Make Your Business a Roaring Success in the New Normal of the Post-Pandemic World
A lot has been written on how your business can survive through the lockdown, and even how to take advantage of quarantine.
But we are slowly heading out of lockdown. What “new normal” awaits us will be a day-by-day discovery. However, one thing is for certain: life goes on.
And business goes on.
So the question is, how can you make your business a roaring success in uncertain and unstable times like these? Here are five strategies that most businesses, big and small, can implement to some degree.
1. Be Everywhere.
You might have to run on adrenaline and motivate your employees like never before, but being everywhere is one way to make sure you own the playing field.
Whatever your niche or sector, the playing field has been reset to some degree. People coming out of weeks of isolation have been thrown off their usual spending patterns and daily routines. Now is the time to grab them.
For instance, people who had previously gone to the gym three times a week are now out of the habit. Plus, they might be a bit nervous about returning. What an opportunity for any fitness-related company to jump in and provide the perfect solution!
The same goes for movie-goers who might previously have gone to the cinema every Friday night. They are out of the habit, and some will be nervous about returning. If you sell anything to do with entertainment, start pushing a new Friday-night routine.
In the short term, you get their immediate business. In the long term, some of them will adopt new habits that include you.
2. Watch the Trends
Yours is not the only business ready to grab a bigger piece of the pie. Keep those eagle eyes open, because you will see that some businesses are growing as people realign their spending patterns and daily routines.
That realignment is called “opportunity.” In fact, it’s two opportunities.
First, it’s an opportunity to give people what they are looking for. Mask and hand sanitizer are only the obvious items. News services will pop us as people look for ways to avoid crowded buses or office tower elevators. Your business might be able to jump in and supply what people want. Elevator button-pusher thumb caps, perhaps? More bikes or electric scooters?
Second, it’s an opportunity to supply those companies that are giving people what they want. Watch carefully, and you’ll see the companies that are growing post-pandemic are not all the same ones as were growing pre-pandemic. The new-growth companies will quickly need to scale up both their workforce and their outsourcing. What an opportunity for programmers, accountants, cleaning services, writers, printers, stationary sales or anyone who sells cross-sector services to business.
3. Get Healthy
People will be more attuned to health-related issues over the next year, and perhaps longer. This is important, not just in terms of what people will spend money on, but also why.
Is there a health angle to your product or service? Hint: there is. Health is ubiquitous, so there is always some way to mention the health-related aspect of what you have to offer. If you have not made that central to your sales pitch in the past, this might be the perfect time to tweak your marketing message.
This is not to say that “green” and “low-waste” are no longer important aspects to mention, but at least for the short term, people will be swayed by health. Fitness and nutrition are no longer just about losing weight, appearing attractive, and living longer. All of a sudden, boosting your immune system might actually make some sales.
4. Market Like Your Life Depends On It
There is a good chance we’ll be heading into a recession. That is usually considered bad for business. But it can also be an opportunity.
I am reminded of a story from Canada in the recession of the 1980s, when people stopped spending. What did companies do? They cut their costs.
And what were the first costs to be cut? Marketing.
Except for a company called Canadian Tire, known for a much wider range of products than its name suggests. It kept on marketing, even as its competitors cut took cover. People weren’t spending as much as they had in good times, but Canadian Tire did not slash its marketing budget.
The result? People associated Canadian Tire with automotive repair more than ever.
People associated Canadian tire with hardware and tools more than ever.
People associated Canadian tire with home decor and cookware more than ever.
People associated Canadian tire with sporting goods and outdoors supplies more than ever.
So, when the economy got back on its feet, guess where Canadians sent to spend their money?
Marketing during challenging times can pay off big-time when the good times return.
5. Upgrade Your Offerings
The corollary to the previous strategies is that you have to be flexible. You have to be willing to tweak your product line, re-invent your message, broaden your services (or laser focus them on a suddenly growing need) and upskill your team.
Quarantine might have been a good time to upgrade your skills, but it’s the post-lockdown world that will tell you what upgrades will be of greatest benefit. When you see opportunity, pivot.
Grab the Opportunity Lurking in The New Normal
Just as there’s opportunity in a sliding stock market, there’s opportunity in an uncertain market place. When people change their habits, the keenest observers are poised to take advantage of new needs, new desires and new worries. Will you be ready to give people what they are looking for before others jump in ahead of you?