Let's Survive then Thrive Together in 2020
Updated: Mar 23
The great human race always has a way of fighting through the most difficult challenges - COVID-19 will be no different. It's vital that we take care of ourselves, employees, friends and family and also do everything for our businesses to survive this global economic shock.
We will have to reset our goals and go again...but firstly focus on survival (human and then business), be supportive of fellow-man and help each other and our business community to not only survive, but build in the interim to thrive when we come out of this crisis.
Don’t be fearful when others are also afraid. Do what Warren Buffett does…be greedy when other people are fearful. This may sound a bit inconsiderate during the current crisis, as everyone's health is number one priority, but it's time to lead our businesses through this crisis and not let fear make our decisions for us, think things through, plan and re-plan and keep moving. Some of the worst decisions I've made were influenced by fear and life learning has educated me to rewire my brain to eliminate fear in times of stress.
It's only really a few months ago when most businesses were completely on a high about entering 2020 and driving towards the goals that had been set. In the last weeks and days it has become quite clear not only is personal survival the most important thing with Coronavirus heading fast towards its peak, but business survival is a challenge that many businesses are not prepared for. Already we can see businesses starting to panic, customers across various industries cancelling orders or postponing intended purchases/projects, businesses stopping/slowing down payments with suppliers and sadly many businesses having to close down...then there is the social impact and how this is impacting ourselves, life as we know it and various consumer industries in general.
As a Digital Marketing business we are taking steps to adapt our services to be as flexible as possible with our existing and new clients, as it's vital that first and foremost we help them survive and then hopefully thrive when markets and normality resumes. During these times we are recommending to businesses to adapt, vary and ramp up where necessary business and marketing communications towards their customers and prospective customers, as they have to know you're still open for business and it's more important now than ever to communicate with them via the various channels such as email, social media, paid ads/retargeting ads, offline methods and have the right messaging and call to actions to generate sales from a smaller purchasing base during these difficult times.
Equally many businesses have had to close down, so it's important to evaluate, pivot and enhance/change your business model. e.g. We can already see examples of businesses pushing more of their products and services online e.g. eCommerce, Webinars or introducing new products/services to help the situation we are in - a good example being Brewdog known for their beer are now using their capability to produce Sanitiser. Also some Restaurants have now moved to 100% takeaway/home delivery business model. So think long and hard about how you can reinvent what you do and where you now need to take your business. Of course it's vital to follow Governmental directives accordingly as it's changing daily.
Many businesses have unfortunately had to let staff go or fold or may find it difficult to keep on top of things. We would encourage businesses to look at what systems, processes, technology or services could help take some of the load. Good examples are CRM, Sales and Marketing automation systems that can operate without much effort and possibly with reduced staff or consider a sales, marketing or service related chatbot for example, to provide an element of self service and lead gen for customers and prospective customers. In fact some businesses are likely to procure more services and reduce their workforce during these challenging times, which is of course very unfortunate for those who have lost their jobs. The good news is and this note is not a political message, the UK Government and Governments around the world are providing varying levels of support for people and businesses in need. So seek advice from various support mechanisms now in place.
Economics are simple in many ways...businesses that invest and ramp up sales and marketing activity will not only survive but thrive when this latest crisis is over. Unfortunately some will have buried their heads, stopped all spending, reduced as much cost as possible and may not recover so quickly, if at all. Many businesses panic, cut back on their investments, projects and marketing during a crisis (dot-com bubble, 9/11, 2008 Crash) - the ones that historically kept building and investing in advertising and marketing, gained the majority of their industry's market share and are still around today. A lesson for us all is we need to use the current opportunity to find balance, build, learn and be ready to seize the moment....but most of all don't panic! Of course this crisis is something we have never experienced and we have to adjust accordingly my general perspective above through the days, weeks and months ahead.
The mindset we have in our own business is that we're all in this together, we never caused this event, it's impacting everyone, so let's bring our collective skills into play and help each other...and be careful of those who will use the current crisis to generate more fear and exploit individuals and businesses.
Please also have a read at the Forbes article on How To Adapt Your Marketing To A Possible Slowdown In An Economy Shaped By The Coronavirus
SIX ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR YOUR BUSINESS
These will vary by industry, B2B and B2C etc:
Communicate with your customers/market about how you’re dealing with any disruption.
What you sell may need to change, again communicate with your customers/market.
How you sell may need to change. Some businesses will cut or stop marketing activity – history suggests not a good strategy.
Consider creating special offers during this period of uncertainty.
Implement alternatives to face to face – in my own business we are using a CRM solution with integrated video calling. Basically our customers don't require any software so no disruption on their part.
If you can't afford to procure a Marketing service get in the driving seat yourself and implement some free tools which will help - see our blog on this here.
In our latest FREE newsletter we include articles, ideas, tools, strategies and tactics that will hopefully provide some reflections / support for Business Owners and SMEs in these challenging times. Get your free copy here and feel free to share: Latest Newsletter on Sales, Marketing and Service.
If you would like to discuss your current business challenge, please don't hesitate to contact, Tom Berry, Founder & Managing Director, Autus Consulting Ltd at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. +44 (0) 141 356 5815 or visit us at https://www.autusconsulting.com/.
With all of the above said, the most important thing we can all do is to stay home, take care and be safe. Businesses will ultimately rebuild after this crisis, but preventing mass loss of life has to be the sacrifice we all make and the goal for all short term.