With the planet facing a pandemic from the coronavirus, it’s not enough to take personal health precautions…it’s important to take actions to help your business survive the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 as well.
So, let’s look at some of the harmful economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic that are either happening now, or could become a reality in coming weeks & months:
- Supply Chain Issues – In addition to specific consumer goods being in short supply (bottled water, toilet paper & canned goods), business owners must prepare for the possibility that they won’t have the staff to coordinate orders & deliver goods & services. Business owners also must prepare that they may not be able to get the supplies they need to create products & services.
- Curtailed Customer & Prospect Interaction – Given that the coronavirus is highly contagious & travels via human contact and in the air, visits to public places & in-person meetings are being curtailed. This means the face-to-fact interactions with prospects & customers may be delayed.
- Reduced Sales Volume – Cash flow & income could take a hit if sales of goods or services go down.
5 Specific Actions You Can Take To Help Your Business Survive the Coronavirus Pandemic
Coronavirus Business Tip 1: Business Line of Credit
If you’re a small business owner and you don’t have a business line of credit, get one. That business line of credit could be a lifesaver if you need to pay for operating expenses if receivables are delayed. Check with your business bank or a reputable local credit union for business line of credit options.
Coronavirus Business Tip 2: Look for Ways To Spend Money More Efficiently
You need to continue to buy the items you need to run your business. But there are ways to be more efficient with your business expenses. Here’s an example: the cartridges for HP laser printers are EXPENSIVE. But if you buy the “x” version of an HP laser printer cartridge vs. the regular version, you typically only spend $20 to $30 more but the laser printer cartridge “x” version has double the toner of the regular cartridge. That means you spend a little more up front but your laser printer cartridges last twice as long. If you look for ways to save on operating expenses on a wide variety of items you have to buy, those savings will add up to big savings in the long run. The good news: If you figure this out now, once the 2020 pandemic has come and gone, you’ll still be more efficient in what you spend for business operating expenses. Simple activities like researching prices from multiple sources for the same item also can save money.
Coronavirus Business Tip 3: Don’t Be A Mercenary But Look for Business Opportunities During This Crisis
In some cases, businesses may have a service or offering that would be particularly helpful during a pandemic. Take the time & carefully review your products or service offerings & determine if there’s anything you offer that’s particularly needed during a pandemic. Don’t take advantage of the situation with price gouging, but if you truly have an offering that will help people or businesses navigate the coronavirus pandemic, offer it! Here are some examples:
- Helpful Product: Do you have a legitimate product that can truly help people during this pandemic? If yes, highlight that product above all else in your marketing. Better yet, deploy a fast-track marketing campaign with a promotional price – and get that helpful product into the hands of people who need it.
- Helpful Service: Do you have a legitimate service that can truly help people during this pandemic? If yes, deploy a fast-track marketing campaign with special pricing and offer that service to people who will need it.
Coronavirus Business Tip 4: Consider “Chunking” Your Product or Service Offering Into Smaller Price Points
No question, the coronavirus pandemic is going to hit business and individual pocket books hard if people can’t work, or businesses can’t get the goods & services they need to do business and make money. In a pandemic, it’s wise to assume that cash flow will be down & customers may be hanging onto their cash out of fear. This may result in lower sales volumes and/or late payments from customers. To offset this, look at your product or service & see if there’s a way to break your products or services into smaller pieces that cost less to spur sales. Here’s an example: A local meditation center charges $18 for a 1.5-hour class. When times are tight, consumers may not be willing to spend $18 on a weekly class that’s an hour and a half long. But they might be willing to spend $10 on a 45-minute class. Look at your offerings & determine which ones could be broken into smaller increments that cost less.
Coronavirus Business Tip 5: Keep Marketing
In the aftermath of the economic crash of 2008, we observed that some companies panicked and simply stopped marketing. Bad idea. As we look back at the companies that stopped marketing, vs. the companies that continued their marketing efforts during the hard times, the companies that marketed are still in business. The ones that didn’t are gone. The reality is that, whether an economic downturn is caused by a real estate crash, a pandemic, or something else, you have to keep looking for customers, taking great care of existing customers, and marketing to prospects to keep your business going. If you stop marketing, your customers may assume you’re out of business and go elsewhere. Make sure that you stay in touch with your customers, with email marketing, webinars, special offers, phone calls, and more.
Coronavirus Business Tip Summary:
It’s March 2020 and we sit on the brink of a worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Pundits from places like Forbes & the Harvard Business Review are predicting that this event will change the way we live and do business. During this time of chaos & change, new opportunities will emerge. Existing products & services that are needed more will take on more significance. (Example: screen share technologies for virtual meetings will be in higher demand.) The key to navigating through difficult times is to be able to ADAPT. In the natural world, those creatures that can’t adapt are winnowed out. And new creatures that adapt step into higher positions in the food chain.
Deploy these action items (and others that make sense for your business) to navigate through this latest challenge to the worldwide economic with clarity, adaptability & resourceful thinking.
Need help navigating an economic downturn with strategic marketing? Contact DeWinter Marketing & PR.