Over the past few months, we’ve seen countless industries and businesses struggling to survive in the unfriendly environment that the pandemic has created. The economies of our cities, states, and countries have been massively impacted. “Non-essential” businesses have been ordered to shut their doors immediately. Companies that remained open have had their staff work remote, furloughed or even laid off large portions of their workforce just to stay afloat.
How much longer will this go on? Is it possible for businesses to survive in this climate? The answer is, “Of course!”
Here at Ready Artwork, we have been tirelessly working with our clients on how best to adapt to these unprecedented times. As a digital marketing agency for businesses of all sizes, we stand at the precipice of a brand new world, and we have the skills to help you adapt to survive this pandemic. In this article, we will go over a few tips based on what we’ve been actively working on with clients that will really make a huge difference.
1. Inaction Will Kill You
Your company will need to take action. Today. This is no time to sit around and wait to see if things will suddenly start returning to normal. The reality is, this is the new normal for the foreseeable future, and taking imperfect action is always greater than perfect inaction. Trying to ignore this will only lead to countless more dollars wasted.
Consider businesses like Gamestop that tried to ignore the realities of COVID. They tried to act like nothing was wrong, skirt around what law enforcement was telling them, and disregard even the smallest safety precaution, all to try to “adapt” in a way that cost them more and did less for them than if they had just acted sooner. Look where that got them. Don’t be like Gamestop.
This is the time to get creative and pivot your business strategy. Create a new plan that will be more effective during this pandemic and be better able to satisfy the people in the market it creates.
If you are currently shut down, make a plan ahead of time for how your business will reopen after all the lockdowns end. Consider precautions you may take to help lessen the likelihood of an outbreak in your workplace. Make sure everybody understands this still won’t be business-as-usual for a while yet. Reopen gradually, rather than all at once, as this will help you better respond to any problems that might arise.
You should take quick action to make certain your business adapts to this ever-changing cloud of uncertainty. Create new agile business strategies that will allow you to respond quickly to changes. Make plans in advance to how you will gradually reopen your physical business. Being slow to respond will harm your company in innumerable ways.
2. Find Ways to Adapt to Going Digital
As we are practicing social distancing, the best way to interact with your customers is to go digital. Utilize and leverage technology as much as you can to serve your business in front of your target audience while they safely stay at home.
Jobs that don’t need to be done on-site can be done remotely. Despite the implication made in the introduction, it is entirely feasible to have your team work just as efficiently at home, provided that proper measures are put into place to ensure that work doesn’t slow down in a more “relaxed” environment.
Going digital doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many simple steps you can take that can transform the way customers interact with your business. If you’re a realtor and do house tours, consider allowing them to be scheduled online through your website and hosting them virtually on a video call. If you’re in the restaurant business, having online menus and being able to order food directly from the website will improve your revenue stream even in the best of times. In general, improve your websites’ functionality so that customers can have a better first impression.
A good example of a company that has adapted well is a small business in Seattle called Pike Place Market that stepped up to help their local market. They already had an online delivery service through their website set up, so they expanded it to include other nearby businesses. This helped drive up traffic not only for the newly added establishments, but the original business as well!
Find ways to move as much of your business as possible to a remote setting. Evolve your websites to offer more online features that better allow your customers to interact with your business in this environment. The changes you make will continue to be beneficial long after the pandemic is over.
3. This Is the Time to Cut Costs But Increase in Advertising
It’s time to get aggressive and seek out new opportunities. Like the aforementioned redundant jobs, parts of your business that rely on foot traffic, physical locations, and other things that aren’t needed during this time can be put on ice. Focus on the most essential parts of your business. When the pandemic is over, you can worry about slowly expanding back to full operations.
Despite that, and as backward as it might seem at first, now more than ever is the time to ramp up advertising. Your competition will be asleep at the wheel, following bad advice saying they should be cutting back advertisements during times of crisis, while you will be scooping up all their lost revenue. As Henry Ford once said, “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time”.
Consumers’ expectations haven’t changed. They will be expecting their favorite brands to continue their advertising just as much as before all this. Show how your product will improve their well-being or general comfort. Appeal to your audience’s emotions. Change your message to reflect the times. Make them feel like your business is a force for good, and they’ll act as brand ambassadors without you having to lift a finger. They will do more than your own ads ever could.
Reduce costs in as many other areas as possible. Focus on the parts of your business essential to pandemic survival. While doing this, increase spending on advertising to get a leg up on the competition. Make your customers empathize with you and they will act as brand ambassadors, increasing revenue even more.
While these times may seem scary, it is actually prime time to innovate and improve your business! There are so many fantastic ideas for how you can improve just your website alone, we could never fit them all into a single article. Our website has many more great resources, so please check them out!
A lot of our business is in marketing ideas for businesses of all sizes. Without following these tips, we’d be dead in the water as much as any other company. If your company follows our advice here, you should be well-equipped for strategizing business survival in this pandemic and whatever else comes your way in these trying times.
If your business or organization has been impacted by the pandemic, or just want to make them even better than before, our team can help you! Contact us today.