Garrett Atkins is an American entreprenuer and Chief Executive Officer of VIE Media, a St. Louis based digital marketing agency.
There’s no way around it. The pandemic has impacted nearly all aspects of life, and if you are a business owner, you’ve most likely felt the effects of Covid-19 on your business. Whether it has directly or indirectly affected your business, chances are the pandemic hasn’t been good for your bottom line.
However, when it comes to dealing with the pandemic’s impact on your business, it may be hard to do so, but in my opinion, you can do one of two things:
1. Do nothing and allow the problem to negatively affect your business further.
2. Adapt and overcome.
In other words, business leaders should strive to find areas of opportunity for improving their business.
As the leader of a digital marketing agency, I’ve seen the opportunity businesses have to not only show up for their customers but to truly adapt to this new market. Based on my experience, let’s discuss five ways your business can adapt and build better resilience.
1. Let everyone know you’re open for business.
This may seem like a way to “stay afloat,” but stick with me. Many businesses are failing to properly update hours of operations, locations, phone numbers and other basic information about their business. Furthermore, from my perspective, some businesses are failing to simply let their target audience know they are open for business in the first place. This is an opportunity for you to go the extra mile and speak to your target audience with your updated hours, locations, contact information, and safety measures that you have in place. Post on social media and Google My Business, and update your local directories with your current information so you can take this as an opportunity to connect with your customers.
2. Consider trimming down on traditional forms of advertising.
Although TV ads, radio spots, billboards, mailers and newspaper and magazine ads have been a cornerstone for businesses to advertise, if you’re going to cut back spending somewhere, I would recommend these be the places to do so. Right now, fewer people are out and about than before the pandemic, which could mean these forms of advertising aren’t as effective right now. In a time where business owners are being careful about where they’re spending their budget, maximizing your ROI (return on investment) on advertising is paramount.
3. Pivot to digital forms of advertising.
With more people staying at home right now and spending less time out and about, consumers’ eyes are all fixed on one place: the internet. Whether it’s their favorite social media platform, news website, streaming platform, online game or here on Forbes, the internet is one place we can all socialize from a distance. That being said, pivoting to a digital-centric advertising strategy can help put your business in the one place it is sure to be seen. Whether you’re a B2C (business-to-consumer) company looking to get in front of consumers on Facebook and Instagram or a B2B (business-to-business) company looking to attract decision-makers on LinkedIn or PPC (pay-per-click), digital advertising is built for tracking ROI.
4. Don’t shy away from acknowledging the pandemic.
This pandemic has international implications on the way we do business. Due to this, an opportunity has been born to let consumers know your business is there to serve them, even in this uncertain time. Your strategy needs to show customers that your business is doing everything in its power to continue providing excellent service, and not only that — you must acknowledge that the pandemic has likely influenced and impacted the customer. Whether it be a consumer looking for a place that offers a discount, freebie or incentive from one of their favorite local brick-and-mortar businesses, or a business owner looking for a new way to advertise their business during this trying time, your strategy needs to keep the consumer top of mind. Letting your target audience know you’re still in business is one thing. Positioning your business as a helpful resource and transparent business ally is another.
5. Master the virtual workplace.
Many schools, businesses and events have gone fully remote/virtual. If you are one of the many business owners that have resorted to going virtual, whether it be partially or full-blown remote, embrace it. Many businesses have found out how broken their processes and operations are because of the pandemic. Creating a strong backbone and understanding of applications and software such as Zoom, Skype, Google Drive, Dropbox and many more stands to benefit your company. The benefits are not only in the here and now, during the pandemic, but in perpetuity. As you grow to understand the proper applications of relevant online software, you can use them to increase the efficiency of your business’ day-to-day operations for years to come. Stop operating your business with pen and paper and start innovating with the use of modern software applications.
The pandemic has changed the way we do business. It’s vital that you pivot to meet your customers where they are by utilizing a combination of creativity, innovation and proper use of technology.
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