Business owners across the UK are already beginning to feel the strain that Coronavirus and the associated lockdown is causing and this is leading to feelings of anxiety and business insecurity. There are, however, actions that businesses can put into place during the lockdown period that will not only help them to simply survive Coronavirus but also to thrive in the yet unclear economic environment.
Understandably, thinking about your business’s recovery may be far from the forefront of your mind. But it is important to remember that the UK will recover, life will resume with the energy and vitality that we are accustomed to and ‘business as normal’ will also resume. Some business owners may choose to simply wait this out and when normal business resumes they will go back to doing what they used to do but we’d like to think that with a little careful planning and forethought many businesses can make steps that will greatly boost their future business.
Here are a few ideas on how to help your business recover from Coronavirus.
Consider how your customers are affected.
Regardless of what sector you operate in, it is inevitable that your customers too are experiencing issues related to Coronavirus. This could be in the form of financial loss, restricted workforce, supply chain disruptions or just a slowdown in business. Regardless of what side effect they are experiencing it is important that you think about how this might be challenging their business and how you can help. By taking the time to stop and assess your customers’ needs it will allow you to tailor your sales approach and create dedicated marketing which is specifically designed to cater to them.
Another important thing to remember is to be kind. Your customers are as essential to your business as oxygen is to the planet, one cannot exist without the other. Whilst the lockdown is frustrating and tensions can run high, your customers will remember how they were treated. Negative experiences will leave a bitter taste for a long time following recovery; however positive experiences can only guarantee that they seek your business out again.
Look at how you can adapt your business.
Whilst the current climate is far from ideal it can be a fantastic opportunity to re-evaluate your current business provision and look at ways it can be amended. There are many businesses already doing this in varied ways – fitness instructors are taking to online platforms to offer virtual training, restaurants are offering take out services and online resource services are making themselves more accessible. Take the time to reach out to people via social media platforms, really promote the services that you CAN offer during lockdown and sing about the functions that your business is still able to perform.
Regardless of the lockdown, people across the UK still want to use services and make purchases so it is an important time to look at how you can improve your online marketing efforts and generate new online custom. Don’t look at lockdown as downtime but as a time to become proactive and productive. Business is still happening and will still happen, but more of it may need to be online.
Make an action plan and review your goals.
Coronavirus is instigating massive change across the business world and this is expected to continue right the way through to recovery. Whether you are a retailer, restaurant, freelancer or a service based business, when the UK recovery begins and lockdown ends there will be an emerging demand for your products or services. How are you going to prepare your business, rebuild and begin to grow again?
Prior to the lockdown, did you have any business plans/goals? If you did then it’s time to reassess, if not then it is a good time to put something together. You’re going to want to look at short, medium and long term goals for your business with a view to keeping it flexible to keep up with the ever changing situation. Here are some short, medium and long term goals that may be worth considering including within your plan.
- Consider how to maintain contact with your existing customers, is it effective? Are your existing customers aware of what level the business is operating at and have you provided them with enough information to continue using your services?
- If you can’t provide your usual offering, have you offered replacement services/alternatives?
- Are your services/products in demand, if so then can you do anything to improve delivery timescales or offer priority for vulnerable persons?
- If you have no ability to provide services/products are you keeping customers informed about how to cancel/keep/move pre-planned appointments?
- Think about recovery, how are you going to put your business in a good position post Coronavirus?
- Create a marketing plan – where and how will you advertise your business in order to retain custom and gain new customers?
- Assess your business strengths and weaknesses – what were you doing right and what could you do better?
- Are there any opportunities that have arisen from Coronavirus that you can take advantage of in the long term?
- Will you continue to provide your products/services in a different way? Has this been beneficial? What impact does this have on your staff/cash flow and customers?
- Get to know your customers – who are they, what information do you have that you could use to drive business?
- Look at your competitors – who is doing well and what are they offering that you could also look to do?
- How will you plan for growth? Do you have a set target post lockdown?
- Look at your brand. Are there changes that you could make to your website, promotional materials or content that will propel your business in the long term?
- How will you continue to maintain positive contact with your customers and provide them real and lasting value in the future?
In summary, whilst we understand that these times are indeed testing and uncertain we can be confident in one thing, which is that this WILL end. Regrettably, the truth is that some businesses might not successfully endure this period but we would urge all business owners to take a look at what they can do now to avoid this and better position their business in a post lock down economy.
If you want to discuss how Pink Spaghetti can assist you with any aspect of your business then you can visit here to find your local team today.