These are tricky times indeed. Although some businesses and sectors are thriving during the coronavirus pandemic, many small businesses and SMEs will be finding operating during the cornavirus pandemic very difficult, with cash being strapped, clients stopping work, employees being furloughed, and customers cutting back. It’s also a very stressful time. But there opportunities to use this time to get your business in order and be ready to thrive even in a pandemic.
Go digital to thrive
If you’ve ever stumbled over whether you need a website or should be active on social media, surely now has taught you how important it is. With people unable to get out and about to bricks and mortar stores or premises, having an online presence is more important than ever. Find the digital version of whatever offline work you were doing. See how you can switch what you were doing in the real world to the online world. Whether you want to do it yourself or get a developer on board, make sure you commit to getting online so your business can thrive.
Diversify your offering
Businesses that are thriving have been diversifying their offering to make more money. Can you sell an adjacent service, or do some online training? Are their opportunities to use your existing skillset in a new sector (think Dyson and ventilators, or fast food doing home deliveries)? You should never have all your eggs in one basket, and those who had one or two clients who contributed a lot of their income may find themselves suffering more than others right now. So spread the love, and diversify both what you are offering and your client base.
Cut through the competition
You might find that some businesses are shutting down or furloughing staff, which could mean that competition is lower. Now is the time to market your business. When people are ready to start working with you again, you’re front of mind and can make more money when things can back to normal. Don’t be pushy, and don’t use the pandemic to your advantage – thriving in a pandemic doesn’t mean sell sell sell. But don’t shy away from promoting your business. If your business is open, you need to be marketing it.
Communicate with customers
Now is an opportunity to communicate and nurture your existing customers so that your business can outlast the pandemic. But don’t go down the hard selling route, and equally don’t jump on the pandemic bandwagon. Be open, honest, and show empathy for what people are going through. By forming real and genuine relationships, you’ll win over clients and customers in the long haul. It’s all about customer life time value. Whilst it’s difficult to attract new people to your business right now, you can look after the relationships you do have. Make sure that they stick with you through the tough times out to the other side.
We all know the importance of networking for gaining referrals and boosting business. But those early morning breakfasts and schmoozing small talk aren’t for everyone. Many are now going online, making them much more inclusive and accessible. So do some research into what your local business networking groups are doing, and get involved. Now is the time to be developing new relationships that will see you through the other side.
Businesses must adapt to the new realities that covid-19 presents. Those that do so will not only survive the crisis but will come out stronger for the future.
Get in touch with us to find out more about how your business can thrive – even in a pandemic. For more business and finance , news, advice and tips, don’t forget to watch our video, listen to our weekly podcast I Hate Numbers.