For many of us, the last few weeks have felt like an eternity. As you know by now, the Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives and disrupted business.
Many businesses have been hurt but many others are thriving. There is always an opportunity for someone, even in disaster. There is no war, no natural cataclysm hitting our countries but our usual marketplace is not our usual market anymore.
I know it’s easier said than done but my recommendation to my fellow business owners is to relax for a moment and forget about your surroundings. Go to a quiet room tonight, turn off your TV, open a bottle of wine and just start thinking.
Go back in time and pretend you just started your business. Yes, you run a “second phase startup” now. You are eager, excited, and full of energy.
Do you recall all the great ideas that you had when you started your company? Well, let’s forget those, and start a new virtual adventure. Reinvent yourself creating a very similar business plan today according to the current market situation.
Is Your Business Coronavirus Proof?
These days, many businesses offer services and products that are still in demand but many others have outdated offerings. If you are one of those companies struggling, change or die!
You did it once, and you can do it again! You already have the experience, and you know what used to work, so reinvent your business.
There are many startups with equal opportunity to thrive! Thrive again!
Example of a Thriving Cleaning Business During Pandemic
One of our old friends runs a cleaning business. Two weeks ago they were sure they would go out of business, but now they are busier than ever and can’t keep up with the new demand!
While others were watching the news and worrying, their team paused and sat down for a virtual meeting to brainstorm.
They changed their business model to do commercial cleaning. With a few new chemicals, a little training for their team. They now focus on cleaning grocery stores, physical therapy facilities, and businesses that are still operating and need a safe work environment.
They realized while others were complaining and remembering the old good days… it was time for them to adapt and overcome!
Example of a Restaurant Who Is Still Running During Covid-19
One of our other friends operates a restaurant. Instead of completely closing, they are taking curbside orders and decided to deliver meals to their customers’ homes.
An email list, some Facebook ads, and an update on your website stating you still take orders and actually deliver, can save a restaurant from going out of business and allow them to thrive.
The same concept is applicable for smaller grocery stores and pet shops, bakeries, or butcher shops.
Example of a Pediatrician During Coronavirus Crisis
We have another friend who operates a pediatric practice. They decided to take facetime calls to provide virtual visits of parents with their children. It also decreases the chance the children and their parents get infected.
Tutors and even training companies could provide a similar virtual learning environment.
It’s the time for larger educational institutions to invest or expand their online learning presence.
Many people need to learn new professions these days to be able to remain attractive for hiring managers from industries that have a demand. Online learning will become even more important than ever before.
We started providing our WordPress Admin and WordPress SEO training online, to make our offerings available for remote learning. A new free service many members of our community have really appreciated.
If you have given up and don’t want to run a business anymore, just learn a new skill and join a team. If you are still excited, please read on. More helpful tips are coming.
More and more people will look for online or remote work. Starting an online business sounds very promising these days.
Manufacturers Should Sell Directly to Consumers
If you are running a manufacturing facility, why would you rely on your retailers and distributors? Many of them have been out of business for a while and can no longer sell your products anyway.
Setup an ecommerce website and start thriving again!
Don’t stop there, list your products on Amazon, eBay, Walmart, Jet, Rakuten, Etsy, AliExpress, and many more. These days, even Best Buy and NewEgg sell everything. If you don’t know how, just ask our digital consultants.
If you don’t have any products to sell online, you can also set up a web shop for drop shipping or an affiliate site to earn commissions.
Don’t Stop Promoting Your Business
One of the biggest mistakes we can do is to completely cut the marketing budget and let your sales team go.
Companies who don’t market themselves in economic downturns will be forgotten when the economy comes back.
If you have been advertising on Google since 2019, you might be one of the lucky ones who will get some of the $340M PPC credit from Google, the largest paid advertising platform. They also offer $10k for nonprofits. If you want to know more about these opportunities, talk to one of our digital strategists.
Don’t Keep Running Your Old Advertisements
You can’t just run the same ads that you were running last month and many of us can’t provide exactly the same services that we were just a few weeks ago.
We don’t ride horses on the street anymore but that was the standard in the old days. If Henry Ford had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.
Don’t ask, just relax, take some time for yourself, analyze your situation, think a bit, and modify your offerings according to the needs of the current market situation.
New products need new marketing, especially in special market situations just like we are in right now.
Update Your Landing Pages with Your Updated Selling Points
Here is a great example of a retail store who changed their message on their homepage to point out, their products’ shelf life is 2 years.
Great Example of an Online Store Message
(Yes, we got this from Rand Fishkin, one of the greatest SEOs ever.)
Fast Changes Get Fast Results
Nobody can survive by doing the same thing forever. Changes were big and more drastic at this time than ever expected but these are just changes that would happen anyway. Now, we need to react and adapt faster to the changes than originally planned.
How to Promote My New Offerings with a Tight Budget?
Digital marketing is one of the most cost effective advertising solutions.
TV advertising is not affordable for most of us. Not to mention, Yellow Pages are dead.
Everybody is at home in front of their devices. Nobody drives to work and listens to the radio or sees giant billboards like they did before.
Social media, email marketing, webinars, organic SEO, and paid advertising are just a few of the methods you can start utilizing almost immediately. There is a tool for everything and there are professional agencies like TheeDigital, who can guide you through the process to get started; and get to the top.
They will be the unfortunate statistics that the government will publish stating they are the victims of the Coronavirus and the economic downturn.
Of course, there are exceptions and unique business situations but I would say, some businesses will become the victims of their slow response time and their inability to reinvent themselves during these confusing market situations.
It’s your decision to be one of the statistics or reinvent yourself and join the community of the “second phase startups” of the universe.
Be in a Second Phase Startup Thrive Mode
Now, many companies should be considered a startup and need to do new things. Sometimes things that are outside of their comfort zone.
We need to be flexible because we can’t do the same things that we did a few weeks ago. Most of us don’t need the same things today that we needed a few weeks ago. That means, your services are most likely useless unless you accommodate the current needs and adjust your offerings to the recent market situation.
Our new focus requires new positioning, messaging, and sales techniques.
Monthly management meetings are just not enough anymore. Don’t distance yourself from your team. You need them and they need you.
Have daily two one hour meetings with your key managers and trusted team members for about a week to analyze the market place, brainstorm, and look for new opportunities. Then make decisions quickly.
It’s a lot to digest, but good ideas won’t come in a minute. Consider it as an investment for a brighter future.
Utilize Lean Business Methods
Start your offerings in small bites, but build up your new product or service line quickly as you see your market positively reacting.
It would be a big mistake to make major changes, start mass production before the market confirms your idea is actually great. Some people get lucky but we can’t rely on luck anymore.
Build Loyal and Caring Customers
We need to build loyalty. We want to make sure our clients feel loved. They should feel our passion and our excitement in the things we do for them.
Give Your Clients Flexible Payment Terms
We are in this together. If you can, come up with creative payment terms for your customers that make them understand you are invested in their success and growth. You will find loyalty is built this way with clients you intend on working with for years to come.
Intelligence, creativity, hard work, and smart thinking made this country great and we are the same people, just in a different environment.
Relax, react, and thrive.
If you don’t want to do this alone or are just looking for some advice, let our digital consultants know when you are ready to take on the World again.