When things become uncertain, it’s more important than ever to control what you can and let go of what you can’t. That goes not just for what we can do in the moment but also what you can do to be ready for the future.
Think into your business’s future a week, a month, three months, 6 months, next year. How will your industry be different? How will your marketing and business model need to change? Do you need to cut expenses now to fare better later? Is now the time to double down on advertising?
If planned well, changes like flexible work arrangements don’t have to mean a total upheaval. With a little planning and regard for the unique challenges presented to a workforce suddenly displaced to their homes it’s possible to significantly soften the impact of these disruptions.
Empathise with Your Clients
As you’ve likely already experienced things are changing rapidly. With anxieties rising over health, travel, finances and job security we can no longer expect to have good responses proceeding with a“business as usual attitude”.
With new circumstances comes new approaches. You’ve likely already seen this sort of pivoting with restaurants jumping onto delivery services and many digital services becoming temporarily free for those stuck in their homes.
In the time of a pandemic, clients value things like reliability, good communication, understanding of their anxieties and a care for their safety more than ever. These factors should be the driving message of your marketing and communication.
Pay it Forward
Though it may be tempting, try to avoid sales and appearing too marketing focused in coming weeks. If you provide a suitable product, consider if there are services you can provide for free as a show of good faith. Maybe you can offer a free ebook, an online workshop, a care package giveaway or even just complimentary shipping for those stuck at home.
Of course it seems risky to give away services for free in your business’s time of need but in 6 months time, those contacts will remember who helped them out in their time of stress.
Take it Online
From Skype-based personal training sessions to real estate open homes going up on Facebook Live, we’re in a great space technologically to get creative with our outlets. If you’ve been thinking about upping your online presence or starting an online store now is the time to do so.
Don’t worry, this doesn’t necessarily mean building something from scratch. There are thousands of online tools that can help any kind of business get online with a low barrier to entry. Perhaps you’d benefit from a food delivery app, a simple online shop hoster or making this the time to take your office communications completely app based.
With an unprecedented amount of potential clients now homebound, the populations of users currently online is now bigger than ever.
Resist the Temptation to Run Into the Office
Left something at the office? Need to get something to a coworker? Just hoping to deliver a little care package? No need to put yourself at risk. These can all be easily taken care of by an affordable direct courier.
In recent weeks couriers have been announcing widespread low contact services. In most cases, you can even leave the item by the door for a completely hands off experience! While we can’t speak for every company, your local MBE is still up and running to deliver items across town so you don’t have to.
Don’t Panic-Buy a New Home Office
If you’ve been thinking of braving the office supply store for a new printer, there’s an easier way! Outsourcing to local print services means you can have printing delivered to your coworkers faster than you could posting from home.
More so than ever be sure to pick a service powered by a local printer to be sure you won’t have difficulty with ever changing import delays.
Outsource Your Mailroom
If your office is empting have you considered how you’re going to get things delivered?
There are a variety of highly affordable options for redirecting your mail or even signing up for a virtual reception. If a PO Box is too basic for your taste, consider opting for a virtual mailing address. These are based in businesses placed in prestigious office areas and offer the legitimacy of a suite number.
Fortunately, mail services are considered essential so you’re unlikely to see service shutdowns even if the situation in your area worsens.
Lean on Your Fellow Businesses
If you’re feeling the hurt of new restrictions you’re not alone. Consider if there are ways you can collaborate with local businesses for the better. From simple measures like sharing the buying of supplies to more elaborate collaborations like packaged delivery deals or digital freebies there’s a lot to gain from knowing your neighbours.
The trick here is finding what aspects of your respective businesses are strengths in the current situation and using a combined online presence to amplify your voices online to the millions of people now stuck at home.