Has your business been turned upside down by COVID-19 or other challenges? Are you frustrated by having to make sudden and significant changes within an organization or business? Sometimes it’s hard to consider change when things were working fine prior to the pandemic— especially for organizations that provide in-person services.
Nobody really knows how long the pandemic will last, but navigating through difficulties may reveal new and innovative ways to operate a business. You can reinvent your business by developing a marketing plan and outlook that leads to recovery. Taking time to strategize will help you to prepare. Just be sure to inform your customers of any changes that may impact them during these challenging times.
The following are some suggested business strategies that may help a company to endure during times of change, such as a pandemic.
Strategy 1: Convert Paper to Digital Formats
When going digital, only scan the information that will benefit the company, employees, and consumers. Transferring paper-based products into digital formats will help to:
- Reduce the amount of storage space in large bulky files to enable faster search and retrieval of product information with just the click of a button.
- Reduce record management costs.
- Upgrade the business contact information quickly and with ease.
These changes and upgrades will allow the customer to have an exciting and innovative way to shop and to find information and products.
Strategy 2: Increase Social Media Presence
Social media allows business owners to engage in direct selling techniques and to recruit new customers.
Strategy 3: Seek New Partnerships
When recruiting new partners, use new and updated pictures of the business store front, as well as smiling customers enjoying your product. Also, consider using customer stories online. This content could engage hundreds of people each day who are browsing the internet looking for interesting stories to read.
Strategy 4: Refresh Company Brand
Keeping the original name and brand of a company is great for loyal customers. However, try changing the logo color, incorporating strong graphics and bolder lines, updating a slogan, or updating promotional materials with high resolution photos to refresh your company brand.
Strategy 5: Showcase the Business Using Webinars or Podcasts
Many people use tablets, computers and smartphones to watch videos, listen to music, or to communicate with other people. These devices present good opportunities to showcase your products and services. Try finding the right niche to promote your company via webinars or podcasts. This includes the struggles of running a company and what you are doing to stay afloat.
Strategy 6: Expand Your Product or Service Delivery Mode
Companies use in-person and digital technology to train employees and to reach customers. However, during the pandemic, many companies are using videoconferencing to expand their reach. Adapting to new digital technology will allow businesses to become more effective and successful in product delivery.
Strategy 7: Expand Your Line of Consumer Communication
Feedback is one of the most effective and reliable ways to connect with customers. When purchasing supplies, products, or services, the customer’s feedback is the way to go. Here are some general questions you could ask:
- How did you enjoy the product?
- Will you purchase from us again?
- How likely are you to tell someone else about our products or services?
These questions are short and to the point. Opening lines of communication is important to the customer and to the business owner. This feedback can be used for future product development.
Strategy 8: Meet New Supply and Demand Challenges
Sometimes challenges provide creative opportunities for product development. For example, the Ford Motor Company modified several areas in factories to produce urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders, and patients during COVID-19. Although this was a big change for the auto company, it did not shut down, and it was able to make products that were high in demand to serve their community as well as increase profits.
Strategy 9: Provide Good Customer Service
Having a good customer service team is an important connection between your customers and the company. Whether it’s good or bad, customer service can make a huge difference. A customer service team represents the brand. They can also influence customers by convincing them that your products or services are better than those offered by your competitors.
Strategy 10: Follow-up With Customers
Troubleshooting products and obtaining customer satisfaction is a part of being a great business owner. These traits will allow the customer to come back and purchase your products again and again.
Many business owners have experienced difficulties during the COVID pandemic. However, using these strategies will help to keep your business afloat and to maintain customer loyalty.
Contact your local county Extension office for more information on small business development.