It’s been a crazy four months to say the least
As we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel that is Covid-19, the curve is flattening, and the R rate has fallen, it’s now a crucial time for the UK’s economy to get going again. We need to plan business recovery post-lockdown as everything will be different at least for a short while. It is crazy to think that 4 months ago nobody had even heard of CoronaVirus – but in that short space of time is has completely altered the landscape of business across many sectors.
As with any crisis, some businesses will actually see growth during this pandemic – but for the majority of us SME’s there will be a period of recovery. Here’s some advice on what what measures you may need to put in place as your business gets the green light to operate again. It’s imperative that you reassess how your market has changed and how your business needs to change in order to stay relevant and stay alive!
Plan your road to recovery
Not every business will take the same amount of time to bounce back from this. Some journeys will be more speedy. The products and services where there is pent-up demand may take three months, whereas others will be impacted on a more long term basis -12 months plus.
You will need to make a road map of what your business recovery looks like. You can then start to pull together a strategy of the measures you need to implement and when. It will integrate into your current marketing strategy to sit alongside your long-term goals. It will keep you focused on the difficult task ahead whether that be a 3 6 or 12 month period.
Adjust your offering
The world isn’t going to just return to normal in a blink, and some things may never be the same. Consumer buying habits have heavily shifted towards online shopping, take aways have become the new dining out. Whilst I’m not saying people will never step foot in a physical shop again, or eat in a restaurant, it certainly will have a lasting impact. So now’s the time to adjust the way you do things to fit in with the post-lockdown environment. Do you need to build a takeaway infrastructure? Do you need a new website to host this facility or to sell your goods and services online? In order for your business to thrive once again, you need to adapt.
Revamp your online presence
So if your digital presence wasn’t your main priority before, it certainly has got to be now. People are using the web more than ever not only buy goods and services online, but also scope out the best company to meet their needs. Even if you’re not opening up a sales channel via an e-commerce website, then your digital shop front needs to look the bees knees to entice people to visit your premises.
If the road is long for your particular business, then your bounce back strategy may involve generating other streams of income to help with any cash flow issues. Most small businesses don’t have a lot of reserve in terms of hard cash, so now’s the time to get innovative and expand your offering. If you need to launch a new service or product- then you’ll need to get the message out there with plenty of promotion. Digital marketing campaigns for social media and mailing lists and printed materials such as flyers and posters will all help to generate awareness and reinstate your brand in the minds of your customers.
Raise your profile
Ok so we know money is precious, and it’s a precarious time for all SME’s, but chopping your advertising budget may be counter-productive. If your business becomes invisible or worse, forgotten (yes consumers are that fickle) during the lockdown, then you will find it harder to compete with all the other businesses clawing for their survival. The market will be more cut-throat than ever and unfortunately only the proactive businesses will survive.
As mentioned previously, the internet has become more powerful than ever, so investing in SEO and PPC (Google Ad Words) would be a good way to tackle a slow and painful return to trading, avoid redundancies and even preventing total collapse.
Reinvent and reintroduce your business
It’s a new world out there. Your business may need to go through many adjustments over the next few months and depending on the way your company has evolved, your brand may need to be altered to properly articulate and position your new proposition. If business is booming and you plan to expand, or if you have made a dramatic change to what you do in order to tread the water, a re-brand or brand refresh may do the trick!
In all of the chaos, you may have even identified an opportunity to start up a new business entirely. Plenty of businesses have cashed-in during the crisis. If this is you, then start-up branding for a lockdown-induced enterprise, may be in order.
If like us, you are a small business with a difficult time ahead and need some help – then please get in touch! Small businesses can help each other in these tough times. We’ve always been a small-business-friendly agency. We’ve offered payment plans since way before the virus hit, and we’re very proud of our flexibility and affordability.