5 Tips for Operating a Business During a Crisis

By Sara Smida / April 2, 2020 / Advertising

Make Sure Your Business Survives the COVID-19 Pandemic with These Basic Guidelines

Nobody saw 2020 shaping up the way it has so far.

And we’re only wrapping up Q1.

Many businesses are shutting down or working within government restrictions while some others are on strict work-from-home orders and others are deemed essential and continue to work daily.

Kids are partaking in conference calls with their teachers and classmates instead of attending school.

Maintaining “social distance” is a must in a hope to reduce a swell at local hospitals.

And New York is in the middle of it all.

It sounds like a scenario created for a movie or television series. But, as you already know, it’s the reality we’re currently facing.  

It’s inevitable for business owners across America to feel the financial strain of the coronavirus restrictions.

So, how do brands continue to do business with their customers at a time like this?

1. Adapt to the Situation

The chain of supply and demand has shifted. There’s still a demand for goods and services; it’s simply different than what brands have grown accustomed to.

While working through the challenges of COVID-19, it’s important to remember that what worked last quarter might not work this quarter.

Since the general public has been advised to stay home, depending on your business model, this can be a large obstacle to overcome.

If your brand relies on face-to-face or in-person transactions, it’s time to get creative.

Gyms, for example, have been ordered to close until further notice, but still need clients to use the facility or sign up for classes to be successful.

Since we’re all stuck inside, it’s important to stay active. And who can provide us with a way to stay active and healthy? Trainers and fitness coaches.

Offer virtual classes to your clients.

Pre-record the session and distribute it to clients who have signed up, this way they can work out according to their schedule.

Host a Facebook Live session in a private group. Creating a private group can help to ensure the individuals watching have paid for the session. Participants can also use the comment section to ask questions about the session or household items they can use in lieu of gym equipment.

For stores who sell products at a brick and mortar location, consider shifting your marketing strategy to focus on e-commerce for the time being.

2. Plan for the Future

Yes, times are uncertain right now.

Even though we don’t know when many local businesses will be given the approval to reopen, it’s important to ensure relevancy.

Once the public is no longer confined to its homes, people will need businesses to reopen.

In the meantime, it is essential to maintain the brand’s digital presence.

Continue sharing on social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Share helpful tips that your consumers can benefit from and that will bring them to your brick and mortar when the time comes.

Some examples from Instagram include “how to cover the roots of your hair without damaging the dye job” and “how to prepare your landscape for the summer.”

Using these platforms throughout the closure will maintain relevancy and put your brand in the authoritative position you deserve.

Customers are aware that COVID-19 is affecting local businesses, and they want to help support them. Tell your customers how to support you if your business is closed, whether that is through ordering takeout or delivery, or purchasing products online.

To help maintain income if you can’t offer services at this time, encourage gift cards. This will help maintain the flow of income. Then, once the business can reopen, your consumer will be back to use the gift card — and hopefully purchase a few more items.

Not to mention, maintaining a positive presence on the brand’s social media could be the beacon of light consumers need during this time.

3. Seek Alternate Solutions

We know social distancing is a must, and it’s possible to do this while maintaining your brand.

Instead of cancelling meetings or events, pull the team together and brainstorm creative solutions.

FaceTime, Zoom, or another form of video chat would give you or your staff the opportunity to have a conversation with your consumers. This gives you the chance to continue the conversation, while remaining safe. It also shows the customer (or potential customer) your ability to adapt with the changing safety guidelines.

Adapting to changes is a desirable trait in a business owner!  

And, if you have a customer who wants to see something the business has to offer, like a specific product or different options, recording a quick video for their review can help the decision-making process.

4. Find Future Customers & Leads

It might feel difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s imperative to maintain a funnel of leads.

One lead might not convert right away, but letting your funnel run dry is never ideal.

This is the time to build a network of leads and nurture the relationship.

Maintaining a calm demeanor and building a relationship will give the potential customers a sense of calm. In a time when most businesses are panicking, this can help shed some light as to how your business handles crisis.

Consumers are watching how businesses are responding to this crisis, giving you a chance to impress them.

5. Market with Coronavirus in Mind  

Marketing during a pandemic might feel out of place. But, when done correctly, you can effectively communicate your brand’s missions and values during this time.

Take a moment to reflect on your business and what it has to offer the community. Can it be of service or benefit individuals during an outbreak or crisis?

Change your marketing campaigns to reflect this information.

If you are looking to introduce an altered or additional service during the outbreak, it should offer a positive benefit. Consider ways that you can help health care professionals and other essential workers who are working during this time.

However, the messaging should be sensitive to what is happening around the world. Keep in mind, some people are facing layoffs or medical uncertainty.

Be Mindful of the Environment Throughout the Crisis & Offer Help

This is a time for compassion. Yes, the general public still needs goods and services, but brands need to market themselves carefully.

Support other local businesses, offer free advice, and remind people how your business can be of service.

These are only some of the ways to succeed in business when times are tough, especially during a crisis.

To learn more ways to help your business survive the COVID-19 outbreak, let us know. We’re all in this together.