Businesses have survived hard times before and yours can be one of them.
There are things that local businesses have done in the past that you can learn from today to survive—no matter how many challenges that come your way. The key here is to play offense, not defense.
You see, the key to recovering once the dust has settled is to make sure that before it even has a chance to settle, you’re already on the move. The businesses who have came back strong after an economic catastrophe are the ones who didn’t wait for the dust—they took action during the during the tough times.
Businesses survived the 2008 financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed it. For two years, they focused on playing offense so they could stay in the game.
And you can too.
Here’s how they did to ensure they’d be able to stay in the field.
#1: Focus on building an audience right now
You might not be able to sell like you are used to right now. Marketing agencies might see their clients decreasing their monthly ad budgets. You might be watching a steady decline of sales. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stop promoting.
You just need to change your offer.
For example, a marketing agency can create a PR package for new clients that need help with their marketing message amid COVID-19. Instead of asking for their regular 6+month contract, they’ll let clients sign on for 1–3 months.
A restaurants business could offer discounts or buy one get one offers.
This is all aimed at doing one thing. Growing your audience.
It might not be the time to try to land your biggest contract of the year or to have the biggest sales day yet. But, it is the time to figure out how you can grow your audience because there’s one thing you can be certain of- the economy will come back.
And when it recovers, you’ll be able to go for that bigger contract or aim to hit your biggest sales goals using the audience you’ve built. Don’t focus on the money, focus on the audience.
That’s how you bounce back.
#2: Look for strategic partnerships
Part of building a new audience is to take a look at your industry and figure out who you can collaborate with. The current state of the world has changed a lot—and some of that change has to do with who you can do business with.
For example, you might have taken part in a few Instagram Live workouts while being at home. How many of these did you see 3 months ago?
Yeah, we didn’t see any either. Instagram influencers and trainers are jumping onto these at-home workouts to keep their audience engaged with their content. The influencers need content and the trainers need new people to take their virtual classes since their in-person sessions have been cancelled.
You can even take this further and look past collaboration and towards acquisition. There are some business owners who feel the heat right now and they want to get out of the kitchen. They might have already pulled their business through the last economic turn or they might be realizing they’re just not interested in the constant pivots and challenges that come with this type of economy.
Guess who can take over? Yep, that’s right… you. If you’re interested.
Should we say it again?
Your business needs to have better communication especially right now, mostly if your team is distributed for the first time. Here’s who needs to hear from you:
Your community (if you’re a local business)
Small businesses that recovered from the last financial crisis did so by keeping their team in line with their current goals. Maybe those goals changed 3 times in the last two weeks—but as long as those goals were communicated to their team, they were able to work towards them.
They then relayed the necessary information to their customers, letting them know about new products, offers, discounts, content, or anything else that would be useful to them right now. For local businesses, they kept in touch with their community, working to support first responders or provide meals to those in need (if possible).
HINT: Right now, people are holding their money close. Giving away free or discounted products is one of the best ways to show your customers that you see what they’re going through and you want to help them out.
#4: Don't over think
None of the above means anything if you get too far into your head about what is going on and how you’re going to survive it. Sure, this is certainly a stressful situation, but that doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way.
You’re playing offense right now. It’s your job to see the opportunities and take them—not to run the opposite direction.
We’ve seen it in the tech world time and time again, small companies are able to innovate faster than larger companies because they can pivot FAST.
Right now, the name of the game is pivot, and you’re holding the ball. You need to get to the end zone, and you have to avoid all of the challenges that come your way. The only way you’re going to do that is to stay out of your head and think like an innovative, small business that CAN pivot at a moment’s notice.
Staying flexible is going to be a huge determiner of your ability to survive this crisis and bounce back later. Because right now, you need to change your offers, but soon you’ll need to change them again to fit the new state of the economy.
It will be a state nobody knows (and it’s close to impossible to predict), but we can be certain is on its way.
So, you can predict that you’ll need to pivot your offer and prepare for it—NOW—so you can bounce back faster than the competition.
Because you’re a legend 😉.
Say it with us,