We are now several weeks into the lockdown with several more weeks to come. For most businesses there has never been such a period of uncertainty. So rather than dwell on the negatives of the situation, I would like to consider the certainties and how businesses can seize the opportunities to emerge from the lockdown stronger than they were before.
- The lockdown is not going to last forever. Hopefully by June the restrictions will be eased enough for most businesses to get back to some kind of normality.
- There is still a demand for products and services. Just because people can’t go out and are socially distancing themselves doesn’t mean that their wants, needs and desires have changed.
- Not everything can be bought online. Personally, I’m waiting for a new carpet to be fitted and, although Amazon may be efficient, laying a carpet is not one of their strong points.
- Consumers are currently storing up cash that they cannot spend because there is nothing to spend it on. It will be burning holes in their pockets.
- When the lockdown is over there is going to be a massive spending spree as consumers celebrate their freedom with their newly acquired wealth. Happy days!
- Many businesses are cutting costs and slashing their marketing budgets to save money in the short term without considering the long term consequences of their actions.
- The businesses that are most prepared by continuing to have a presence during the lockdown are the ones that will reap the greatest benefits.
- People remember winners and those that are willing to take risks. They quickly forget those that sit back and do nothing.
- Marketing is more important than ever during an economic downturn. Marketing = Sales = Success
- We are currently in a period of great change and with change comes great opportunity.
- Be the brand that people remember. Keep your name in front of existing and prospective customers so that they can see that you are a positive force.
- Take advantage of the fact that your competitors are advertising their services less by advertising your services more. That way you will get a lot more ‘bang for your buck!’ and you’ll be well ahead of the game when all this is over.
- Look for new ways of using your skills and experience when interacting with your existing customers and prospects. For example, at Local Pages we’ve used our online directory expertise to create an online Community Hub connecting people with charitable organisations and support groups.
- Understand the needs and motivations of your customers and reach out to them in order to solve their problems with warmth and empathy. For example at Local Pages, we’re helping clients overcome cash flow difficulties by offering deferred and weekly affordable payment options.
- Rather than spending your advertising pound on selling your products, spend it on creating value in your brand. The reason that Heinz Baked Beans are five times more expensive than a supermarket’s own brand has nothing to do with the contents inside the tin. It’s because Heinz invested in the brand and the brand has become synonymous with reliability and quality.
- Don’t rely on the past.. Who would have thought only a few weeks ago that oil companies would be in a situation (at the time of writing) where they have to pay customers to take oil off their hands. Nothing lasts forever. Consider how your business will need to change in a new world where environmental concerns and social distancing could be the new norm.
- Instead of cutting costs, take a look at how you can change your business practices to make them more efficient. By making adjustments now, when you have the time and resources to do it, you can reap huge benefits in cost savings later.
- Don’t take your clients for granted. Now is the time to reach out to them, thank them and ask if there is any way you can help them. People buy from people. Looking after your customers when things are bad creates future customer loyalty.
- Make it easier for customers to deal with you. Take a hard look at every touchpoint that you have with your customers from their point of view and ask what could be done to improve their experience?
- Consider where in your business you could offer more value. For example, there is a window company that inspects their work after six months to ensure the customer is happy and that there are no problems. This simple service leads to an increase in trust at the point of sale and future recommendations.
If you would like more help and assistance keeping you business afloat in a sea of uncertainty, call the Local Pages team on 0117 9231122 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org