other baked goods, given their limited income. Thus, even if you continue to operate, a decline in your revenue is still inevitable.
That said, here’s what you can do to keep your bakery alive during the quarantine:
- Develop a Cash Flow Projection
Dr. Chris Wooldridge, Murray State professor of economics, finance, and banking, recommends developing a six-month cash flow projection to small business owners. This determines the cash coming in and the cash that’ll go out of business over the crisis period. Your projection has to provide the following:
- operating expenses you can cover, and ways to adjust them
- realistic expectations based on what you know today
- what you are selling
- the traffic you observe
- the availability of reserves or the possibility of creating them
- availability of borrowed funds
- availability of programs that can provide assistance
- the operating cycle
Since you are home-based, rental expenses won’t be a problem. If you live in a rented home, however, you may need to review your lease contract or negotiate with your landlord if you can’t pay rent during the crisis, but that will be out of your business’s concerns.
- Develop Engaging Content Online
While you’re not making more sales, reach out to your customers through engaging contents, such as photos, videos, and blogs. Make use of SEO techniques to garner high organic traffic.
Communicate with your audience at once if certain news disrupts your ability to do business. For example, if deliveries will be limited to a number of areas only due to city lockdowns. Be prepared to answer your customers’ questions immediately, avoiding vague statements such as “we’re working on finding a solution ASAP.” Be transparent in your plans, and focus on positive solutions to maintain their trust.
- Keep on Baking
One way to keep your morale high during this period of uncertainty is to bake. Your excellent bakery dough mixer shouldn’t be idle even if the business is scarce. This could be a time for you to explore new recipes and come up with new products after the quarantines are over.
Having new baked goods to show off also helps you with your content. You can bake a common classic childhood favorite, post photos or videos of it online, and share the feeling of nostalgia with your audience. Simple posts like such can have bigger impacts than what you may expect.
Baking also gives you time away from the news. Though it’s important for you to stay updated being an entrepreneur, you also need to give yourself a break so that you can maintain a positive mindset as you think of solutions on keeping your business alive. Being stressed out and anxious may cloud your judgement and force you to make business decisions you’d regret.
Being engaged in your craft also gives you a sense of normalcy. You can feel like every day is just business as usual, only you’re in the middle of developing new products.
It may be difficult to see this situation in a positive light, but this is only temporary and you will bounce back with renewed vigor as long as you don’t stop working.