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12 Tips to Help Your Business Survive COVID-19

Summary: Every business, big or small, and in any industry can take these proven lessons and apply them to the COVID-19 crisis happening today.

Now, more than ever, it’s important that business owners look to the past and take notes about how companies have changed their tactics to get through difficult times such as these. Just as important, if not more so, is how they came through it and fared once the events were over, and the strategies and behaviours they kept moving forward.

When studying examples of businesses that have experienced hardships, the most successful companies who continued to excel during difficult economic periods used a combination of two strategies. First, they implemented defensive moves, such as expense reduction, to protect themselves. They followed this with offensive moves, like planning for smart future investments. Pairing these two ideas helped companies to survive, even through times of uncertainty.

Every business, big or small, and in any industry can take these proven lessons and apply them to the COVID-19 crisis happening today. From one business to another, we feel it’s essential to share tips or tricks with each other to help us make it through this and come out thriving.

Here are a few tips we’ve picked up along the way that we feel are helpful.

  1. Remember when you wished you had more time to work on your business? Now is your chance. Be proactive, and learn how you can work to improve your business when you can’t physically be there.
  2. If you are still open, be sure to communicate that with your clients. Update any signage or messaging you may have, along with your website, to let them know you’re still active and offering your products. Alternatively, if you aren’t open, consider posting a message or banner on your home page to let people know, and provide a way to get in contact with you through email if needed.
  3. Consider finding new and creative ways to get you and your products out to your customers. This can be through sample deliveries, discounts and special offers, videos highlighting products, personalized email videos, and more.
  4. If you haven’t yet, be sure to take some time to reach out to your current and prospective customers. You can do this through email, social media, a phone call, or videos to help ensure you stay at the top of their mind.
  5. Consider creating a customer database, and segment them into smaller groups. This database can be a tremendous help for email newsletters and to also develop multi-channel messaging across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google.
  6. Expand where possible when others constrict. An example to look at from the last recession is MS International. During the recession, they chose to avoid layoffs, look into long-term investments, and purchase discounted inventory. This allowed them to have a solid footing in the market when the economy returned to normal.
  7. Don’t give up on your marketing efforts. Instead, be selective and work hard to direct them to your target audience. If you need to reduce expenditure, review the budgets as needed, but keep marketing going. This will allow you to stay top of mind and grow your market share while the economy gets better.
  8. Put some time into developing your online reputation. Contact past customers to ask for reviews and testimonials and put some of the best across your social media channels.
  9. Learn about social selling. This is a great way to build relationships with your customers, prospects, and get insights from leaders in your market. Also, take some time to update you’re your personal and business LinkedIn pages to ensure they are accurate.
  10. Spend some time talking with your team to come up with special offers you can give to your customers. This will help them in the short term as they may also be experiencing hardship but will also place your business in a favourable light in the long run.
  11. If possible, come up with interesting or creative ways to make it easier for customers or clients to work with your company. Some examples are waiving start-up fees, lower monthly rates for clients who sign up for a program, and more.
  12. Figure out your competitive advantage. Look into the latest products and techniques in your industry and come up with ideas to present these to your customer as a value-added option.

The Harvard Business Review wrote an article on successfully coming out of a recession. They found that companies that pursued progressive enterprises and cut costs by improving efficiency instead of reducing marketing efforts or the number of employees were most likely to succeed. These businesses also took time to develop new business opportunities such as investments in assets, research and development, and marketing. The growth of companies who followed these strategies was among the best of all the companies in the study.

We understand that every business and employee throughout the world, are anxious right now as we all wait to see what is going to happen. No one is yet sure of the extent that COVID-19 will affect our lives or the economy, but now is not the time to sit back and wait to see what happens. Instead, be proactive, work with your customers, and ensure that your company doesn’t just survive this crisis, it will come out thriving.

If there is anything we can help you with, please give us a call at (905) 475-3675 or e-mail us at marketing@simplifytheinternet.com. We will help you navigate this time to new prosperity.

Peter Jasniewski
President & CEO
WSI / Comandix Marketing Inc.

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