How to Adapt Your Business to a Pandemic Economy
How is your business surviving through the COVID-19 pandemic? The pandemic impacts every continent on the globe except Antarctica. As a result, consumer behaviors have drastically changed. Are you keeping your business relevant? The WHO and other health agencies are predicting second and third waves across the globe – as soon as this Fall. Now is the time for successful businesses to evaluate and to act.
There are dramatic shifts in, not just what consumers buy but, how they shop for their necessities, like toilet paper, to other items like fitness gear and vitamins. Online purchasing, parking lot pick-ups, easy and free deliveries are just a few examples.
Businesses have had to change how employees work and add value to their bottom line. For example, tele-working is more popular than ever. Apps like Slack or Drift chats and using video conferencing, like Zoom, have become necessary communication tools to keep connected. Sure, this may not be head-turning news but how you navigate through this time will demonstrate your ability to stream profit and adapt to major changes that are impacting our economy.
How to adapt your business in a pandemic economy
- Dig Into Your Brand
Firstly, it’s important for a business to stay true to its brand. Ask yourself, ‘what is your brand story and its personality / values?” How do you help your customers? Now is a good time to contribute to your surrounding communities which could further strengthen your brand perception among your target audiences. For example, consider donating money or staff time. Your local officials could be a valuable resource.
Marketing Tip: One example of how you can learn more about what your target audience thinks about your brand is to check out what they’re saying about you on social media channels.
- Be Creative
Secondly, find a way your business can leverage its resources to help. Recently, BCE Inc jumped into action by leveraging its global procurement network to acquire 1.5 million protective face masks for frontline workers across Canada. That’s impressive, for sure. However, your action does not need global impact. It’s a bonus if it does. For another example, look at how Dairy Distillery adapted their product offering. They switched up making their vodka to produce ‘Sanitizing Hand Rub’ – while also donating bottles to front line workers.
Marketing Tip: Explore how COVID-19 is affecting your specific target audience. Moreover, what could your business offer that would help make their lives easier right now?
- Map out Next Steps
Thirdly, map out the next steps of how you can add value to your clients during the pandemic and in the stages of economic recovery. For example, if you’re a B2B business you can clearly see how conferences and events will be impacted for the foreseeable future, full-out cancellations or side-stepped to video adaptations. These cancellations or postponements can bring some savings from travel and hotel fees. In other words, it could be a time to funnel these savings to fiscal survival or reinvest it in a new way. Most of us are being financially hit during this time, but maybe we could view it as John Adams famously said, “every problem is an opportunity in disguise.”What about B2C Businesses?
For B2C companies, like a software company, you could create digital solutions tailored to your ideal customers. One way is to offer price-saving loyalty packages. It could also be an ideal time to educate and motivate your ‘mostly offline clients’ to the value of switching to online solutions (i.e. purchasing, invoicing). Create simple strategies. Make it easier to adapt with ‘hand-holding’ transitions and low-cost trial periods.Marketing Tip: Look to current trends to see how your business can lean in to them. Right now, consumers are purchasing more sanitizing products and less clothing and travel gear. Does this trend affect your business? If so, how else could your business serve the needs of the current germ-sensitive, work-at-home type of customers?
- Say Hello to Housekeeping
Lastly, take advantage of an empty office space right now. Spring clean and declutter. Paint, carpet clean, window clean. Be brave with a fridge clean out and tidy up any storage or inventory closets. Most importantly, re-assess your annual goals to today’s reality. So much in how we do business has changed since January, 2020. Take the time we have right now to review and re-align your business and marketing objectives. It’s easy to slash budgets just consider your revenue projections – how many qualified sales leads you need and how you will achieve it through set marketing activities. COVID-19 is not all chaos and despair. In some ways it has helped companies to re-assess strategies, identify new challenges and streamline approaches transitioning more towards digital and other solutions that keeps them connected with staff, partners and customers. How are you navigating your business through this COVID-19 pandemic? It’s become a different economic world, long-term objectives may need adjusting. I hope this helps you avoid the mindset of thinking the economy will recover at 100% with a “business as usual” approach. Not likely. Take advantage of some resources here with Program Planning and Evaluation: It’s Marketing Check-Up Time and Medium-sized businesses need better website marketing.
Be profitable in your marketing.