Ronak Kothari is the founder of RONKOT, a full-service digital marketing agency.
As the novel coronavirus continues its spread unabated, the economy is taking a huge hit. While it’s unclear how quarantines and social distancing will affect businesses for the long-term, many companies have had to shutter operations and wait out the virus.
However, with every challenge comes a silver lining. In this article, we want to illustrate how the COVID-19 crisis will affect your business and how you can prepare to come back bigger and stronger because of it.
Online Shopping is Growing
If you haven’t started to take advantage of online shopping yet, now is the perfect time to do so. Because customers are stuck inside, they have more free time to browse sites and make purchases. This trend was already moving in an upward direction, but the coronavirus has only expedited its takeover. Companies that embrace the online shopping model will stay solvent, while those who don’t may not make it.
While it’s easy for restaurants and retailers to go digital, not all businesses are so lucky. However, even if your company doesn’t sell products, you can take advantage. Here are a few top tips.
-Make Merchandise – Leverage your brand awareness and sell swag with your logo on it. You can also sell products related to your industry.
-Offer Prepaid Services – Just because you can’t serve your clients right now doesn’t mean you won’t be able to later on. Offer prepaid packages with freebies and add-ons to reward clients that book now.
-Sell Digital Content – Online products you can sell include eBooks, webinars, and video tutorials. Best of all, they don’t require much investment capital or infrastructure to mass-produce. Take advantage of the fact that people are indoors and looking for something to do.
Consumers Are Paying Closer Attention to Business Practices
This crisis has exposed a lot of systemic issues, and people are taking notice. While you may have to put workers on leave until things get back to normal, now is the time to show compassion and solidarity. If you plan on taking care of your workers financially or ensuring that they will have jobs when life resumes, promote your plans online and through social media.
Not only will these actions help promote your brand, but consumers can feel good about buying from you. In addition to caring for your staff, you can consider volunteering and donating during the crisis. We’re all in this together, so now is the time to put your company values to the test.
Make a Plan for Afterward
Yes, life has slowed down right now, and most businesses have to cut costs. However, you need to take advantage of this period to get ready for what comes next. Companies that maintain an online marketing presence will be able to rebound faster since they will be cultivating better brand recognition.
Not only should you continue your marketing tactics (even if at a reduced scale), but you should develop a reopening plan. Leverage this downtime to figure out what changes you can make for the better and how you can improve and streamline operations. For example, if some of your staff can work from home now, perhaps you can downsize your workspace and save on utility costs.
Overall, COVID-19 has made everyone reassess how the world works. Businesses that can adapt and overcome these challenges will be poised to recover well when this is all over. Now is the time to get creative.