Saying that COVID-19 changed the way we do business would be a serious understatement. The coronavirus pandemic totally disrupted traditional business patterns and seriously affected companies of all forms and sizes. What is the Future of Small Business in Norway After COVID-19?
However, it looks like small businesses in Norway are struggling the most. Almost 20% of Norwegian enterprises experience a substantial risk of bankruptcy, while 23% claim they lack money to pay bills that are due shortly. Other reports prove the same trend, but the only thing that matters is that small and medium-sized firms are hurt.
So, what exactly is the future of small business in Norway after COVID-19?
The answer to that question depends on two factors – the Government’s response to the crisis and your ability to adapt to new market conditions. In this post, we will analyze both factors and explain the impact of coronavirus on the Norwegian business sector.
How Does the Government Respond to the Crisis?
The first part of the puzzle comes from state authorities that issued a whole set of measures to support small business owners and their employees.
It is important to notice that Norway saw the first COVID-19 patient back in February, so the Government reacted promptly and defined a series of business assistance mechanisms. They already issued four economic packages in March and April, but we will focus on the latest support plan that was adopted in late May 2020.
Related: After Corona: Norway for Norwegians
We are not going to discuss each measure individually, but rather concentrate on the most notable solutions related to small businesses:
The Government approved about $400 thousand for businesses ready to bring back temporarily laid-off workers.
The same amount has been granted to construction companies to support their activities.
The Government has provided help for seasonal businesses unable to prevent significant revenue decreases.
There is also the so-called green transition support scheme worth around $100 thousand.
Norway supports education-related organizations with $100 thousand.
Jake Gardner, a business analyst at UK dissertation, adds that local authorities also decided to activate a number of tax-relief mechanisms to help endangered companies: “For example, it is possible to postpone VAT and wealth tax payments.”
It is important to notice that the Government of Norway designed a special guarantee plan for banks, so entrepreneurs can land money without the fear of not being able to pay it off.
How Small Businesses Can Respond to the Crisis?
Now you know what the Government of Norway did to support small business owners, but it is also important to learn what you can do to prepare for the post-coronavirus market. We have five practical tips for you:
See what you can get from the Government
In case you haven’t done it already, now is the right time to check the Government’s grants and support schemes. Consult with state officials to see how your business fits in and what you can get from all the funds provided by the system. It’s the first step you should take because it guarantees to keep your business alive during the crisis.
Try to move your business online
Some companies will not find this tip to be very practical, but the majority of small businesses can indeed move their operations online. If you are running a physical store selling tangible products, there is always the chance to build an eShop and keep doing the same sort of business.
The situation is even simpler for small businesses offering a specific service. You can do it on the Internet and keep in touch with the clients through online conferencing platforms.
Focus on loyal customers
According to the famous Pareto principle, only 20% of customers make 80% of your sales. This is why we recommend focusing on loyal clients who represent the core of your business.
Do your best to assure them that nothing serious is happening with the firm during the pandemic and help them realize that there is nothing to worry about. You will continue working as usual and keep delivering as promised.
Strengthen digital marketing activities
People in isolation spend much more time on the Internet, so you ought to strengthen digital marketing activities as soon as possible. Learn where your customers are active online and serve them with some high-quality content.
For example, you can probably reach them via location-based Google ads or through your social media pages. The only thing that matters here is not to waste time and money on irrelevant communication platforms.
Prepare for market changes
The last suggestion is to be ready for the new business environment once the pandemic is over. Some small businesses will fade away and some consumers will switch brands, so do your best to react on time and handle the changes properly.
What is the Future of Small Business in Norway After COVID-19? The Bottom Line
Coronavirus initiated a gigantic disruption in our personal and professional lives, but it seems to be hurting small businesses the most. While it is true that entrepreneurs still don’t know when the whole mess is going to end, they can certainly make the first move and find sustainable ways to adjust to the situation.
In this article, we showed you a brief overview of measures the Norwegian Government has issued to help small businesses. We also discussed a few practical steps your company could take to overcome the existing problems.
Are you ready to react and adjust to the post-coronavirus business environment? Let us know in the comments!
What is the Future of Small Business in Norway After COVID-19? is written exclusively for Daily Scandinavian by John Peterson. John Peterson is a journalist with 4 years’ experience working in London magazine “Shop&buy”. He is a professional mini-tennis player and he has written a novel “His heart”. You can find him at fb.
Feature image (on top): Photo by Prasesh Shiwakoti (Lomash)
Other image credits:
Shopper: Photo by Arturo Rey on Unsplash
Mask: Photo by Tiffany Tertipes on Unsplash
Empty shelves: Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash
Closed shop: Photo by Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash
Stay home: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash