Many small businesses have already been hurt by the pandemic. Some have already shut their doors. We have no idea when this will end or how much worse it will get. We’re in uncharted territory now and it’s hard to know what your business should do to survive. Here are four tips to help your marketing efforts and keep your business running during the crisis.
COMPLETE AN EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ASSESSMENT
Externally, you should look at the state of the economy, your customer, emerging technologies or markets and the expected recovery date. Internally, you should look at your cash burn-rate and any additional sources of capital.
This is something every business should do immediately. You should continually re-evaluate based on new information. Get your team involved so you have buy-in from everyone. Inform your investors and board about the assessment. Build a new plan based on your agreed interpretation of the assessment.
The plan should include changes you can make to your operating plan, cost savings and quick pivots you can make to sustain or create more business.
PIVOT AND INNOVATE
Brainstorm ideas about how you can compete in the current climate. What are the market trends telling you about your business? If you’re a brick and mortar business, can you go online to keep or gain business? Can you start a subscription service to keep customers buying your products? Maybe you can consider delivering your product or signing up with a service that will deliver to your customers. This will make you stand-out amongst your competition. You should also consider what your competition is doing.
It may be time for a rebrand or new marketing efforts. Many businesses have done this during the crisis. Can you produce a product or provide a service that people need now that they didn’t even consider before COVID-19? This can lead to a new revenue stream when the crisis is over.
Look at your competition to see what they are doing differently. You can also look at different industries and adopt some of those strategies to keep your business running. Shift strategies to fit your business needs.
CHANGES TO YOUR OPERATING PLAN
Make the changes that will help your business survive. Can your employees work from home? Do you need to consider laying off employees to keep your business afloat? You want to have the best interest of your employees in mind, but remember if your business doesn’t survive, they won’t have a job to come back to.
. Can you collaborate to save costs or get the product to the customer in a safer way? Do you need to look at switching production from a foreign country back to your home base to ensure safety and deliverability? These are all operational matters that you should consider when assessing your new business plan.
REVIEW COST SAVINGS
Changes in your supply chain may help you save on costs, but there are other things you should consider. Can you lower your rent, move locations, or shut down your offices completely? Think about the expenses you can reduce without changing the quality of your product or service. Maybe you can take on more of the responsibility yourself. This is the time to find out if your business can cut costs.. Leverage any potential funding or relief sources available in your community.
The most important thing you can do for yourself and your employees is stay positive. This quarantine won’t last forever. If your business had to shut the doors due to the pandemic, look for ways that you can continue learning and growing your marketing efforts so your business will be stronger once you’re able to reopen.
We know this is a difficult time for your small business. Outlook Business Solutions is here to help you review and assess your plan. We can help you pivot your products and services to better serve your customers during the pandemic. Our marketing experts want to help ensure your business is here for many years to come.