The COVID-19 pandemic has many dark sides.
Stagnant business dies, educational institutions close. People forcibly take unpaid leaves or lose their jobs, stock markets crash down, healthcare systems are on the edge of collapse. Countries lose billions because of the additional costs associated with illness and quarantine.
The coronavirus COVID-19 spread has affected almost all commercial companies, regardless of their size. Medium and small businesses feel these changes especially sharply. The number of customers decreases, demand falls, the agreements are put on hold, and production volumes have to be reduced.Do you want to put all the free time you have during the #Coronavirus #Lockdown into good use? This article can teach you how to turn that time into new opportunities! Click To Tweet
Oxford Economics, one of the leading institutes of economic forecasting, warns that global economic growth may lower by 1.3 percent per year, which means a loss of $ 1.1 trillion.
This is not an easy time for business but everything has already happened, and the only way out is to accept the situation and look for advantages and opportunities in it.
It can be considered as a reboot, after which there will be a chance for significant growth if you do not give up now. That is why you should treat the crisis as a time of change.
So what are the bright sides of the pandemic, and what transformations can it bring?
Online services attract a huge audience
The lockdown has forced millions of people to go into the online environment.
According to the most conservative forecasts, the Internet will shortly have 1 billion new users and most of them will be using online services.
This relates to a wide range of services such as:
- online learning
- online commerce
- online art
- online leisure
These businesses have unbelievable potential for success and everyone has a chance to benefit from them.
Even though it is quite clear how to use these online possibilities, not every entrepreneur knows how to make them work for their business. So let’s see what are the steps you can take to save your business.
Audit your business
Business processes should be well assessed when creating a business and revised every 1-2 years.
It is often the case that the business does not produce the expected results and there can be many reasons for this.
During the lockdown, some parts of a business (processing incoming applications, sending an invoice, sending a request to the delivery department, delivery) may not work as intended. This is influenced by the human factor, the lack of automation, the change in customer habits, and in the business itself.
That is why the home lockdown is a perfect time to analyze and automate your working routine and improve communication.
Start using free task managing services like Trello, coordinate your staff interaction via Telegram, incorporate messengers for communication with clients, prepare documents in Office 365 (which can be easily scaled to meet the increased needs of employees), etc…
Although different companies face different challenges, most things today can be implemented using technology and will not require significant investment.
Making use of software in order to run your business during this lockdown will help reduce costs and the time for connecting working remotely.
Move your business online
The coronavirus lockdown will affect everyone.
This crisis has shown all of us the importance of having a business in the online space, even if it was not considered as necessary earlier.
Evaluate how you can sell goods or service online by answering a few questions:
- What product or service do you offer to your audience?
- Who are your clients based on socio-demographic, psychographic, and behavioral criteria?
- Why will a client purchase your product or service?
- When does demand rise (some types of your product or service have seasonal demand)?
- Where can a client buy your product(s) or use your service(s)?
Think over other important elements of online business in quarantine conditions:
- Methods of remote payment. There are ways to accept cash payment and transfer checks without contacting the buyer.
- Methods of delivery. You should be ready to optimize your delivery processes when necessary. You won’t have to make the delivery free, it is only important to make it convenient, predictable, and understandable for you and your customers. Consider in advance the possible mechanisms for changing the motivation of your couriers.
- Ways of interaction with your customers and employees (telephony, mail, messengers). You may find it helpful to implement a chatbot on your site.
- Ways of advertising. Adjust your content plan for your site and accounts on social media networks, taking into account the current situation. Think about how your company can make life easier for your customers. Everyone will be grateful to receive some support.
Once you’re finished identifying these elements, it’s time to create a website and actually move your business online.
So, where do you start?
The first step is choosing a web hosting provider and a domain name.
If you prefer to not deal with technical details too much, you can also go for a website builder like Wix or Squarespace, which will provide hosting, a domain name and an easy to use website editor.
Make your business recognizable
If technically there is no opportunity for your business to sell services and goods online, what can you do in order not to be forgotten by your customers?
Fitness clubs, dance schools, yoga studios offer their clients online lessons and workouts. This is the best approach during the quarantine because it alleviates the struggle for the client by keeping in touch and showing care. The latest yoga industry data for online sessions is surprising as more people are engaging themselves in yoga.
This lockdown is the golden time for advertising your services, and social media networks are ideal for such communication, through content.
Cosmetologists can give useful advice on home care, hairdressers can share recommendations for the choice of means, massage therapists can talk about the structure of the muscular system and the importance of massage for health, rehabilitation specialists can give practical lessons in gymnastics and so on.
Correctly chosen content will bring points to your business in a number of ways:
- really useful materials will increase the traffic of your current audience on your social media pages.
- people will value useful, genuine content, so that will enhance your company’s image.
- if you start advertising posts with tips/recommendations, then you will attract more subscribers from your target audience.
- this approach will help you attract new customers to the offline aspects of your business after the quarantine is over.
Sell your knowledge
Many types of businesses will not be able to avoid losses. But there is a way to benefit from this.
Share what you know with others. Tell through your company’s social media pages about your business, its start, its current difficulties and solutions, how you are surviving in the quarantine period, and what actions are you taking to save your business. People will appreciate the honesty.
This lockdown could also be the right time to sell your knowledge on things that you know how to do well.
Successful writers and interpreters can offer their services on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and many other
If you have skills in managing your business, designing websites, baking delicious pies, try to write lessons about it, or even do an online broadcast.
This whole experience may become a good investment not only for the quarantine period but also for the future.
You can try and implement the craziest ideas during this pandemic period, and you never know, it may bring the most unexpected results.