The coronavirus is affecting all businesses and industries in unprecedented ways. Preparation is key in circumstances such as this one. You must recession-proof your business and prepare to recover your business from the effects of COVID-19. Use these 4 tips to prepare your business today.
1. Prepare for Increased Demand
Many businesses are suffering from a lack of customers due to lockdowns and quarantines across the country. As a result, sales are declining and revenue is dropping fast. Many companies are choosing to decrease their production and supply levels in order to prevent further financial loss. While cutting back will help to alleviate some of the financial stress, be sure not to cut back too far.
While the United States hasn’t begun to ‘flatten the curve’ just yet, other countries have, including China. Because these countries are in a sense ahead of us in sense of the progression of the virus, we can look to them as a guide for what will most likely happen here in the coming weeks or months.
Businesses in China are showing that the economic recovery for businesses after the effects of the coronavirus begin to lessen is coming along at a rate much higher than most predictions. With this in mind, it is necessary to prepare now in order to best benefit in the future.
As we said, cutting back on production is beneficial from a cost standpoint, but don’t do such a high level of cutbacks that your company is unable to bounce back and meet the increased demand once we begin to flatten the curve here in the U.S. We can only predict how the American economy will recover from the coronavirus, but preparing is essential.
2. Create New Sales Channels
One thing that many businesses are learning due to the massive shutdowns caused by coronavirus is the ultimate need to have multiple sales channels. Non-essential businesses that have only one sales channel, such as customers coming in-store to a brick and mortar location are struggling. With quarantines and lockdowns in effect for weeks and now months in some places across the country, those businesses with few sales channels have very little if no revenue.
This is why flexibility is important for any business. The easiest way to create a new sales channel is to market your business online or create an e-store. Your shoppers may be confined to their homes, but some of them are still are making purchases, just online.
The restaurant industry has truly embraced this idea. With channels such as Waitr, DoorDash, UberEats, and Postmates, restaurants are earning a profit, even with empty dining rooms. Restaurants have combined these food delivery platforms with call-in orders, drive-thru, and takeout, making all types of customers able to continue making purchases.
Once you do create new sales channels, don’t forget to broadcast and market it. Using the restaurant example again, you’ve most likely seen a ton of “We’re Open” or “Take-Out and Delivery Only” in front of the local restaurants in your neighborhood. These businesses have adapted to the current situation and are letting their customers know.
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3.Consider Your Clients
The effects of the coronavirus are affecting everyone, including your customers. As a business owner, you must consider how your customer’s needs have changed and how your business can provide for them.
For example, Dexcomm is a premium answering service. Usually, we provide after-hours, weekends, or additional support in answering calls for businesses. Prior to the coronavirus, our clients needed us to be there as an extra set of hands, ready to answer calls when they couldn’t be there or were overwhelmed. Now, as we are all adjusting to the effects of COVID-19, we can understand that the needs of our customers have changed.
Instead of just requiring after-hours or weekend call answering, our clients could need more. With social distancing orders and many businesses having to close, our clients need someone to answer their phones and provide their customers with accurate information throughout this difficult time. With this knowledge, we are able to reposition ourselves and our services in order to be helpful to these clients.
4.Continue Working on Leads
With so much uncertainty and caution due to the virus, it may seem reasonable to abandon and leads you were working on prior to the pandemic. This may be necessary for some industries, but not necessarily if you work in business to business sales.
While individuals are canceling vacations and airline companies are canceling flights, businesses are still maintaining their typical services for now.
If you have large leads in the pipeline, continue to nurture them. Address the current situation, and put even more energy into capturing these leads. By letting them know how your company is handling the current situation, you prove the adaptability and value of your business.
While we may not know how the economy will recover from the effects of the current epidemic, we do know how businesses can recover:
- Prepare now for a probable increased demand
- Remain flexible as a business by creating multiple sales channels
- Consider how the needs of your customers have changed, and provide for them
- Continue working on leads, especially if you work in B2B sales