Updated: May 18, 2020
Coronavirus (or COVID-19) has had a significant impact on everything from global supply chains to foot traffic to how work gets done. Small businesses can take on these challenges by thinking differently. Here are some ideas to help you on your journey.
1. THINK ABOUT DELIVERING VALUE DIFFERENTLY (AND REMOTELY)
Think about how you can deliver your product or service differently (and for now remotely). This will also allow you to reach a wider audience once the dust settles. Some options include contactless delivery, in-store pickup, online coaching, and virtual conferences.
2. FOCUS ON BUILDING YOUR AUDIENCE RATHER THAN REVENUE
As businesses and consumers start to conserve, it might be easier and more pragmatic to focus on building your audience rather than trying to sell. This approach will allow you to build trust first, which is critical when engaging remotely. Furthermore, you will have a huge advantage when the economy picks up again.
3. NEED MORE STEPS IN DIGITAL
You will need to take baby steps with your prospects because it takes time and effort to build trust remotely. So think about adding a lot of value upfront in exchange for a micro commitment. Tools like LeadBx offer brandable ebooks that your website visitors can download in exchange for their email address. This allows you to deliver value quickly, build trust and stay in touch with your prospects after they leave your website.
4. USE TECHNOLOGY TO CONNECT AND ENGAGE
Leverage technology to engage and interact with your audience. For example, you can connect with your team using tools like Slack. Once you master these tools and skills, you will also save a lot of travel time and cost.
5. BE LEAN TO STAY IN BUSINESS LONGER
Stay lean to stay in business longer during these uncertain times. Be resourceful and try to find less expensive alternatives. However, do not cut too much from revenue-generating functions such as advertising, marketing, and sales. For example, as your competitors pull back on advertising, you can reach a broader audience for a lower cost. Agencies like SVP360 offer unlimited marketing services for a flat monthly fee.
6. ENGAGE AND BUILD A RELATIONSHIPS REMOTELY
Forget about meetings, conferences and networking events for now. Think about how you can engage virtually through social media, webinars, email, phone and of course video conferencing. Tools like Calendly allows users to find available times and book an appointment. Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet allows you to use video conferencing.
7. WORK WITH THE WINNERS
With all the changes, some categories are bound to do well. Examples include remote learning, remote web access, security, telemedicine, digital media, e-commerce, cashless payments, etc. Think about how you can service or partner with these companies.
8. IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE
This is a perfect time to take a pause and reevaluate or even redesign your offering. For example, think about managing your risk exposure by diversifying suppliers or using alternate delivery channels. You can also take the time to gather customer feedback and suggestions. A tool like Survey Monkey can be very helpful in gathering feedback.
9. SHARPEN YOUR FOCUS
Going back to the fundamentals and focusing on your core offering can help you better align scarce resources and also give you more confidence and a sense of purpose. Furthermore, you can go deeper if you are not stretched too thin.
10. OVER COMMUNICATE
During uncertainty, it’s critical to communicate proactively and often with your employees, distribution partners, suppliers, vendors, and investors. This is also a time to show empathy and build a stronger bond that will allow you to work through these challenging times as a cohesive team. It’s ok to not have all the answers but make it a two-way dialogue by asking for ideas and suggestions.
11. LOOK FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Such a huge and quick shift in market dynamics and human behavior opens up new opportunities. Extrapolate the current trends to see how you can take advantage of the shift in thinking, behavior and buying patterns.
We hope you found this article useful. What other ideas would you add to this list?