COVD-19 has changed the way everyone conducts business, but even as the commercial world prepares to reopen, thoughts have already shifted towards preparing for a potential second or even third wave of the coronavirus. Below we cover six basic business tips and ideas we believe can help future proof your business should we return to a lockdown in the near future.
1. Localised customers
During lockdown there has been a clear sense that local communities have become stronger as they rally round to support each other. People were restricted on travel, which meant local businesses became even more important and the current easing of lockdown measures allows you to prepare your business to provide local services reliably and safely. Customers in your community will rely on local services more than ever as it feel safer, so where possible, have your services and products ready and available to connect with.
We wrote a longer article on this with more information which you can read here: How thinking local can help your business during the Covid-19 outbreak
2. Targeted advertising
Use Google Ads and social media channels to capture the relevant audience, while also utilising email lists and direct marketing tools to promote your offering. Be sure to take into account marketing and advertising costs and the most effective channels that can produce results to strike the right balance.
3. Develop trust
While the local community has become stronger, there is a lot of paranoia and uncertainty in the air which makes it important to build trust around your brand. Transparency is key, whether it’s asking a customer to spend money for the first time online, or for services (such as tradesmen) that need to visit your home in person. Provide clear and easy-to-understand information on your service/landing pages and integrate your personality into the branding that makes it easy for people to relate to. It’s the start point to develop trust and potentially an ongoing relationship that ensures they feel comfortable to return in the future.
4. Re-examine internal processes
Smaller business will feel the brunt of COVID-19 more than larger organisations and that will mean a rethink of pricing. Before looking at the final mark-up, examine other costs in the business to see what is essential and what isn’t. Streamlining equipment and processes (rather than staff) will become a necessity to lower overheads, so you can strike the right balance between profit and remaining competitive in your respective market. Lowering prices should always be the last call of action.
5. Use professional guidance
As a small business owner it’s understandable that with so much to take care of it’s not always easy to take a step back to examine your business for a different perspective. But with so much professional branding and marketing help available, try to block out time each week (between 15-30 minutes) to seek advice from professionals on what you can do to streamline and improve the positioning of your business.
6. Start planning
Lockdown has merged together our personal and professional lives like never before, making it even more difficult to find the right balance between the two. Consider how you can reorganise your schedule so you plan ahead for the business, while also spending time with the family, giving yourself much needed structure once again.
Listen to the podcast: Business Tips to Survive and Prosper
If you, like me, enjoy finding out more and listening further then John discusses this topic in more detail on The Simplified Marketing Podcast. To listen to the episode click here: Business Tips to Survive and Prosper