If you compare our world today to what it was just a year ago, the change is astounding. Social distancing, masks, online lectures, and business meetings — no one could even imagine that would be our reality in 2020. But, as it happens, it is. And almost nothing’s been affected as much as small businesses.
You’ve seen it yourself — thousands of companies were forced to shut their doors forever due to the losses they suffered in the pandemic. Those who didn’t had to downsize and lay off many of their employees. They might be hoping to go back to business as usual eventually, but no one knows when that will be. And how long can they keep working with almost no profit?
But surprisingly, some companies don’t seem bothered by the pandemic at all. Others are doing even better than before! How is that possible? What is the secret of these businesses, and how can you use it to save your own?
Well, the key is changing your mindset and creating a proper survival strategy. And if you’re not sure how to do that, Leverage Media will give you a few ideas!
Don’t Hope for a Better Future — Create It
Right now, the whole world is holding its breath, waiting for the vaccine to arrive. When it does, we all think, everything will go back to the way it was. We’ll be corona-free and ready to work like we used to before.
But can you actually rely on that? Sure, the vaccine is on the way, but that whole process is much slower than you think. Besides, you can’t be entirely sure of its effectiveness — after all, its testing has been rushed to accommodate everyone’s wishes.
So even with all the promises and claims, the future isn’t any more certain now than it was a few months ago. And instead of waiting around and hoping, you can adapt and take concrete steps to save your business from demise.
For instance, take Cinemark. Like most cinema chains in the world, it has suffered massive losses during the pandemic. But unlike the others, Cinemark decided to adapt to these new times and start renting out their auditoriums for private watch parties. Since the start of this practice, it has sold over 100,000 of these parties, which helped it stay afloat. That’s a perfect example of the kind of adaptability you should strive for!
Get Your Team on Board
“Phenomenal products are usually built by a phenomenal team.”
Michael Cannon-Brookes, Co-Founder and CEO of Atlassian
If you’re working in a team, no matter how small, talk to your employees about your post-pandemic strategy. Tell them what they can expect, as well as what is expected of them in the following period. When everyone’s on the same side, it’s much easier to do a great job.
Also, remind them that their ideas and suggestions are always welcome. You never know who might hold the key to your success!
Go Online and Build a Brand
If you look at the companies that are managing to survive, you’ll notice they have something in common. Namely, every single one of them has a strong online and social media presence. And it’s no wonder; online is the only way to conduct business successfully when there are restrictions in place.
So that’s what you need to do — go online, start running ads, and join social media platforms. In the beginning, it might not go particularly smoothly, but don’t worry too much about it. Keep trying out different things until you finally hit upon what works for you.
Also, don’t forget — businesses exist for a while, but brands stand the test of time. Your brand should incorporate your story and values, proving that it’s more than just a moneymaker for you. To put it simply, you need to show the passion and vision behind it. That way, people will want to stick around and use your products even if there are thousands of similar ones on the market.
Collaborate With Your Community
“If you can run the company a bit more collaboratively, you get a better result, because you have more bandwidth and checking and balancing going on.”
Larry Page, Co-Founder and Board Member of Google
Everyone is going through a rough patch now, including your customers. If you show them that you’re on their side during the pandemic, they’re likely to give you support. For instance, you could offer discounts on your products and create free trials or special reward systems for loyal clients. If you feel really inspired, you could even make anti-corona products, such as masks.
Also, show that you are open to suggestions and criticism. Listen to what your clients have to say, what they like and dislike. Then, try to incorporate their feedback whenever you can. With clients giving you ideas to help you improve, your work will almost feel like a collaboration!
Digitalize Whatever You Can
Moving your business online means you can use chatbots and AI to deal with some of the more common questions your clients ask. That way, you’ll save time that you’d spend answering and use it for something more productive.
But though you might want to make all interaction digital, you should still be available for questions that chatbots can’t answer. Some customers might prefer talking to an actual human being instead of AI, so make sure to take them into account as well.
Reach Out-of-Home Audience
Even during the pandemic, some people have to go to work or are away from home for other reasons. Some of them could be your potential customers — so you need to cater to them too.
If they are usually not at home, they might not have access to their computers. However, it’s almost certain they have their phones with them, and that’s where you need to strike. You could, for instance, make a mobile app or send them emails with your newest offers regularly. That way, you’ll keep them up to date at all times.
Don’t Forget SEO
What use of going online if no one knows you’re there? Make sure to optimize your website so that search engines find it and rank it high. You can hire a specialist for that or research keywords and write the content yourself.
Either way, once you optimize your site, you’ll notice quite a difference. It won’t be just your old customers visiting — you’ll also have a large influx of new ones!
Evaluate What You Have Done
“We have the words ‘Done is better than perfect’ painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.”
Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder and CEO of Facebook
When you implement your new strategies, you need to occasionally take a look at what you’ve achieved. Keep track of your progress, see what works well, as well as what you need to change.
But remember — don’t be discouraged if your strategy doesn’t yield perfect results right away. What matters most is to keep trying, adapting, and changing. Eventually, that will bring you the success that you dream of.