How To Ride Out Unprecedented Circumstances and Come Out Stronger
For business owners, 2020 has been a tumultuous year, to say the least. After months of lockdowns, forced closures, and soft re-openings with strict COVID-19 protocols in place, things are starting to feel like some semblance of a normal life. Well, maybe not exactly, but we’re getting there. Even still, with so many twists and turns coming at us left, right, and center, you never know what 2020 will throw at us next. So, why is it that some businesses seem to be thriving instead of struggling to stay afloat?
Take these companies, for example:
- Peloton revenue grew 66% in the first quarter of 2020
- Video game company sales have risen 21% to $1.52B in the first quarter of this year
- Zoom’s stock went up 120% in 2020
- Wayfair saw a 20% increase in sales
So, how can SMBs follow from the examples of these giants? We will explore the different ways business owners can optimize their business for success, despite a global pandemic with no end in sight.
Adapt to the Times
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way we shop, and it’s no secret that now, more than ever, consumers are choosing to shop online from the safety of their homes. So, if you’re a brick and mortar store that is struggling to draw in customers, now should be the time to transition to e-commerce.
Hiring an agency that specializes in digital marketing strategies like UX and Search Engine Optimization along with web design will help ensure your online store is optimized for success right from the start.
For some businesses, though, this may not be an option. For restaurants that have been forced to close or are struggling to fill tables, consider offering delivery if you aren’t already. Another option is to bottle/jar and sell signature items like sauces, condiments, and soups.
If your business requires meeting with clients, switch to video calls whenever possible.
Instead of fighting the pandemic and challenging restrictions, go with the flow and adapt your business so you don’t end up falling victim to the coronavirus.
Promote Your New eCom
Building a new website isn’t effective without a strong marketing strategy to promote it. When launching an eCom, your marketing plan should include:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Paid ads
- Social media
- Strong visuals
Even if you haven’t launched a new website, your marketing efforts should not slow down or stop during a pandemic. Marketing is one of the most important investments you can make during this time and will enable you to grow your business during an otherwise tumultuous time. Whether it’s maintaining existing campaigns or trying something new, like video and social media, don’t be afraid to spend more time and money on marketing during this time – it will pay off in the long run, we promise.
Setting the Tone With Your Marketing Efforts
While most people are probably sick of hearing about COVID-19 by now, pretending the pandemic doesn’t exist can come across as tone-deaf and leave a bad taste in customers’ mouths.
In any type of marketing or messaging you put out, maintain a reassuring, positive tone. Try to avoid making jest of the current situation, unless it’s done tastefully and humour is a part of your branding.
Strong Customer Service
Customer service has always been important, but add a pandemic into the mix and it becomes absolutely critical.
In a time where so many customers are re-evaluating where they give their business, do not give anyone a reason to jump ship. Whether it’s delayed shipping or handling customer complaints, make yourself available, and offer excellent customer service.
One way to make yourself available 24/7 is implementing an online chat tool on your website where customers can go to with any questions they may have any time of day. And if you don’t have one already, create a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page where you can answer questions related to shipping times and costs, COVID-19 policies, and more.
And most importantly, be transparent and open about any changes or new policies that have been implemented due to COVID-19 and how they may impact your customers. Whether you send out emails or post about it on your social media, make sure you get the word out.
Set Reasonable Expectations
If you know there will be pandemic related delays, communicate this from the get-go so customers know exactly what to expect.
Nobody appreciates being left in the dark, so don’t put your customers in this position, no matter how unprecedented the situation may be.
Being a business owner during a global pandemic is not easy. By shifting your attitude and adapting your business to these unprecedented circumstances, it is possible to not only survive the pandemic but to thrive both during and long after.