The thing is yes, it’s always concerning when it happens, but it’s all in the way we approach the problem as a brand.
So, there are 2 ways to approach it:
- It shows you where the cracks are in your business and how to fix them.
- It forces you to find the benefits and use them to your advantage.
And, coming off the back of something we all couldn’t control (Covid), we can look at the way we currently do things that can prepare us better, should something like this happen again.
Keeping up to date can be the game changer.
We’re now at a stage where huge events are being canceled, people are being quarantined and remote working is a necessity. Staying up to date with technology that can keep your business running, regardless of the scenario, is hugely important. This is where a lot of old-school businesses that haven’t (or wouldn’t) updated may feel the crunch. And now, while they may be frantically trying to get new systems in place, a lot of the newer businesses who have adapted will reap the reward.
Remote working is not a thing of the future anymore, it is the present. Allowing workers more flexible environments give businesses an upper hand when managing situations like this. Having cloud-based systems and remote working access allow the business to continue as usual in most (not all) circumstances.
How can you as a brand, move forward in this situation?
Think quick. The benefit of being a small to medium business is the ability to be nimble and shift. It’s usually during hard times that big ideas, creations, and inventions come to light. Quick thinking strategies and implementation can mean that brands can find new directions or revenue streams should they provide a solution, or want something that directly relates to the current situation.
What do we mean? Well, we just witnessed it in action splashed all over the news, people who stockpiled on products, stripping the shelves bare of necessity items, creating demand. If you were in an industry that could provide a product or an alternative product, it was a great way to find an opportunity to continue to bring in revenue.
A few examples:
- Modi body period underwear – instead of women sanitary items.
- Hippybottomus cloth nappies – instead of disposable nappies.
- Handmade soaps from your local soap maker – there’s plenty out there, have a look.
They’re just a few options that also have the added benefit of being environmentally friendly or supporting a small business in a time when they need you most – win win.
Now, what about services? Can you provide something that people want in a different way?
A few examples using Covid as an example:
- Cleaning services would be in high demand now, more so than ever.
- A restaurant? It might be a time to get on Uber Eats or Menu Log. Never mind the mark up, people will pay the convenience fee of the delivery to avoid public places.
- Health and Wellness businesses – EDUCATE. Now is a great time to be providing information on the topic. Move the goalposts from trying to turn the audience into ‘now’ customers and into ‘future’ customers.
An example, Disney. They released Frozen 2, on Disney+ 3 months early for families that were stuck at home due to the virus – read more here. A move that provided a want for the consumer, resulting in more instant subscriptions.
Don’t stop marketing
The last thing you want is to be forgotten during a time where you need to be seen. As brands, we need to stay proactive, not reactive. Follow how people are responding to the crisis, stay vigilant, watch what they’re doing and how they’re consuming. These things can provide little gems of information that you can use to help you think or plan differently, whether that’s instant or long-term.
In the lull period (if you have one), work on your processes and overall brand presence.
- Find and implement new programs and systems that will set the business up for the future.
- Focus on your plan of attack and the rebuilding phase. What do you need and how are you going to do it?
- Upskill and educate yourself in new areas for growth.
- Eliminate unwanted costs and streamline financial outgoings to prepare for the slower period.
- Think of ways you can provide an online alternative to something you provide for example – online workshops vs inhouse.
- Use this time to brainstorm ideas that can set you apart from your competitors and provide you a stronger point of difference.
While it may seem like it’s the end of the line, if you switch perspective you can usually find an opportunity that can provide a silver lining. Regardless we’ve seen Covid force, everyone, to think differently about how we do things in the future. It will change the way we think and move forward not only from a business point of view but as a society.
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