By: TerDawn DeBoe
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world as we know and has changed business as it was just 4 months ago. Like many business owners, I’ve had to find better ways to communicate with clients, help them work through immediate issues in their businesses, and also help them communicate to their customers effectively during this time.
Managing to stay afloat during this crisis period is essential, and the global pandemic has created a transition period. As entrepreneurs, we need to evolve with the revolution to thrive beyond. The following seven pointers will equip you with vital survival ideas:
- Maintain excellent and constant communication with your customers
Set up a Customer Relationship Management Platform (CRM); if you don’t already have one. Generating leads and retaining your clients is equivalent to adding monetary value to your business. The CRM approach is essential in managing prospective and current customers. Having a good CRM platform enables your business to utilize data on customers’ history with a company to improve business-consumer relationships and increase sales. Use it to reach out to your clients. Become empathetic. Show your people you care for them by providing an essential service or product. Engage customers through sharing ideas, offering reassurance, and support to maintain longer relationships.
- Shift your main focus; strategize
80% of business goals circle around improving sales, generating leads, and creating a long client list. To become a smart player, you have to rearrange your cards. Split your focus from solely sales to branding and nurturing. Create a win-win situation for your target audience.
Note this, according to Forbes, quarantine, and the Covid-19 crisis has pushed internet usage by 70% and streaming services by 12%.
Re-read that sentence.
This is one point in our history when most people are spending more time on the internet. As a business, this should be the best time for you to compliment your sales messages to nurturing messages.
- Connect with your audience
Create valuable content that will educate your audience on ways to stay safe, healthy, and thrive throughout this period.
Get more creative on ways you can get your customers to spend more time on your content. Find a way to remain relevant to your customers. Being innovative expands your brand and diversifies your products/services.
- Re-invent your brand
Brick and mortar businesses are the most affected during this COVID-19 crisis. Businesses that are going to survive need to rebuild themselves. If customers can’t go out, find a way to bring your products or services to them. Don’t tie what is happening to your business identity. Detach from failure by reinventing your brand.
It’s good to note that many people will pay for convenience. So, instead of being stuck with a store where no one is coming, start doing home visits. Alternatively, offer your services online. For example, if you have a legal practice, you can offer legal consultation online.
Don’t fear the process of rebuilding. Ensure that you keep the business- customer flow channel open. Look into delivery channels.
Additionally, communicate the new changes to customers via emails, texts, and social media. Tell a friend to tell a friend. This increases your customer base.
- Cast a wider net
Businesses target a particular demographic based on age, gender, location, or psychographics, such as interests, activities, and values. With everything quickly changing with the COVID-19 crisis, your target customers should also change. The main aim is to sell your existing services and products to new customers.
Tri Nguyen, CEO of Network Capital Funding Corporation, said, ‘Being able to reach the right target customers through the right mediums, at the right time, is the first step to expanding your business into a new customer market.’
Luckily, over 50% of customers are present online. With the medium already present, why don’t you leap forward and enter new customer territories?
Make use of Search Engine Optimization techniques to rank highly in prospective customers’ search. Explore the use of Facebook, Instagram, or Google Ads.
- Double your efforts
As everything seems to slow down, entrepreneurs and service providers might also be tempted to slow down.
But, this isn’t the time to slow down: it’s time to double down.
If you are a mindset coach, this is the time more people need your services. Find ways to reach a bigger audience. More people in the world need your products and services than ever.
If you have been running a single Facebook Ad campaign, create another funnel, and launch another Ad campaign.
If you’ve been writing a single blog per week, write two. People have more time to consume your content.
If you’ve been posting on social media per day, post it twice, and make sure that whatever you post adds value to your audience’s lives.
Your business is a calling to add value to your specific niche. If you slack due to the current situation, you are being unfair to your followers. So, instead, double your efforts. Deliver more value.
- Create your platform
Broaden your skillset. Start a podcast, start a YouTube channel, or TikTok videos (if that is where your audience is). For instance, TikTok videos are trending globally. The app is estimated to have 800 million active users. On average, a person spends 52 minutes of their day on Tiktok. A typical video lasts a few seconds to one minute. Get creative. Create videos that showcase your products or services. Use trending hashtags to make your work reach massive audiences. This applies to YouTube videos, podcasts, and all social media platforms in general. If this is difficult, get a colleague, friend, an agency, or influencer to help out.
Having a platform builds your brand. A brand creates a concrete image to users. Customers often opt for brand name over benefits. Turn your business into something that customers will remember or be eager to try on the first day out.
As an entrepreneur, plan your steps keenly. Build your brand. The ability to withstand pain and failure is one of the essential skills for entrepreneurs. Overcome challenges, to thrive and emerge more robust after this crisis.