Business Will Return After Corvid-19… Are You Prepared?
The world has been flipped upside down as the novel coronavirus has surpassed 1.9 million infections, with over 587,000 in the U.S. alone, as of April 14, 2020, according to Worldometers.
World leaders have locked down entire countries and millions of small businesses have been shut down to stop the spread of the virus. And, on top of that, the stock market has plummeted over 30%, unemployment has risen past 10%, and a looming recession appears to be taking over.
While many local shops have been forced to close their physical locations due to social distancing measures, many business owners have been scrambling to figure out what to do next.
For some, this downtime serves as a much-needed break from the fast-paced world we live in. Many are turning to catch up on the latest Netflix series, others are getting creative in the kitchen and the garage, and some are even using this time to make their debut as a social media influencer.
The question you have to ask yourself is, “When this market opens again, will my business be ready?”
While many are taking it easy with “staycations”, some are choosing to take this time to re-evaluate and advance their business when the market reopens. The truth is, during every economic downturn, there are many who will end up with losses. However, some always come out as winners.
If you want to ensure your business not only stays afloat during this downturn but thrives when the market returns then you must be proactive. Question is are you doing everything you can to get ahead when the economy opens up again. Although the doors may be currently closed to your business, you can take this time to educate yourself, advance your business systems, and set yourself up for success when the lockdown is lifted.
Here are 4 ways you can prepare your business to survive the downturn and come out ahead when markets reopen:
1. Focus on the Long Term
Rather than panic and stress at the current situation and near future, which is totally understandable, focus on your long term strategy. Have a plan of attack to draw existing customers back and to rapidly gain new customers. The time to plan is now because in all likelihood you have the time to plan.
Get focused, come up with a marketing plan and stay the course.
The fact is, the market will eventually rebound. Don’t do anything rash that may harm your business in the long run.
2. Don’t Cut Back on Marketing
While it may be tempting for accountants and those savvy with numbers to start slashing expenses left, right, and center, history proves that could be a costly mistake.
Your market share will most likely shrink during a downturn, which means you need all the marketing firepower you can muster up during this time. Why diminish your lines of communication and marketing to your audience when you need it the most?
Maintaining a consistent marketing investment strategy through a downturn actually enables confident business owners to capture market share from competitors who contract out of fear. There are many forms of inexpensive marketing in today’s business world, be creative.
3. Learn New Marketing Tools & Strategies
There will always be a group of people who rest during a downturn, and those who work harder than ever to prepare and get ahead. Those who shelter themselves, contract, and wait for everything to blow over can end up putting themselves most at risk.
However, those who take the time to develop a business/marketing plan and even learn new marketing tools and technologies, end up being the ones who come out ahead of the competition when markets reopen. In fact, some of the greatest companies launched during recessions, including GM, General Electric, IBM, Disney, FedEx, Electronic Arts, and Microsoft. You may not be a fortune 100 company but the same business principles apply to almost every business small and large.
4. Act Early
According to a study by Harvard Business Review that looked at 5,000 companies over 4 business cycles, it was found that businesses that acted early and were proactive during a downturn came out with higher profit margins than those who didn’t.
In the study, they found that business “achieved 6 percentage points better Total Shareholder Return in the downturn than companies that did not address the challenge early.”
By acting early, not only will you safeguard your cash flow, but you’ll actually increase the likelihood that your business will come out ahead.
Business Will Return… Are You Prepared?
While many people see the downsides to this forced lockdown, others are seeing the opportunities or at least planning to come out of the gate swinging.
Most business owners simply never have the time to learn new marketing tools and create an effective marketing plan. The fact is most are busy managing their day to day operations, and simply don’t have the time to market their own business.
Even if they have the time, many small businesses can’t afford to hire a marketing agency to do it for them. Especially after this economic downtime.
- Learn new marketing strategies and tools during this downtime.
- Use social media in your local community to lift people’s spirits while simultaneously promoting your brand.
- Many people are on lockdown at home and Facebook interactions have skyrocketed. More people are on Facebook daily than ever. Get your brand in front of them. In most cases, it costs you nothing or very little to do so. There is no better time to promote brand awareness than now.
- If you are a restaurant or local retailer do you offer mobile coupons or have a customer loyalty program? If not why not? Now is the time to learn such applications and put those programs in place to drive business when the market opens.
- Could your business benefit from an email marketing program? Now is the time to research.
- Could your business use a lead generation platform? Some great and inexpensive ones out there.
No matter what product or service you sell, you need to be creative and proactive during this downtime. I promise you it will pay off. The world isn’t ending and neither should your business. Stay focused, come up with a plan and then execute that plan.
My name is Gary Downey and I’m the co-founder of a company called Antrim Media. I’m offering my assistance free of charge during these unprecedented times for any local business that could use it. I’m offering a free consultation call (up to one hour) to discuss your business model and share advice on how to prepare for when the market reopens. This is not a sales pitch nor will I try to sell you anything. It will be a straight forward discussion of your business needs. Together we will come up with a strategy to immediately start to grow your business when things return to normal.
Lastly, one of my favorite successful business persons is Zig Zigler. Zig offered a lot of solid business advice during his day. One of my favorite quotes from Zig is “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” I live by this statement because it has worked 100% in my business and my life.
Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.
As Zig would say, “see you at the top”
If you would like to schedule a free marketing consultation please click the link below.