The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos and uncertainty for many business owners. But there are also some great examples of companies that have managed to successfully pivot and continue to serve their customers despite the crisis. Here a few practical tips to help you do the same.
by: Joséphine Anselin
photo: Daria Shevtsova from Pexels
Listen to article
Nurture the relationships with your clients
Businesses across many different industries are feeling the financial crunch from the outbreak so it is likely that your customers will be impacted, too. Of course, you need to do what is necessary to keep your business afloat, but try to be empathetic when you are dealing with cancellations, late payments and refund requests.
Talk to your clients, be open and transparent, and try to negotiate solutions that will help both parties minimise losses in the short term. And remember that this crisis will pass. Focus on your shared long-term vision and find ways that will help you get through this challenging time together.
Create and cultivate community
In this time of social distancing and self-isolation, we are all craving connection. If you don’t already have a digital community for your business, this is the perfect time to create one.
Personally, I find Facebook groups very effective when it comes to building an engaged online community. But there are several other options to choose from like Slack, Reddit or LinkedIn. Once you have picked the most appropriate platform for your business, make sure you invest the time in not only creating, but also cultivating your community: show up regularly in the group, introduce new members, and encourage everyone to share their questions, struggles, and wins.
Adjust your business strategy
I know this can be frustrating, especially if you have been working on a launch for months. But now more than ever, you need to be flexible and willing to pivot quickly.
Ask yourself whether your pricing model is still appropriate and whether your offerings are still relevant in the current climate. If you are unsure, ask your customers directly. Ask them what specific challenges they are facing right now and how you can show up to serve them best. If you have created a digital community, that would be the perfect space for this type of discussion.
Take your business online
With most people stuck at home, online is where it’s at right now. This is the perfect opportunity to explore ways to shift some, or even all of your offerings to a digital space. And you never know, it might work out so well for you that you decide to stick with it in the long term.
If you run a product-based business this could mean experimenting with e-commerce. If your company is service-based, get creative and think about how you could continue to serve your customers remotely. Maybe you could create a digital product? Or offer your services via video conference rather than in-person?
If you are prepared to think outside the box, the possibilities are endless. Take BrewDog as an example. This Scottish Craft Beer Company is just about to launch its first ‘BrewDog Online Bar’ session!
Streamline your systems
Make the most of this downtime to review and optimise your business systems. This could involve things like setting up an automated sales funnel, simplifying your client onboarding process or automating your invoicing system. You will thank yourself for it once business picks up again after the crisis.