The COVID-19 crisis has taken the world by storm and caused a terrible ripple that will have a catastrophic economic effect over the coming months. It may even take years before we can truly see the full extent of the damage done and we have certainly not seen the last of it yet.
We don’t mean to put the fear in you because it’s scary enough as it is. However, there is yet hope, which is going to be the focus of this article today. We appreciate that these are exceedingly difficult times, but now more than ever, you should be thinking of ways to keep your business afloat. We will touch on some business management tips for your business, in order to remain relevant and stay ahead of the curve.
Your attitude is an important factor
It’s hard to stay positive at a time like this, but your attitude is the most important factor. If you remain positive and trust in that there is still hope, then you may yet make it through to the other side relatively unscathed.? If you convince yourself that your business will fail, then you might as well just as well give up now.
Ask what your government can do for you
This may or may not apply but depending on the country in which your business is based, your government might be able and willing to help you out. For example, some businesses in Australia have been receiving $20,000 in order to help keep their business afloat.
So, ask what your government can do for you. Even if it’s a small chunk of change, that could be used to run some paid advertising in order to generate much needed revenue. Now is the time to take advantage of EVERYTHING.
Use your database
Existing customers, past customers, new prospects; whatever you have in your database, use it. Run an email marketing campaign, send out newsletters, deliver good news, run promotions. Do whatever you can do to put your brand and business in front of your audience and remind them that you are still relevant, and that you are still operating.
Can you adapt your products / services to accommodate the restrictions?
A great example of this is children’s gymnastics companies running classes online, or English schools closing and relocating to the digi-space. Depending on the industry you are in, adapting your products or services might not be possible, but you should try to get creative and find a way to engage with your audience all-the-same.
Ask your audience for help
You should never be ashamed of asking for help, especially at times like this. If there is a silver-lining to be had, it’s the fact that COVID-19 has brought people together (at a safe distance of course), and the best out in one another.
All over the world we are witnessing charitable deeds and people doing whatever they can to help their fellow man. So, call upon your loyal customers for a little assistance.
Remember, most people are stuck in doors with very little to do, so reaching out to satisfied customers for a video testimonial or Google My Business review is not entirely unreasonable. Use this time to tidy up your testimonials and let the world know what your customers think of you.
Be charitable and help others
It’s not essential, but selfish altruism is good for business, it’s as simple as that. If there is a way for you to do a charitable deed and help others, you should try and do so. Don’t break the bank and put yourself at risk, but if you can be seen by the world as a brand and business that went above and beyond when other businesses battened down the hatches and hid, then it will go a long way toward bolstering your reputation and subsequently you businesses longevity.
For example, if you offer paid services as part of your business, perhaps consider opening up some of the premium options for free during these difficult times. Often the simple act of giving generously, will encourage more customers to gravitate towards you and spend their money.
Look after your employees
The most important thing that you can do is take excellent care of your employees. Do whatever you can to support them. They are the backbone of your business and are the reason why you are where you are today. They are not responsible for this crisis and are equally as scared as you are, if not more so.
- Can they work from home? How can you accommodate that?
- Make sure they are aware of the help & support that is available for those struggling with their mental health.
- How about sending out a care package for your vulnerable employees?
- Be certain to educate your employees on all current COVID-19 safety guidelines.
- Anticipate their needs! If your employees have children and are working at home, offer more flexible hours.
- Be patient.
Again, these are difficult times, but it is those who remain hopeful, positive, and take genuine action, that are likely to come out the other end on top.
You should continue to market your business, as opposed to cutting your marketing off altogether. Even if it means scaling down and spending as little as possible, you should take advantage of the fact that most other businesses are fleeing in fear.
Think outside the box and put the hours in. If you want to survive and stand out from your competitors, then you need to be seen as doing something positive. The brands that will be remembered when the dust settled, are the one’s that stood fiercely in the face COVID-19 and refused to break under the immense pressure.
We are strong together, so use the people around you. Your employees, your friends, your family, and most importantly, your audience. Engage with your customers and help them to remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you’re lucky, that light will be the sign above your door saying: “Open for business”.