As entrepreneurs, we have definitely gone through a lot of things, but we have never seen anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. The world is definitely changing in ways we can’t even begin to fathom. While it can be very stressful to respond to all the business challenges related to the Coronavirus, let’s use these strange times for innovation and growth. Eric Hoffer said, “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”, so here’s what we’ve learned in recent months:
Don’t abandon your customers, communicate with them on all channels
They cannot visit your store, they cannot come to your events, they cannot attend your gym classes, or they cannot participate in your training courses. They most probably already miss your services and products. Help them reduce some of that “missing out” feeling.
- Communicate on all channels and often. We’re all eCommerce businesses now, in a way. That means you need to interact like one. Send out weekly newsletters, post regularly on your website, let them know what’s new with you and your industry, how you’re pivoting and how you can help.
- Refresh your content. What better time to do that tutorial or that case study you’ve been postponing for so long? People now have more time than ever to interact with your business. Produce videos for your social media channels, write on your blog or news section, but not just to promote yourself, give tips and boost people’s morale! And don’t stop there – think ahead and produce content for your grand reopening. Need to refresh your website? This is definitely the time to do it.
- Create online challenges for your customers, or let yourself challenged by them. For instance, if you are an interior designer, start a Q&A Instagram story series, and give advice to people on how to redecorate their home or create a downloadable checklist for them.
Adapt your services and your business mindset to the new situation
Consumers are spending more time at home and online, but they are not spending recklessly or making decisions about the future right now.
- Show the unique value of your product or service and how you’re taking all the precautions in providing it. What are you uniquely positioned to offer, especially right now?
- Does your pricing structure or target market need to change during the crisis? People have very basic, simple needs right now, you might want to reduce the complexity of your services and processes to their core and focus on what makes them competitive. The clients you normally wouldn’t go for might be your best bet now.
- Which of your products and services can become online or delivery services? There are travel agencies that guide their clients through virtual trips, businesses that provide online consultancy or therapy, restaurants that sell groceries.
- Provide your clients with short-term solutions. Do not try to sell them six-month training courses or invite them to make appointments for the autumn.
- If you start new services, design them strategically – do not imagine that once the COVID-19 outbreak is over, things will go back to the way they had been before the crisis. Make your services relevant at later phases also.
- Change your digital marketing strategy as well. Ads and content that brought traffic before the pandemic might not work in these weird times. Consult a digital marketer to advise what strategies work now.
- Implement tech upgrades for keeping the business going and growing. Get ready for more online services, more digital marketing, more online communication with clients, suppliers and employees, more online planning, etc. Could you add a separate inquiry form on your website to reduce your employee’s contact with customers? What project management tool would boost your productivity?
- When you feel like giving up, push through. Right now, many business owners, including your competition, might feel lost or unable to pivot their businesses in time. Use this window of opportunity and be the first to come up with innovative solutions. What steps could you take right now that would massively benefit your business once all of this blows over?
Last but not least, don’t hesitate to ask for help
The law office of Fisher & Phillips has put together a comprehensive compendium of resources on COVID-19 business law interpretation and they talk about how the CARES Act Stimulus will permit business loans to cover payroll, contractors, and running expenses while up to $10,000 of the loan can be forgiven.
Do you need help sending out newsletters? Setting up webinars or inquiry forms? Updating your website? Switching your ads? Reach out to us. We’re here to help you pivot your marketing.