The news has been littered for weeks now with information about COVID-19 and the social / economic impact it’s had.
Business owners have all been forced to react, but the smart ones are doing more than just that, they’re adapting to the changes that are being imposed upon them.
The reality is that things are not going to be going back to normal in the next 2 weeks like we all initially thought. (or hoped)
Some level of social distancing will be in place until a vaccine emerges, which means commerce will change and the entrepreneurs adapting to the change will eventually prosper again. In fact, many of these changes will likely have lasting (and positive) effects.
If you’re anything like me, your brain probably hasn’t stopped thinking what you should do next and how COVID-19 will affect business services, operations, products sold etc..
However, after many conversations with other business owners, I’ve started to notice a clear trend. The smart entrepreneurs are all asking themselves…
“What does my business look like in 2 years from now accounting for the changes that need to be made IMMEDIATELY to adapt to COVID-19?”
To answer this, market data must be considered, predictions made and a little entrepreneurial luck will need to be accounted for, but that’s business. Entrepreneurs are all too familiar with the fact that doing nothing leads to nothing, and doing something, creates opportunity.
Your opportunity right now is to predict that winning hand and adapt proactively helping your business create an unfair advantage and emerge on top when this all settles down.
So how do you adapt and create that unfair advantage?
Successful BUSINESSES are starting with a strategy:
Let’s explore the 3 components of how your businesses strategy must change:
1) Awareness – consumers need to know you exist
2) Affinity – consumers must like what you have to offer enough to choose you over competitors
3) Action – you must motivate consumers with a call-to-action in order to get them to make a purchase
Many businesses relied on storefronts, signage, word-of-mouth, networking and face-to-face interactions
People are spending all their time online, consuming content digitally with increased exposure to paid advertisements on news sites, search engines & social media
Minimalistic web presences will no longer cut it. Businesses will need to embrace the importance of digital advertising, SEO, reviews and social media. Figure out where your target customer is spending their time!
Consumers relied on what they could see, touch & feel, where retail storefronts & offices had a heavy influence on sales
Businesses must recreate this experience online with informative and engaging content that motivates people to buy from home
E-commerce functionality will become essential for businesses selling “goods” and 3D product galleries will become more popular. Service based businesses will be required to put an emphasis on good photography, video & personalization, adopting live streaming services to communicate their messaging.
Businesses relied heavily on in-person sales, face to face meetings, and thrived on consumers that were already ready to buy
Businesses will invest into a more engaging digital sales process, with an increased focus on early stage lead capture, email marketing, automation, video conferencing & implementation of CRM tools
While the economy has taken a huge dive in the last couple weeks, things will inevitably recover. Not instantly, but slowly and steadily spending will return to normal levels.
With that said, I’d be naïve to think that people WON’T be spending their money in different ways, and it will be the proactive businesses that benefit most.
Remember, to every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.
You’re an entrepreneur, you won’t give up. Nothing is ever a failure it’s just a learning experience.
So, here’s my 6 step plan to make the best of the current situation:
1) First, take care of business. Setup digital systems and processes that allow your team to work effectively from home.
2) Create a strategy by applying the Awareness, Affinity, Action plan to your business.
3) Get ahead of the curve – invest into new technology and if needed, capitalize on a BDC business loan at great rates (Base rate MINUS 1.75%)
4) There is more high quality talent available right now, than ever before – with more than 1 million EI claims made in the last week, people that aren’t normally unemployed will be looking and smart business owners are hunting
5) Use your “free-time” to create better systems and processes while implementing better analytics. Margins for error will be greatly decreased and accountability will be on the rise.
6) Challenge traditional barriers! Do you actually need your commercial space? Can you renegotiate any existing contracts? Re-connect with past contacts, have conversations, and above all, don’t let your entrepreneurial spirit go to waste!
Have any questions or comments? Let me know, I’m always eager to help!
Wondering how WebMarketers will be adapting?
First of all, our messaging will be changing. We’ve always been more than just a ‘marketing’ company but I’ll be the first to admit we’ve never done a good job communicating that outside of a small circle of clients.
We’re committed to help your business beat COVID-19!
We can help you define your strategy, and our promise is that we’ll help you do this for FREE.
Our full-stack design and development capabilities allow us to help you build the ideal web-presence you’ll need to succeed. Cookie cutter, templated solutions simply won’t cut it. We can even help you create software solutions if needed.
On top of that, we’ll continue to expand our ability to help clients implement automation, email marketing, CRM’s, digital sales software, and supporting digital training materials.
We’re in this together, and from our business to yours, we need to work together to succeed 🙂