What Can You Do for Your Business
in a Time of COVID-19 Crisis?
2020 was supposed to be the banner year of most businesses as it is the beginning of a new decade. One that any business owners would look forward to for Industry 4.0 – wherein technological advancements will be implemented, digital transformation will be emphasized, and customer-centric strategies will be prioritized. But no one could have expected that this would also be the year when a pandemic outbreak would create unchartered territories throughout the globe.
At this time, health and economic situation of many countries including the Philippines have been badly hit by the COVID-19 disease, resulting to a practical stand-still of most businesses.
By taking proactive steps now, you can put your business in a more secure position to stay strong and recover faster once the crisis subsides. Fortunately, an efficient marketing strategy can help you reach the right audience at the right time with the right message. Here are 5 key strategies and insights to help your business recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
1. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS
When a crisis unfolds, it is important to reassure your clients and partners the status of your business. This includes whether your business will continue its operations, the status of your products or services, and updates as changes progress. Your clients will appreciate your proactiveness in communicating with them throughout the entirety of the situation.
2. EMBRACE A DIGITAL SALES PROCESS
One way to beat this community lockdown is to embrace a digital workplace. While the lockdown may seem personally disruptive and inconvenient for your business, an entrepreneur must understand that the entire world is dealing with similar or worse pain, suffering, and inconvenience. The trend is to move operations online and that includes the sales process. Moving to a digital sales process will help keep your sales team on track by hosting virtual meetings when possible, or by giving your customers and prospects access to your team at their convenience.
3. KEEP TRACK OF YOUR INVENTORY
If you’re a manufacturer or distributor, a health and economic crisis can have a major impact on the production of your products. One way of beating this dilemma is to know where the current inventory is at, and to foresee the impact of the crisis in the future production. Create an effective inventory management and make sure to keep your service department and customers up-to-date on the big picture.
4. IMPLEMENT AN E-COMMERCE STRATEGY
Even as more of the country goes into lockdown, one way or another, customers will still need to get your products, even if they are harder to get. Creating opportunities to serve your market through alternative sales channels such as eCommerce, will allow orders to continue to be processed. Now is the great time to boost your online marketing efforts and eCommerce sales, and to create more conversations on social media and LinkedIn instead of in-person sales meetings.
Many B2B companies are already well-positioned for this, especially if they sell software or other digital services and solutions. Business is still going on, but more of it might need to happen online.
5. PLAN LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
This is also the best time to re-evaluate your operations, platforms and processes and do some long-term strategic planning. If you have a few big prospects in the pipeline, now is a good occasion to put more energy into lead management and nurturing of those longer-term opportunities. Keep checking in with your leads, reassure them if needed, and let them know that you are planning for contingencies and you’re ready to help.
Crisis situations create an enormous opportunity to build trust with your brand. Do you respond to customers swiftly? Do you communicate often with your customers? Do you put their business interests before yours? But more importantly, are you going to delivery on what you say?
By having processes and procedures in place, even a small, start-up business has a better chance of finding success during a crisis.