Are You Missing These Two Covid Economy Opportunities?

Unless you operate in an unusual industry, there’s a good chance your business has been disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in a sudden and severe way. You may even be so focused on the arrival of one emergency after another that it can feel impossible to consider the strategic or longer-term implications.

Once you get past the panic, though, you find that crisis and opportunity are intertwined. While none of us would have wanted this kind of disruption to our lives, we can use the change in routine to get better.

Wondering how that might be possible? Let’s look at two Covid economy opportunities that are too good to pass up…

Opportunity #1: Use This Time to Increase Your Knowledge and Get Sharper

There are some businesses (like medical supply, for example, or pizza delivery) that are busier than ever right now. For most, though, the combination of a sudden recession and statewide stay-at-home orders has meant lots of time that used to be spent serving customers or dealing with day-to-day operations.

If you spend enough time online, you have undoubtedly seen that many are treating this unexpected law and business like a snow day. They are binge watching shows on their favorite streaming service, sleeping in, and hitting the junk food drawer harder than normal. These are all understandable emotional responses, but they aren’t going to help your business.

Why not use this time—whether it’s another week or another monthto read up on topics like SEO and social media marketing? Why couldn’t you spend today finishing a video course on PPC advertising? What’s stopping you from becoming a better content creator with the hours and resources you have in front of you?

The savviest business owners are using this occasion to get better. They know downtime doesn’t come often and won’t let it get away. We encourage you to follow their example.

Opportunity #2: To Eat the Competition While They’re Taking It Easy

The second opportunity is related to the first. The harder you work during the current crisis, the bigger edge you can open up over your competitors. That’s especially true if they aren’t developing their own skills or serving their customers effectively right now.

For example, maybe some of your colleagues are using work from home arrangements as an excuse for missing deadlines or reduced hours. If you can add value to your customers by giving them faster service, one-on-one attention, or better pricing, why wouldn’t they be open to that possibility?

An interesting thing happens in times of turmoil. When we start making one kind of change in our lives, we become open to other changes, too. What this means in a business context is that some of your best potential customers might be in a state of flux. If you can serve them at a time when your competitors can’t, you might be able to earn business from clients who wouldn’t normally look at changing vendors.

This is no time to ignore your business. If your competition isn’t laser-focused on serving your market, then you have an opportunity to pick up the slack.

What Does Your 2020 Marketing Strategy Look Like?

There are tens of thousands of business owners out there who came into 2020 with big plans but now are simply trying to survive day-to-day. That’s understandable, but it’s not the best way to move your company forward.

Even in an uncertain economy there are opportunities to expand or better serve your customers.

Two Business Lessons from the Covid Crisis

Two Business Lessons from the Covid Crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is less than two months old (at least in the U.S.), but it’s already obvious it will leave a lasting legacy. There are some parts of our “new normal,” like remote working and the recognized importance of hand washing, that will likely stay with us for a long time. When looking at the immediate business lessons of a still-unfolding crisis, though, things are even simpler. In fact, there are two takeaways that really stand out—even though they aren’t new or imaginative. Let’s look at each one.

Lesson #1: Build a Strong Brand

Branding is often treated as a generic marketing catch-all term, or something that boils down to re-designing a logo. What we mean in this sense is that you need to have a definite identity that leads customers to think about you in a positive way.

What we see in the marketplace right now is that buyers are consciously choosing to help the companies and brands they like the most. That’s particularly true when they decide to shop and support local businesses. There are certain entrepreneurs or employees they want to see succeed and will keep buying from them even when money is tight.

Of course, this isn’t the easiest time to be building deeper relationships with customers. The brands that are doing well—whether they are Fortune 500s or single-person venturesare the ones who did the hard work of establishing themselves as friendly and accessible before their survival depended on it.

Lesson #2: Diversify Your Business

The companies being hit hardest right now are the ones without multiple sources of income. If your way to make money involves having diners for a four-course meal, then your bottom line is probably hurting.

Conversely, businesses that have invested in online sales are hanging in there. Others have positioned themselves to offer expertise and consulting in addition to their normal product and service lines. Some are partnering with colleagues to create new packages that offer more value. These are all good ideas in an economy where certain types of markets or transactions have virtually disappeared.

While it takes years to develop the right brand or reputation, adding new income streams to your business. For example, e-commerce or app development, which can be a nice way to diversify your income. Now is a great time for you to start thinking about other ways to make money for your employees & yourself.

7 Urgent Steps for Marketers in the Covid Economy

As the coronavirus has taken over first the news, then our attention, and finally the economy, clients have come to us again and again with one question: “what now?”

The answer depends of course on the situation a business owner or executive is facing. For some, a Covid recession is a major event. For others, it’s a sad reality but not a huge business concern.

If you have the kind of company that is relatively unaffected by the current pandemic, then you might not be concerned with changing strategies or tactics. For all the rest of us, though, here are seven urgent steps you might want to take today if you haven’t already:

1. Don’t Panic or Make Rash Decisions You Might Regret

One of the worst things you can do, in this crisis or any other, is complicate matters by enacting quick decisions that compound the issue. This is a time to think clearly about what’s possible, what’s likely, and which opportunities or obstacles lie ahead. Take some time to get clear about what you’re facing and what you want to accomplish. Only then should you make strategic decisions.

2. Start Using Your Email Newsletter to Communicate

This is no time to be quiet or leave your customers wondering what you can or can’t do for them. While we would encourage you to reuse any outreach tools you have at your disposal; email is particularly well-suited for fast and effective communication. Let buyers know what’s happening with your business, even if nothing has changed. That way you won’t miss out on business because they have assumed you are cutting back.

3. Reach Out to Your Best Customers through Social Media

While email will probably be the preferred method of communication for the moment, don’t overlook the power of social media to connect with your best customers, clients, vendors, or partners. Some of them may prefer to communicate through these channels. And, sending a note through Facebook or LinkedIn (as examples) is more personal than reaching them through an email blast.

4. Look for Opportunities to Sell and Serve Your Market

Don’t assume there isn’t any business to be found in your industry, or that you know exactly what your customers want. Reach out to some of them and see if there are new opportunities to make your company a more valuable partner or resource. It might be that there are lots of ways you can serve buyers, or the community, that aren’t immediately obvious.

5. Investigate New Customers and Sales Opportunities

If your customers and clients are slowing down, don’t simply take it as a given that you will have to do the same. It may be that you are able to serve other markets (for instance, hospitals or delivery companies) who are doing a thriving business right now. Often, it just takes a bit of creative thinking and investigation to identify new sales opportunities, even in a downturn.

6. Cut Off Any Non-Performing Ads or Campaigns

We started our tips by advising you not to make any rash decisions. However, that’s not the same as saying you should stay still. If there are marketing campaigns or activities that just aren’t going to work in the current economy, then this is the time to pause or discontinue them. Don’t let your money go towards projects that aren’t going to benefit your business for many months to come.

7. Take Advantage of the Downtime to Get Better

One of the things that makes marketing hard is that most business owners and executives don’t have time to read books, take courses, or think about projects like a website overhaul. If there is any small silver lining to what’s going on in the world it’s that we have the opportunity to step back and be more intentional about our plans. Where do you want to be in a few months, and what can you do to make it happen?