Entrepreneurs have always been great at doing what they can with the resources they have. They’ve naturally become good at being scrappy and at finding opportunities in the midst of adversity. With COVID-19 catapulting the world into a crisis situation a lot of businesses are suddenly needing to innovate, not only to survive but to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world, once the crisis ends.
Optimize Your Digital Delivery
The sudden impacts of COVID-19 have brought to light the importance of adapting to a digital (virtual) delivery model. Communication with your audience is more important now than ever and it doesn’t have to stop because you can’t see your customers face-to-face. There are many different ways to connect digitally using free tools that are already available. Whether it’s through regularly scheduled newsletters, webinars to share your services and knowledge, or virtual meetings or “hangouts” to encourage collaboration among like-thinkers and clients.
Strengthen Your Brand
This is the best time to be authentic. Show the personality, humanity, and the people behind your company. More people will connect to an iPhone video or personal message from your CEO than a cut and dry corporate letter. During uncertain times, people tend to retreat to their “village”, meaning they tend to lean towards warmer feelings of comfort rather than hard sales or extreme images – people want to connect with people.
A lot of your potential clients will be “out-of-market” right now, meaning they are not thinking about spending in this current economic climate. There are several ways in which you can continue to build a relationship with them and support them in their business efforts – you can offer free advice, consultative support or offer useful resources. You have the opportunity to become the hero by providing them with some support through this difficult time and building a stronger relationship that will outlast any pandemic or recession.
Create Your Marketing Arsenal
When business is booming, the first thing to fall off the plates is marketing – specifically, really great content. When business is slower, it makes sense to create your marketing arsenal, from blogs to social posts, to email content, so that when the market picks up again, you’re prepared to hit the ground running.
Start by creating strong pillar content that can then be chopped up into micro-content. When thinking about ideas for your pillar content, think about questions that you get asked frequently, explain the services you offer, do a video call interview with a colleague or industry leader, or even do a how-to video. When working on your content, be sure to section it out in a way that can be broken out easily for social posts later on. After a few pieces of pillar content, you’ll be surprised at how large your marketing arsenal becomes.
Revisit Your Products and Services
If you’re not adapting, you’ll be left behind. While your products and services may have been in demand prior to these uncertain times, they may not be as appealing right now. This is a great time to take a look at your offerings and really view them through the eyes of your current and potential customers. Is this something that they need? Is the current price point something that matches the current economic situation? Businesses adapt when the economy is strong and should also be responsive when it becomes uncertain.
Prioritize Your Ideal Client
In tough times it sounds weird to think you would prioritize a certain kind of client, you’re probably thinking “we’ll take anyone we can get.“ While it’s true, it’s important to prioritize your ideal clients and to spend your time growing those accounts, rather than spreading yourself thin trying to manage smaller accounts that don’t quite fit your business model.
A Harvard Business Review study of 4,700 companies found many similarities between businesses who came out on top after recessions. One similarity was that they became extremely specialized during the height of the recession and focused on their ideal client and highest-profit services.
When the economy picks back up, you’ll be in a stronger standing having focused on your ideal clients.
What Does This All Mean?
The game may have changed overnight for you, but it changed overnight for everyone, so it’s still a level playing field. That’s still the same game entrepreneurs have always been playing, where they go out and try to make the best of whatever situation we’re in.
Need help adapting your business or building up your marketing arsenal?