Your business may have been hit hard already by the Coronavirus crisis, but spending time investing in your business now will mean you are ready when things begin to get back to normal. A positive mental attitude is as important in business as it is in life…
Plan now for the new normal
Many businesses have been quick to respond to the latest situation, adapting their services to meet the needs of their customers and clients in light of the lockdown – garden centres and food shops are offering delivery services, service providers are taking their offering online so that people can access it in their own homes, and beauty salons are offering self-help videos. Its really important to think outside of the box right now!
When this is all over, not only will they be the businesses that people remember – the ones who went the extra mile, the ones who remained visible, offering help, useful advice or a special service – but they will be ahead of the game.
And do remember that it will be over – China is already seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The factories are starting to open again, temporary hospitals closing – and China’s 42 Apple stores opened again a month after closing. Don’t get bogged down, thinking that this is the new reality. Yes, there will be some changes ‘on the other side’ but we will get through it. It may take a few weeks – a couple of months maybe – but then it will be business as usual, but at quite a pace as all we all start running again!
So, it’s clear that now is the time to ensure you remain visible to your current and prospective customers. If not, you will come back after three months – or however long this takes – and find you are back to square one, potentially starting from scratch, or that competitors have got in there already.
Here’s our checklist of what you can be doing to be prepared:
Think outside the box
How can you deliver your service or products at this time? Can you go online? Can you arrange deliveries? How could your company help? Can you offer discounts or special services to key workers such as NHS staff? Could this be a chance to expand?
Offering your service remotely could open you up to a whole new world of customers – just take a look at Joe Wicks and his 9am PE routine on YouTube – almost nudging one million views on day two, and with people taking part across the UK, Zimbabwe, even South Korea!
Keep in touch
It’s vital right now that you keep in touch with your clients and customers to offer reassurance – ideally by phone. Let them know not only what you’ll be doing over the next 12 weeks or so, but ask how you can help them. You’ll know them inside out, you’ll understand the difficulties they may be facing, so perhaps you could go to them with ideas on how your business could support them.
Blow your own trumpet
Make sure you’re getting your message out there on your opening hours if they’ve changed, continuity of business, and alternative services – on your website, on social media, via newsletters, forums, in local press and on local radio – keep your name in people’s minds, even if you can’t deliver a full service to them at the moment.
Work on a social media campaign
If you aren’t on social media, or do very little, spend some time revisiting your profiles and developing your activity. Try working up a proper campaign to take you through the crisis and beyond. You can review our step-by-step guidance for your social media strategy online.
If you really can’t provide the products or services you normally do, start thinking about what else you could do – like the gin distilleries who started making hand sanitiser.
If your clients are other businesses, chances are they’ll be feeling the strain right now too, so think about how you can support them buying from you, perhaps with a payment holiday or staged payments. Or perhaps you could offer a new package of services, which they can upgrade as they get back on their feet.
Review your website
Got some spare time? Use it to take a look at your website, perhaps its something you’ve been meaning to do for some time. Could it do with a redesign, or rewrite, or just to bring it up to date? Think about what visitors to your website are looking for. Maybe you need to add more functionality, such as e-commerce, if you don’t already have it, to facilitate online sales?
Don’t think this is the new normal
Yes, you may have lost clients, yes, you may have trouble sourcing supplies, but this is not going to be for ever. Don’t give up. Plan for what’s ahead. Many of those clients who can’t use you now, will be clamouring to do so once you’re back up and running. Think about it – the venues that have had to close will be struggling to fit in all those cancelled events in a couple of months’ time. You must envision that this will be the model for your company too.
This is a great time to review your marketing strategy – to take stock of your competitors and how they are reacting, to review your business values and proposition, and to consider whether your marketing plans and activity to date have been effective.
Plan for when it’s all over
It’s not just about getting through the next few weeks and months but planning for the future too. Once everyone is allowed out again, there will be a frenzy! Making sure your business is visible now will really count when that happens in the future.
If you would like to have a chat about how to market your business during the crisis, devising a social media campaign, or any other marketing requirements, please call Alison Page on tel: 07963 002065 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can of course browse our website to see what our existing clients have to say about our work.