It’s no secret that the Coronavirus is affecting businesses of all sizes and industries in some way. But, a lack of customers and unwelcome downtime can also be used to catch up on the things that often get overlooked when business is booming. Instead of fearing that fewer customers mean your company is doomed, consider how recent events could provide your team with the perfect opportunity to make overdue changes and updates that will ensure future success.
Your company’s website is probably the first point of contact potential clients and customers have with your brand. Sadly, many businesses overlook the maintenance that is often needed to keep a website up to date when it comes to SEO best practices, photos, service offerings or fresh content – all of which will work to attract new customers when business is slow. Work to add new products or services to your website or refine what you currently offer. Update your local search listings on all major search engines so that customers can find you and are very clear on what you offer. And if you’ve been putting off getting quotes for a completely new website, now you have time to request proposals! Do your research and find a reputable professional that can help you design the online brand that you’ve been wanting, but never had time to create!
One of the best resources for refining your business for optimal performance is research! If the business is slow, take this time to craft a survey and reach out to your past and potential customers to get a feel for what you can improve… and what is working. Market research is also a very effective way to beta test new product offerings or services that you’ve been wanting to feature but may be unsure of. Easy to use platforms like Survey Monkey is a great way to get valuable feedback that can help save you money and ultimately help your business grow.
To be competitive in today’s marketplace, it’s imperative for all organizations to have a good understanding of what the competitive landscape looks like. Slow business cycles will provide you the necessary time to research what your competitors are doing, and not doing, allowing you to steal market share. Take a few minutes to do a Google search on your top five competitors and get a good sense of their online presence. Are they ranking higher than you? Have the recently launched a set of product offerings that you might need to consider? Are they getting press coverage that you should also be getting? Dig deep and come up with different ways that you can pivot and rise above what they are doing.
When business is thriving, processes and productivity best practices can fall by the wayside. This is why slower times are great for helping to determine which processes can be refined and how your team can work together to increase productivity. Obviously, each industry has numerous methodologies that can be implemented. To make this task more simple, think of the three biggest processes or productivity challenges your company consistently has the hardest time with and vow to tackle those challenges while you have some extra time.
Have you ever said to yourself “I just don’t have time to properly market my business!"? Well, if the Coronavirus has you wondering where all your customers are, NOW is the perfect time to focus on the essential marketing tools every business needs. If you want to get some positive media coverage for your company, consider updating marketing collateral, photographs and company details that would be relevant to reporters and producers. Pitch decks, sales assets, company videos, blog posts and any other tools your team needs to drive leads and sales can also be reviewed and updated when your team members are looking for something to do.
There is no time like to the present to sit down with your team and determine if your company is on the right track. If management has been way too busy working IN the business and not ON the business, minor setbacks in the economy should be seen as an ideal time to take a secondary look at the framework of your organization. Collaborate to determine if your company’s mission, vision, and values are still relevant and paint a true picture of what your company offers and stands for. Refine as needed and come up with a plan to inform employees, partners and clients of any updates to help ensure that your organization comes out a true success once its back to business as usual.
Thankfully, the U.S. economy is very resilient and will undoubtedly bounce back from the chaos that we are currently experiencing. Remember to look for the good that can come from unexpected setbacks and use this time to regroup, refine and come back bigger and better than ever.