Lockdowns and pandemics don’t have to mean the end of your business. While many businesses are going to the wall, others are succeeding by changing the products and services they deliver to meet changing needs in the market.
Their secret is realising that it could be a fatal error to wait for life to return to normal. While others around them live in nailbiting hope, others are taking specific steps to trade their way through the disruption.
It may indeed be fatal to wait for life to return to a sense of 2019 normality. For many around the world, there could be lockdowns and economic stagnation for a few years to come.
We have seen two types of businesses – the conservative ones that try to make their bricks and mortar business work as it always has… and then the more dynamic entrepreneurs who try to figure out what is still selling well and make dramatic adjustments to the way their business functions. The ones who adapt and change will be the ones that ultimately succeed.
FIND OUT WHAT PEOPLE NEED AND WHAT THEY DON’T HAVE
The basics of Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” still prevail – at a very fundamental level people still need to eat, they need clothes on their back, and they need their homes to be comfortable and functional – not just as a place to live, but as a place to home school and work too.
As a result, we find that people are spending money on takeaway foods, their pets, toys for their kids and other things that can be used at home. Some have diverted funds from gym memberships to online yoga classes. Others perhaps without as many family commitments are simply saving more because they aren’t spending as much time out with friend.
AS A BUSINESS PERSON YOU WANT TO RELIEVE THEM OF SOME OF THIS MONEY
Can you adapt what and how you sell to meet these basic customer needs? I recall an image of an early food business that taped up their business until it resembled something like a hermetically sealed bio-lab, in order to sell food to customers. There was a slot in the plastic where food and money could be exchanged.
While this type of innovation was taking place, other attempts were half-hearted or poorly planned. If you are planning, then the most robust plans in a crisis are hardly going to be overlooked by health officials and regulators. If you’re going to do something, do it well. Regulators will be looking to the most egregious offenders first.
When you spend time on innovation, make it known. Use your local newspapers and TV to grab some publicity. “Any publicity is worse than no publicity.” Tell your world about how you’re there to help.
FIND OUT WHO IS OFFERING GRANTS
In a crisis, governments hand out money like nobody’s business. If they can, they will throw money at a problem in the hope that it will leave quietly. On council and state websites across the country, you’ll find governments handing out money to support innovation in a local business.
COVID recovery grants are very popular too. Often these business recovery grants are given for a specific purpose, like establishing your business online – but it can be worth the trouble. If you’d always wanted a business website, but never had the time, now you have both time and money to get it completed – all you need is a good partner like Asporea to help you with the task and get it built.
TRANSFORM YOUR OFFERING
If your business won’t sustain itself through a medium-term of lockdowns and disruption then consider what will. If you are a restaurant, how far can you push the boundaries of delivery? Could you replace the occasional takeaway, with a week of pre-prepared meals for a busy family?
Perhaps you are used to teaching night classes in a community hall but could you transform your lessons to an online learning format that people can buy and complete in their free time?
If you are a merchant, can you streamline your product offering to people in lockdown and supply more of what they need right now, like vitamins, hygiene products and essential supplies?
If you sell more luxury products, can you use video or more creative techniques to help people imagine using your products and save them having to step into your showroom to buy?
These are all ideas that you can implement today with our help, to help grow your business during these turbulent times. Digital marketing is not hard, it just requires a partner who can help you look beyond the problem to new solutions you may not yet have discovered.
If Asporea can help you transform your business, or drive new online buyers towards your business contact us and we can have a conversation about overcoming some of your business challenges.