25 March 2021|Business Growth, Crisis Management, Latest Posts
By Jessica Heagren. Every great business starts with a plan. You know who you’re going after, how you’re going to do it, and how much it will cost. And then you’re hit with a totally unexpected, totally unforeseen global pandemic.
This was definitely not in the plan!
I think it’s safe to say that very few business owners planned for this and so you’re certainly not alone if you’re feeling a bit lost. Equally, now is not the time to throw in the towel.
You just need to think a bit differently.
The pandemic is changing the world and as a result we’re having to change our mindsets and our approaches. If you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to do some adapting. Here are five questions to ask yourself:
Are your customers still who you thought they were?
The new normal. The new status quo. You’ve probably heard these phrases over and over. Things have changed for people. At That Works For Me we had planned to target shop owners last year – not ideal when shops are closed! We’ve had to re-think who our customers are and maybe you do too.
Ask yourself ‘is my current approach still working?’ Chances are you’re going to have make some changes. You will likely have to ‘pivot’, as everyone keeps saying. Another pre-COVD word we wish we never knew. Some people just aren’t going to be in the position to spend or invest right now. Perhaps what you have to offer is not a priority for them anymore.
Find those you can best serve at this time.
You could also think about how you can serve your community. Not only is it just a kind and important thing to do, but it demonstrates social responsibility and helps raise awareness of your brand.
Are they still buying in the same way?
Everyone is behaving differently at the moment through no fault of their own. Our financial situations have changed. Our routines have changed. Our priorities have changed.
Whether your customers are the same or they’ve changed, talk to them and find out how things have changed for them?
Hit the phones and talk to them, you might have a tool in your armour you didn’t even know about.
It’s also important to consider what customer needs you haven’t yet met. Take the opportunity to tighten and streamline the customer journey. Think about how to your offerings to the next level.
If they’re not in the same physical locations as before, where are they?
We’re all at home now for the most part. This might not be where you’re used to reaching customers.
Think about where they’re likely to be and what the best way to reach them is. Maybe you need to shift to online channels where you haven’t before or maybe you need to take to social media in a more honest and active way.
Whilst it might not seem like it, this is an opportunity to learn new skills and new methods of reaching people and there are likely to be some things that carry through when life returns to normal.
Make a plan!
With all this new info, you’ll need a new plan. We all work better with aims so take a step back and look at what you need alter – do your sales leaflets work online; is your website up to date; who will respond to online enquiries? Map your new processes out and make sure you have covered off all your touch points.
SMART goals are a great way to keep focused. Set goals and intentions that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timed. You know the drill.
Think about new opportunities. Talk to people who understand the areas you are moving into and do some reading. You can’t become an expert in a day but you can build up a good base knowledge quicky with all the resources that are now available.
QUICK FIRE BONUS TIPS!
– Be proactive – don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen. If you’re a business owner I probably don’t need to tell you this. Just make sure you don’t let the pandemic scare you into a standstill.
– Prioritise – Don’t try and take everything on at once. This is a sure-fire way to overwhelm yourself and burn out before you’ve even gotten started. Take it one step at a time.
– Communicate – Make sure your customers, current and prospective, know that you’re still trading and open for business. Make sure they know how you’re planning on keeping them safe and ensuring they’re needs are met.
Whatever you do, don’t give up!
Building and/or growing a successful business in a pandemic ultimately comes down to one thing: your ability to pivot. The questions above are designed to help you make that process as straight forward and effective as possible. Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, approach the process one question at a time and before you know it you’ll be prepped and ready for whatever comes your way.
About the Author
Jessica Heagren is CEO and Cofounder of That Works For Me.
Small businesses and agencies often stop themselves accessing the expert help they need and deserve because they believe they’re too small or can’t fill a full-time role. That Works For Me brings these businesses a marketplace of thousands of experienced professionals ranging from social media managers to lawyers – all looking to work flexibly, remotely and outside of the 9 to 5.
Website & Socials: