March 11 2020 was supposed to be an ordinary day, had the World Health Organization (WHO) not declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
It’s been over a year and it has changed our lives completely. Many countries are still under restrictions, making it difficult for a lot of people to survive mentally and financially.
The business sector has gotten a major blow too.
Last year, with the onset of the pandemic, over 100,000 establishments closed permanently. With no income coming in for weeks followed by re-opening at half capacity, continuing with business became a hopeless case.
Things are getting better now, with vaccines underway. But businesses are still in survival mode. What’s left for entrepreneurs to do is adapt to the changing times, fine-tune their business, and overcome the hurdles.
Here are tips to grow your business after the lockdown:
Understand the financial damage to your business
Start by assessing the financial strain that the pandemic has caused business. Like most businesses, you’ve probably lost a significant amount of money on the rent, maintenance and utility costs, employee salaries, and then inventories that have gone bad during the lockdown.
You must document all the impacts and losses your business incurred due to COVID-19 in a comprehensible manner.
Knowing the actual figures is your starting point to making an actionable plan. It will also help you in terms of determining further costs and cutting back on irrelevant ones.
Review your business plan
Everyone is in survival mode, you can’t just continue doing business like you used to. The pandemic has caused many companies to pivot, and so should you.
Plan and prioritize your goals
Now is the time to sit down with your team/staff and discuss how you can bounce back. List down your major concerns, such as driving sales, ensuring workplace safety, cutting costs, etc.
Check whether you have to tweak your operating model, streamline production if you’re still operating in half-capacity, and employ safety protocols for your employees and customers.
Start with the most challenging tasks
Tackle the most important concerns first. Breaking up a goal into smaller tasks should help you address each problem more effectively. Don’t forget to create a timeline and keep track of the progress by checking in with your team.
Be adaptive in your industry
Look at what others are doing to stay ahead of the game despite the hurdles brought by COVID-19. Maybe you can apply their best practices or tweak them a little bit to suit your needs.
Choose the best marketing strategy for your business
With restrictions still in place for some locations, it’s imperative to move your marketing strategy online. Create or update your website and increase your online presence.
Speaking of online presence, consider using messaging tools that help you connect with more customers and boost your brand. For example, having a discussion with a StoryBrand certified guide will be helpful in terms of understanding how to get more results from your marketing campaigns.
Integrate social media
Social media can be your biggest weapon to stay afloat during this pandemic. But to be successful, make sure to:
Know the content your customers want
Your campaigns should be relevant. Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights can help you gather information about the content your customers like to see more of. You can also conduct surveys to know more about your customers’ interests.
Create interactive content
FB Live, Live Streaming, IG stories, polls, surveys, and games/contests encourage interaction among your customers. Make sure to incorporate them from time to time.
Be active on all social media platforms
Build your online presence by utilizing different social media platforms, not just one. This way, you can reach as many customers as possible.
Thank your customers
The lockdown was a life-changing moment for everyone. From a business perspective, it made us adapt to the current needs of our customers.
Whatever you do, always keep your customers in mind. Proactively tell your customers that you appreciate them patronizing your business amidst the hurdles of COVID-19.
A small note on their orders saying “thank you for staying with us” or a quick shout-out on social media are simple gestures that can make a lasting impact on your customers.
The COVID-19 pandemic was something we didn’t see coming. It was truly life-changing and challenging. With thousands of businesses forced to close during the lockdown, bouncing back after almost a year can be tremendously difficult.
Gladly, there are some effective things entrepreneurs like you can do to recover fast. Start by assessing the impact of the lowdown on your business. Then, make a plan. Prioritize tasks based on importance. Don’t be afraid to make changes and pivot. At this time, businesses have to be adaptive to the changing needs of society. Lastly, leverage online marketing and social media to promote your brand and connect with your customers.