In 2020, nearly 100,000 US establishments closed down because of the pandemic. Inarguably, it’s been a tough battle for businesses, especially small ones that are trying to keep their head above water.
The pandemic has rippled into a recession and made itself felt by unemployment, low income, and other detrimental effects. This struggle is shared by both online and brick-and-mortar stores.
This is why we’ve created a guide that teaches you how you can survive this economic decline, whether you’re a new or old business owner.
We’ve got eight tried and tested tips that you can incorporate into your daily operations. Each one can help you accomplish different wins for your company, like engaging your audience and avoiding fragmented team cohesion.
These can inspire change no matter how small and help your business become one step closer to your goals.
Don’t sacrifice marketing
The knee-jerk reaction to a recession is to slash your budget. One of the most common casualties of this is the marketing budget and efforts. Experts are saying that you shouldn’t follow this. You want to do the exact opposite of that.
Why? The answer has to do something with all things shifting to the digital world. Your digital marketing efforts will help you become more visible to your audience, create better brand experiences, and drive your brand value. It helps to have a marketing strategy that is optimized for your situation to make sure that you are spending your money right. You can use this to outsource SEO content writers and specialists to keep your brand digitally present.
Listen to your customers
The collective unrest that consumers feel during a recession is palpable. That’s why they are now looking for companies that know what they need and respond to it.
You can do this by restructuring your message and make them see the empathetic side of your brand. This can be expressed through more meaningful responses to customer queries or creating informative blog posts. It’s also an option to conduct surveys and feedback forms to gather insight and use the data you collected to improve your services.
Put effort into your online persona
It pays to be online. Brands report seeing up to 30% customer base growth upon making their goods and services available online. But you shouldn’t stop at setting up a Shopify account for your business. You want to travel the extra mile and work on your online persona.
Doing this can be as small as dressing up to create a more professional image during Zoom meetings with your investors or as significant as hiring a website content writer to make sure that your landing page is inviting to consumers. There are tons of gimmicks that you can do, you just have to find one that works best for your brand.
Don’t put physical experiences off the table
Just because you can’t meet with clients and investors online, doesn’t mean you can throw tangible experiences in the bin for eternity. Brands are now being more creative to provide a more memorable experience to their audiences. For example, they can send complimentary gifts to their clients like a bag of coffee beans that their recipients can brew to mimic a coffee shop experience for their meeting.
But of course, you don’t have to stick with just coffee. You can try other stuff that can even help you reinforce your brand even more.
Improve customer experience
Consumer behaviors ebb and flow. Today’s consumer is called the new normal consumer who has become more tech-savvy and avoids going out. You want to make sure that your company adapts to give your customers exactly what they want. After all, a remarkable experience is a key to sustaining growth.
Doing this can help you generate more leads and increase sales. Now, this may include offering longer service hours, being more present in different channels, being transparent with supply and delivery, adding more features to your website, among others.
Support your employees
Consumers are paying more attention to how brands treat their employees during these trying times. But that shouldn’t be the only reason why you should step up in wooing your employees. It’s now more important to extend empathy to your team as the pandemic heightens stress and lowers morale.
You can show this by cutting CEO salaries and preventing layoffs, giving mental health rest days, and other similar employee-centric benefits. Even expressing your gratitude to the team will go a long way. No effort will go unseen.
Embrace the possibility of WFH forever
Working from home has been received well by the world. Big brands such as Microsoft, Twitter, Adobe, among many others are sticking with this work setup for the long haul.
There are tons of benefits that come with working from home that go beyond helping protect people from transmissions in the face of COVID-19 variants. It also does a great job of keeping your employees happy. Plus, it keeps overhead costs down low. You’ll say goodbye to high office rental rates and access a bigger talent pool to work with.
Don’t capitalize on this global disaster
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t use this sensitive time to make a quick buck. There is a thing called “disaster capitalism,” a term coined by author Naomi Klein that addresses the tendency of entrepreneurs to take advantage of crises to sell overpriced goods and other schemes.
This isn’t an ethical way to start a business and it isn’t sustainable either. And your audience will remember this, tarnishing the brand identity you have developed. Plus, you may also risk your business by taking part in illegal activities.
It’s possible to grow your business. Contrary to popular belief, the recession isn’t the end of the world. With the right approach, you can continue to work on your business goals and expand your business further. The tricks in this how-to guide are relevant for different businesses, be it a small company or a big one. They can help you overcome challenges and prevent them as well.