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6 ways to grow your business — post-COVID

Lendio’s small business loan marketplace can help you find financing to drive sustainable growth and embrace social change.

This page is sponsored by Lendio, the country's largest online business loan marketplace with 75+ parter lenders.

Though the coronavirus pandemic brought many challenges for small business owners, it also granted many opportunities. Even if money may be tight right now, there are strategic and innovative growth opportunities to continue to invest in your business’s ambitious ideas, workers, customers, communities, and social causes close to your heart. 

Committing to investing in these different areas of your business now will only set you up for future success down the road. And don’t worry if your business doesn’t have the funds for these new initiatives. Small business loan marketplaces like Lendio can help front you the cash. After all, it often takes money to make money.

First up: What’s Lendio?

Lendio is a small business loan marketplace that’s revolutionizing small business lending, one loan at a time. Many businesses struggle to get the funding they need due to banks rejecting 80% of small business loan applicants. Differently, Lendio helps businesses get loans that support their ambitions because they believe that America doesn’t start with the government or large corporations — it starts with small businesses.

Lendio has facilitated more than 300,000 small business loans and over $12 billion in funding that’s helped businesses with everything from buying equipment, hiring staff or simply just keeping their doors open during a slump. Lendio’s free application process can help business owners like you get connected to multiple lenders and offers you might qualify for — all without affecting your credit score. Working with 75+ partner lenders, Lendio strives to create a new reality for businesses that accelerates America by supporting the very heart of the economy: Small business owners.

1. Offer perks for employee retention and recruitment.

Many companies are opting to not only increase hourly pay but also add more incentives for both new and existing employees as a way to rethink compensation packages, according to The New York Times. COVID has made it evident to many business owners just how important it is to take great care of their employees. Reshaping how you compensate employees can vastly improve your ability to attract and retain great talent, ultimately helping your business thrive now as well as in the future.

3 perks for employee retention and recruitment

Consider adding a few of these extras to your employee benefits package to not only attract excellent talent, but keep it.

  • Personal development training. It’s a way to not only empower employees and provide support in their personal and professional lives, but it also creates a strong culture of innovation and belonging within your organization. If you’re looking for ways to increase your employees' sense of purpose, productivity and the overall morale of your business, this is how.
  • Student loan repayment programs. Get creative in how you show appreciation and consideration for your employees’ well-being by creating student loan repayment programs. These programs can help employees reconcile their debt, alleviating financial stress in the process.
  • Retention bonuses. Provide employees additional incentives on top of their agreed-upon hourly pay or salary with bonuses or rewards. This gives you the opportunity to show your gratitude and recognize employees as valued members of your company. And retention bonuses can help you retain treasured employees in a way that makes them feel seen and appreciated for their contributions.

It all comes down to providing valued employees with the support, acknowledgment, compensation and rewards they deserve. If you don’t have the cash up front to start rolling out these new perks, consider applying for a line of credit with Lendio. This can help with any variable costs that come up as you devise new recruitment and retention strategies because you’ll have access to a revolving line of credit you can pull cash from only when you need it.

2. Hire a recruiting firm to bring in talent from ALL over.

COVID has created a moment where business owners need to take into account how they plan on adapting to the changes that the pandemic created within talent markets. Hiring a recruiting firm that has direct experience with your industry can help you captivate the attention of and secure excellent talent post-COVID.

Recruiting firms can also help you attract a wider pool of candidates when you offer remote positions that allow for flexibility in location for potential hirees. Establishing a line of credit through Lendio can give you the funds to work with a recruiting firm on retainer to find the best workers that align with the ambitions and vision of your business.

Lendio business line of credit calculator

Enter your loan amount, term and monthly rate to get an estimate of your monthly payments.

3. Move to a hybrid workplace environment.

More businesses now than ever before are taking modern approaches to how they design workplace environments, knowing that broadening the opportunities for hybrid workplaces expands talent pools.  

What at one time was considered a great privilege — half-remote, half-in-office workplaces are now becoming a way for business owners to secure growth. Embracing hybrid workplaces can save you money on office space and overhead costs, allowing you to take that extra money and invest it into your new initiatives. 

Consider applying for a commercial real estate loan through Lendio to finance a downsized office space as you welcome hybrid workplace environments.

4. Invest in a better customer service experience.

Regardless of whether you’re a brick-and-mortar or online business, COVID has heightened customer anxieties. A good way to grow your business post-COVID is to strengthen customer trust by investing in better customer service experiences. Customer trust helps deepen customer loyalty and confidence, helping your business experience sustainable growth.

How to ease customer anxieties and increase trust

Just a few small changes to your business can do a lot to calm the nerves of customers still getting accustomed to this post-COVID world.

  • Add touchless technologies to your facility, HVAC systems, and customer check-ins while also moving more business interactions online. This protects your customers and workforce and shows that your company prioritizes health and safety above all else.
  • Revamp your website to re-establish your brand, mission, messaging and services while also providing an exceptional user experience that makes it easy for customers to support you in a safe way.

Lendio offers equipment financing options that are perfect if you’re looking to upgrade your facilities with new technology. And for website revamps, applying for a term loan through Lendio makes it easy to hire website designers, who tend to give estimates for full projects rather than hourly rates.

5. Expand your community presence.  

As we come out of over a year of quarantine with little physical interaction, focusing on expanding your community presence as a business owner can help you secure growth for the future by providing people with a sense of belonging that many crave. Though COVID has changed how we interact with each other and the world, it’s also expanded people’s desire for meaningful relationships and connections.

3 ways to expand your community presence

Here are three ways to create a supportive community setting for people to ask questions, stay informed about new products or service launches and gain a sense of belonging to your company’s culture and community.

  • Social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok give you a chance to express your brand's purpose and vision authentically while also creating a strong culture and community for your customer base to join. It’s a way to establish a stand-out presence that differentiates you from other businesses within your industry, helping to attract new customers and strengthen current customer loyalty.
  • Marketing. COVID pushed more and more businesses to go virtual and rethink their marketing strategies. In doing so, the importance of practicing social responsibility through empathetic marketing became clear. Being authentic in brand awareness campaigns in your community helps build customer trust, devotion and positive feedback.
  • Community initiatives. Consumers appreciate and want to support businesses that give back to the community, making local initiatives an impactful way to get involved in causes that align with your own company’s values. Consider making donations to a local nonprofit, establishing partnerships with community organizations or creating team volunteering days. These types of local initiatives help your customer base feel considered and valued, ultimately creating even more customer devotion and trust.

A business line of credit with Lendio gives you access to cash — whenever you need it — for ongoing social media campaigns, marketing efforts and community initiatives.

6. Invest in social causes important to your workers and customers.

Becoming a socially responsible business is more important than ever with Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, Indigenous Land Back initiatives and countless other anti-racist and social justice movements finally getting the attention they deserve.  

Investing in social causes close to your workers’ and customers’ hearts can foster deeper brand loyalty as well as more motivated workplace morale. COVID sparked a change in the way consumers spend their money, as well as what they spend their money on. They’re now more likely to support businesses that take a stand on important social causes than those that don’t. 

This gives business owners the chance to secure current and future growth as they commit to making consistent investments in social causes. Doing so will not only positively impact people and the planet but also help you attract and retain talent that aligns with your social involvement.

Bottom line

Learning how to adapt and respond to changing business climates in a way that builds resiliency and sustainability is the key to growing your business post-COVID. You have a slew of opportunities to advance your brand’s mission in a way that’s considerate of the needs of your workforce, as well as society.  

Implementing initiatives that emphasize investment in the wellbeing of current and future employees paired with establishing efforts that invest in communities, consumers and social causes are just some of the ways you can secure growth now and in the future. And don’t forget about financing — Lendio’s small business loan marketplace stands at the ready to help you find funding to further your ambitions as a small business owner.

The views and opinions expressed in this article represent Finder, and do not represent the opinions of Lendio. This article is solely for informational purposes, and does not constitute legal, tax, financial or business advice.

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