Five Effective Business Strategies We Learned From COVID-19
COVID-19 presents one of the most unique challenges many businesses have, and likely ever will face, causing social upheaval, economic changes, and global uncertainty.
It presents everyone with quite a difficult series of hurdles to navigate. First came adapting, particularly to the initial plunge – the panic, closures, sudden drops in business. Next came the pivot, where businesses have to look for opportunities and new ways of generating business in order to keep afloat. Then lastly comes that period of recovery, and the long trek of returning to normality.
On paper this might seem a tad dramatic, but as I’m sure anyone trying to run a business now can confirm, managing all of this is about as complicated as it could ever get.
However, thanks to the resilience, adaptivity and creativity of businesses all over the world, you don’t have to look far to see that, in fact, there are ways that you and your business can successfully navigate the minefield that is 2020.
Seeing businesses all over the world pivot, adapt, innovate and grow in response to COVID-19 has been truly inspirational, but even more so, it’s demonstrated countless practices that everyone can learn from.
We’ve managed to round it down to five key examples that have consistently proven beneficial for maneuvering through COVID-19, as well as maintaining a strong, growing business after. Read on to see where you should be looking to implement the best practices.
Lead By Example
The world is a scary place at the best of times, and 2020 even more so. Many are struggling to escape the feelings of anxiety, uncertainty and fear, and are looking for some guidance. At times like these, companies that present a comforting, reliable, reassuring image can gain significant favour in the eyes of consumers.
By being personal and making well-guided decisions a business can benefit from a strengthened brand image, and can create a well-placed funnel for short & long term growth.
Take Adobe for example; their suite of services costs hundreds of dollars each month, but in response to COVID-19 they’ve offered these products for free for a limited time. As a result they’ve generated media coverage, social media discussion and great brand publicity, and after COVID-19 settles, they might see a wave of new customers as those who tested their products for free now decide to purchase a subscription!
Connect With Your Audience
Since the start of 2020, people have begun spending more time on the internet, particularly social media, than ever before. Statistically, reports have shown a 44% increase in social media use along with a 20% increase in mobile app use this year so far.
More people online means greater exposure to your digital presence. As a result, businesses have a rare opportunity to hit larger audiences with content, offers, ads & posts – for a lower cost.
It’s a perfect time to run ads, post insightful blogs and alert new customers to your business, but don’t just use this as an opportunity to profit. If you’re too direct, it’ll seem like you’re just trying to take advantage of the situation. Connect with people as a person, not just another business.
Cut Less Now, Gain More Later
If every business in Australia needs to realise one thing, it’s that cutting all your costs as soon as things get bad, is not the right move. Doing so is basically the equivalent of selling your entire portfolio the second share prices drop – all you get is a guaranteed loss.
With everybody around you panicking, shutting up shop and cutting costs, it’s easy to get caught up, but it’s imperative that you don’t get swept along.
Why? Because countless reports show that time and time again, those who make large cuts during periods of recession are consistently outperformed by those who choose more adaptive strategies.
A survey published by IAB Australia finds that since March 2020, 86% of Australian businesses have changed their digital ad spend. 21% have halted spending entirely and over 50% have decreased their budget, while only 15% report maintaining or increasing their spend.
With 71% of Australian businesses making cuts to their marketing, this leaves an enormous gap waiting to be filled. By maintaining consistent marketing efforts, you have the chance to fill this gap, putting yourself in a better position to connect with customers!
Maintaining costs and adapting your strategy in periods of uncertainty helps create a stronger brand image, can generate short-term revenue, and gives you the rare opportunity to gain market share without increased spending.
Prepare, Plan, Pivot
Just about everything we’d consider ‘the usual’ has changed. People are stuck at home, shops have been forced to close, the entire world of business-to-consumer has flipped on its head. As a result, businesses had no choice but to adapt.
A key strategy in a case like this comes from a conscious understanding of your customers. Think about what people need at this current moment. What’s in demand, what’s popular, what are people searching for that you, in your capacity as a business, are able to provide? Some businesses ramped up production of toilet paper, or masks, while some offered easier access to their products they knew could be of help.
These last few months provided countless examples of these pivots. When bars & pubs shut down, many decided to keep their kitchens open to offer takeaways. Weekly yoga, meditation or exercise classes moved online thanks to video equipment and streaming. More businesses started offering deliveries, classes became subscription services, even live music events moved online – the possibilities are endless if you’re willing to get creative!
Understand The Strength of Special Offers
Special offers, discounts, trade-in deals or two-for-one specials – if there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s a chance to save some money. Specials are a great way of generating business under normal circumstances, and right now, they’re much more meaningful than you would think.
In this time of uncertainty, people are far more inclined to save money than usual. In a time of financial insecurity and cost-cutting, good, empathetic, well thought out special offers can make a huge difference to your customers.
By cutting prices, offering discounts or specials, you’re showing consumers that you understand and care about their situation, and it’s a way for you connect with customers in a time they need it most. Who are people more likely to talk about – a retailer charging the same prices they always do, or one who’s offering 30% off so more people can access their products?
In Summary – Search For New Opportunities
When it comes to business management in 2020, there are two clear sides. Those who panicked, cut costs and bunkered down to try and wait it all out, and those who strived to pivot and adapt to meet this new challenge head on.
Should you truly want to maximise your efforts and get the best results, finding a digital agency to assist you is the best way to ensure this. Agencies such as Glide are striving to keep businesses afloat, to guide marketing direction, and to help create growth that will propel your business forward in future.
Interested in working with us? Want to discuss our services and find out what we can do for you? Get in touch today via our website here, and let’s start working towards a prosperous future together!
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