Are you an entrepreneur faced with uncertainty in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic?
COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on economies across the globe and this is expected to continue as countries adjust to the new normal. The United States saw its gross domestic product (GDP) shrink by 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, as businesses were forced to shut down around the nation.
Business owners are now faced with the challenge of adjusting their marketing and sales efforts to continue operating now and into the future.
Discover how your company can move forward – and even thrive – in the face of this global crisis!
Emphasize the Safety of Customers and Employees
As an American business owner, you can't afford to overlook the importance of customer and employee safety.
We are approaching 2 million COVID-19 cases and some 100,000 deaths across the country. While a number of states are enforcing some form of a stay-at-home order for its residents, others are opening up with varying degrees of social distancing and protective measures. The net result is that customers and employees are on a heightened state of alert and many businesses will continue to be impacted for months or even a year or more.
Faced with the uncertainty of these measures and the possibility of additional waves of infection and their resultant lockdowns, nothing is certain.
What should you as a business owner do?
Entrepreneurs must make it clear to employees and customers that their safety is the number one priority. Depending on the nature of your business, it may be more prone to safety concerns than others.
No business, even those that are considered essential, can ignore the fears of their employees or customers. Take this virus for real, it kills 20 percent of those who are hospitalized. It can kill you. Dead employees are not productive and dead customers are no longer loyal buyers.
Follow CDC protocols for safety and keep up with them, they will evolve. Restaurant owners took this advice and ran with it. They are not only putting in place recommended safety measures, they are innovating and reinventing themselves. Curbside delivery, home delivery of exquisite meals, and senior only times for those most vulnerable are just some of the innovations we’ve seen businesses adopt.
The message: Get creative about how you can serve the customer base you now serve. Innovation and changes in customer interactions will be crucial to your success.
With the emphasis placed on safety at home and in public, this is an opportunity for your business to show your customers how much you care about them.
[quotesright]Think about this: Are your efforts directed toward reinvention? They may save you tomorrow because there is no guarantee the new post-pandemic world will be like the old one! [/quotesright]
The Use of Mobile Payment Technology
The global pandemic has taught people around the globe that mobile payment technology is now more useful than ever before.
It's a trend that's expected to stick around long after the worst of the coronavirus is over.
For example, mobile payment processing through websites like Paypal allows an entrepreneur to be paid without having face-to-face interaction. It also helps to protect the health of customers and employees by avoiding touching credit cards or money.
With cash being a handy (pun intended) vector for transmission of COVID-19, the use of tap and pay on mobile devices is increasing and may well become mainstream.
As an entrepreneur, you should use mobile payment technology to your advantage to help your business operate as smoothly as possible.
Digital Transformation Will Become Even More Urgent
The coronavirus has put an increased emphasis on the use of the internet and digital technology to stay connected with other people.
As an entrepreneur, you can't afford to fall behind on the digital transformation of your business. Regardless of the kind of product or service you offer, don't overlook the importance and utility of these digital channels.
When people are locked down and can’t travel or it becomes unsafe to assemble in your building, how can you continue to operate? Some businesses may not be able to, but using products like Zoom web software with your team often results in an improvement in productivity. It’s as simple as a computer and a web camera which most portable computers have come with in the last few years.
You can even hold seminars and training very effectively this way and this delivers two bonuses: You can continue to run your business and the cost of travel and facilities virtually disappears. Hmm, maybe that trend will stick around post pandemic…
Tune Up Your Website
Take a fresh look at your website. In light of the changed habits of customers and the safety protocols you now must have, what changes do you need to make to your website?
[quotes] Even more than before, your website is the door to your store.[/quotes] Be sure it’s professional and is focused on customer problems and not on you. (No one cares about you – only how you can solve their problems.) Be sure to keep it simple and benefit-focused.
A book could be written – hundreds have in fact – on the subject of developing a website that sells or fulfills some essential business goals. This is not the time to use your cousin’s roommate who is learning to be a web designer. You need a pro who has done sites that sell.
You’ll want to evaluate your website and see if you can make it easier to navigate and take action. You’ll also want to be sure your developer optimizes it for internet search engines. Search engine optimization (SEO) is a form of internet marketing with its focus on making your website rank higher in search engine results. Some of the basics include using end-user search keywords and high-quality video content.
Adding well-written blog content on trending topics – besides being one of the ways you can help your website rank higher – establishes you as an authority with credibility in your market.
Evaluate Ways to Responsibly Cut Costs
Companies large and small are facing the realities of finding ways to cut costs to stay afloat during these uncertain times.
Before this pandemic reached the United States, the country was enjoying the most successful economy in history. The stock market began the year 2020 with record highs, but that soon changed as the virus made its way to the nation.
Many businesses have either shut their doors or have had to find creative ways to cut costs. The U.S. saw more than 30 million people file unemployment as of April 30, 2020. This has caused consumers to tighten their wallets as they adjust to changing economic conditions.
Entrepreneurs should examine how their businesses operate from top to bottom. What can you do to help you save on production costs, overhead costs, and other operating expenses?
Now is also a good time to show your employees how much they mean to you and your business. It may not be possible to keep all your employees on the payroll. Finding unique ways to use their skillset and keep them employed goes a long way. You may find that your workers can work as a team with each taking fewer hours or lower pay for a time so all remain employed. [quotesright]Be upfront and honest with your team, ask for help and ideas, and let your employees be part of the solution. It works. [/quotesright]
By looking for ways to help reduce your costs and cut debt, you can remain successful in this market.
Providing Customer Insights and Engagement
The global pandemic is making it increasingly important to use customer insights and engagement to your advantage.
One of the most effective ways for you to accomplish this is by leveraging the popularity of social media.
Did you know that Americans are spending 20 percent more time using cell phone applications like Facebook and Twitter during these lockdowns?
Social media gives your business a great platform to connect with your customers in an easy way. You can interact with customers through private messages. You can also develop a marketing plan to help improve engagement and drive revenue.
For example, you can create blog content on your website and advertise it through your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. This will help you reach current and prospective customers.
[quotesright]With so many people using social media accounts, entrepreneurs should find creative ways to use these free advertising resources. [/quotesright]
Develop a Customer Incentive Program
Entrepreneurs will benefit from developing an incentive program for customers. This is because it can encourage a customer to shop with you instead of your competition.
Whether you operate a restaurant or an e-commerce business, there are creative ways to help you make sales right now.
For example, many restaurants are offering up to 25 percent off of beer and wine to take home. Besides helping to generate sales, this also allows a business owner to sell a product at a reduced profit to avoid not selling it at all.
Businesses online are also offering deep discounts on their products or free shipping. These incentives, whether large or small, show customers that you are finding ways to help them save money on the things they need.
Find Ways to Help Others
A great way to advertise your business while doing a good deed is by volunteering to help others.
While the coronavirus has caused people to social distance, there are still things you can do to help people both near and far.
Do you manufacture a product that can be used in a hospital or by other health care professionals? Does your business prepare meals it can donate to local food banks? Is there anything you can do to help your employee and their families?
[quotesright]Paying it forward to other people at a time like this is a great way to do something positive while also creating goodwill for your business. [/quotesright]
Look to the Future
Let's face it, at this point many small business owners are focusing on survival.
Small businesses across the country are filling out SBA loan applications and trying to generate enough revenue to keep their doors open.
It's important to keep your business running right now, but you shouldn't overlook taking time to check where the business world is going.
Social distancing guidance limits the face-to-face interaction between friends, families, and professionals. This means the internet is taking on a whole new level of importance. Further, consider these questions:
- How will the growth of the digital marketplace impact your business?
- What do you see changing in day-to-day business operations once this pandemic ends?
- How can you begin taking new measures to be ahead of the curve relative to your competition?
By answering these important questions, you can survive now and thrive in the future!
Stay Calm in the Face of Adversity
Entrepreneurs across the world must learn to stay calm in the face of adversity during the global pandemic.
[quotes]It may be easier said than done, but keep a positive attitude and learn to roll with the punches. At a time like this, it can be the difference between success and failure.[/quotes]
There's a lot of uncertainty in homes and offices throughout the United States. Families and business owners aren't sure what the future holds and it is an unsettling reality.
It's natural to feel anxious about what lies ahead, but you can't let adversity win. COVID-19 is testing people from all walks of life. Entrepreneurs can use this experience as an opportunity to overcome obstacles and stay the long-term course.
Focus on doing the things that make your business unique. Find ways to keep improving the way you operate. Once this pandemic ends, you will be a better business owner because of it.
Achieve Entrepreneurial Success Today
You can achieve success by thinking outside the box despite these uncertain circumstances.
The coronavirus has forced families and businesses to take a serious look at their physical and financial well-being. By taking the time to consider what is important to your business and how you can adapt to change, you can develop a plan to be successful.
At FocalPoint, we have more than 30 years of experience helping business owners meet challenges successfully, increase their productivity, and find more effective management opportunities. Our team is ready to help you and your employees overcome the challenges brought on by the coronavirus.
Want to explore further? Questions? Get in touch and let's set up a time to talk. Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me
Now is the time to see how our programs can help you successfully navigate this sea of change!