The world is on fire right now. As one friend said to me recently, “Can we start over?” And another, “I don’t want to play anymore.” This is going to be the single biggest challenge we have all ever faced. Unlike the recession in 2008 or 2012, this affects all of us. And the entire world’s economy is currently on pause. So, what can businesses do during lockdown?
Continue To Provide Value
Yes, we’ve all heard this talked about a lot, by all sorts of people (like Gary Vee), for years. But right now, the whole world has come to a standstill. And right now, everybody is hurting.
Providing value right now doesn’t mean creating content to help you sell your product/service. Right now, it means really helping and supporting other businesses in any way you can.
If you’re a freelance graphic designer, offer your services free of charge to help essential services and businesses. Or, forge relationships and offer your services to help plan future campaigns for companies that are currently struggling.
We’re all going to struggle for a while. And whilst we’re all on lockdown, it feels a little like we need to pretend we’re getting paid and still find some work to do every day.
Redefine Normal For Your Business
The situation right now isn’t “normal”. It’s definitely not “business as usual”. We can all see that. But there’s a strong chance we may never go back to the old “normal” either.
As a client said to me the other day, once we get to the “new normal” things will be different, but life/business will continue.
If you’ve been following your original business plan closely, and you’re still not changing and evolving right now, you might find yourself in a bad situation in a couple of months’ time (if you’re not already there now).
Things are moving fast and people are changing spending habits. Priorities are shifting, and for many businesses reliant on-premises, there’s an immediate shift needed to find a way to get through these hard times.
Right now, planning and strategising isn’t a bad idea. In fact, it might be your saving grace.
Start looking for the “new normal” and thinking about what your business is going to look like in 6, 12 or even 18 months’ time.
Keep In Regular Communication with Clients and Suppliers
Everyone is in the same situation right? So, both up and down the sales cycle, there are going to be difficulties.
It might be clients that will struggle today. Or suppliers that are simply forced to close. Either way, the relationships you form and nurture during these difficult times will impact your business when we reach the new normal.
There’s no reason to take the view, “if they’re not paying, then I’m not working”. People value support and help. Right now we should all be focusing on how to help each other out in the best way possible. To make sure that more of us make it to the end of this situation.
As we’ve said for the last few years, communication is key, but more importantly, remember to put the social back into social media. Right now it’s more important than ever.
Don’t Forget About Your Clients’ Needs
Things have definitely changed. Right now, pushing a “25% off” sale for a non-essential product/service probably isn’t going to help your brand. Supporting and helping people, most likely will.
Try to redefine your target audience persona. What does that person really need help with in this current situation?
Carrying on as if it was business as usual probably won’t cut it during these difficult times. Why not reach out to them and try to understand what you can do to best help and serve them, rather than trying to capitalise during hard times.
If your business is usually based on a physical location (like a restaurant, coffee shop, etc), why not try to keep your social media alive during the lockdown? Show off some homemade food, or barista skills in your very own kitchen.
People are all struggling with what’s happening right now. So try to keep in comms and give them something to make them feel good, or even to help them at home (recipes/ideas/free advice usually helps people).
Batten Down The Hatches
Right now isn’t the time for lavish expenditure, unless you really have a solid treasury. Instead, think of all the ways you can keep in touch with clients and prospects. Without pushing expensive budgets. Without knowing when revenues might match.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t continue marketing. Just keep it simple and try your best to focus on those around you. If your business is closed, do a live video and tell your clients you’re missing them. Have some fun and post some shots of you at home trying your best to keep busy.
Everyone right now is in the same position as you. They’re all looking at their phones, trying to make sense of the new world. And what better way to keep in touch than by being yourself and showing them that you’re going through the same thing?
What’s Comes After Lockdown?
No one knows the answer to that. In fact, right now, no one even knows when that might be. It’s going to be a difficult few months, and after that, the economy will most likely take even longer to start gearing up again. Things may well be different for some time.
One thing that we can all focus on though is the fact that we’re all in this together. We’re all in the same boat. Everyone is having a hard time figuring out what they are going to do, what they need to do, and even what they should do next.
Here at Social INK, we’re happy to have simple chats with people. If you’re struggling, not sure, worried, or simply feeling a little alone, feel free to reach out and I’d be happy to talk. We definitely don’t have all the answers (we’re not Smarties) but no one should feel like they’re alone during this time.
To all those on the front lines, still out there working and helping to support modern society, thank you.
#StaySafe and #StayHome
CEO – Social INK