COVID-19 has changed our lives forever. It is common for everyone to panic during these unprecedented times and business owners are no different. The last few months have witnessed businesses shutting shops, revenues dropping and deals falling through. However, it certainly does not have to be this way.
Growing your business during such trying times isn’t exactly conventional wisdom, but isn’t that what successful companies have learned to do? They have not only managed to stay afloat but have also turned the slowdown into an opportunity by capitalizing on the poor decisions of their competitors.
If you have the perseverance and appetite for growth but don’t know where to begin, here are five tips to get you started:
Hop on-board the ‘Digital Express’
If you have put off building an online presence for your business until now, now is the time to fix that. Digital transformation is becoming a new reality as an increasing number of businesses are entering the digital sphere. Relying on brick-and-mortar setups alone can hamper your chances of reaching potential customers worldwide. Start by asking yourself if you can deliver your service or product electronically?
If you own a restaurant, consider pivoting to online orders and deliveries to keep loyal customers from leaving. Or, if you are a fitness instructor, you can leverage the power of platforms like Zoom to hold virtual workout classes regularly.
Nurture relationships with existing customers
In their quest for winning new customers, some businesses neglect their existing customers. Refrain from making this error. Focus on your best clients instead of splurging to attract new ones. When you serve your existing customers with transparency and authenticity, they will automatically bring you more business. Not to forget, word-of-mouth publicity goes a long way in drawing new customers to your business.
So ensure a positive experience for your current customers by delivering on promises. It will certainly prove beneficial in the long run.
Stay in control of your financing needs
You mustn’t wait for an actual financial crisis to start arranging funds for operational needs and contingent liabilities. Be it crowdfunding or a bank loan, it takes time to have these applications processed and for the funds to become available for use. Moreover, during a slowdown, lenders begin to tighten their lending standards, and that could leave you in the lurch. Or, even if you manage to secure finances, the lending terms may not be as favourable. So, plan well ahead and start securing your finances if you foresee a requirement. It is wise to evaluate your options to stay on top of the game.
Improve your operating processes
You have more free time now. Use it wisely to improve your internal processes and build a robust system that effectively offers the best services. Leverage your existing strengths and put in maximum efforts to maintain and grow your business. Slowdowns or recessions offer ideal opportunities to do things differently and become more efficient. For example, something as easy as developing a software that takes care of repetitive business tasks for you can save a lot of time and resources. Go innovative!
Win over the competition’s customers
There is no better time than an economic slowdown to draw customers away from your competitors. Maybe one of your competitors can’t keep up with the growing online demand and maybe another is under-servicing accounts. Grab this golden opportunity and coax such dissatisfied customers your way by offering them the solutions they need.
Basically, research your competition, study their business strategy, gain insight into what works and what doesn’t, and then tweak your business plans accordingly.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach that can make your business recession-proof. However, implementing these ideas can ensure survival in the toughest of times, and can possibly help you emerge stronger once the storm subsides.
If you want to read more about what can help your business acquire sustainable growth across all key growth levers, subscribe to our e-magazine. We are a community that encourages learning, and we believe in creating a culture of innovation that can help propel businesses to the next level.