1 in 2 Australian businesses have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 (1). While the government has stepped in with stimulus packages, they are just a temporary shelter from the storm. The impact of this crisis has been described as a recession on steroids (2). In response, resilience, patience and perseverance must be added to your entrepreneurial acumen. It will not be business as usual for many small businesses. There will be sharp turns, slippery slopes and bumps along the way. Will you come out stronger and better on the other end?
In this article, we will highlight steps you can take now to help you navigate to safer waters. Hopefully, from there, you can chart the next stage of your journey.
1. Keep marketing
In a crisis, marketing is usually the first to be chopped or reduced. In the past, when marketing tended to consume a huge chunk of the annual budget, there was perhaps merit to this call. Those were the days when marketing meant expensive television commercials, radio ads or print ads in the major dailies. However, thanks to the rise of digital marketing in the last decade, effective marketing doesn’t have to be astronomical. As such, it is more affordable and effective to keep marketing. Ensuring brand saliency is important.
2. Identify opportunities
A crisis doesn’t have to spell gloom and doom. In fact, there are businesses that can excel as the crisis presents a natural opportunity for growth (3). Instead of lamenting on the misses, good businesses will explore opportunities to strengthen their position. From a new idea to a different way of delivering your product and service, a crisis puts a business in a ‘corner’ where it will be forced to review the status quo. The fact is people’s lives and routines have changed. As a result of these changes, new and different needs may emerge. For example, leading fashion brands have started production of face masks.
3. Make it affordable
The disposable income of people will shrink significantly, meaning many will need to re-prioritise expenditure. In some extreme cases, they might have to forgo the annual family holidays, country club memberships or that long-awaited big-screen TV. On the other hand, there are products or services where they might go for less expensive options. Take a close look at your suite of products and services. Is it possible to repackage them or develop new affordable options?
4. Think long-term
If your business’ fundamentals are strong, you should be able to weather the storm with some of the steps above. On this note, as you implement strategies and activities for the immediate term, you’ll need to have an eye on the long-term too. For example, a strong focus on looking after existing loyal customers is critical. When the good times return, they’ll be the first in the queue.
In digital marketing, you have an affordable strategy to stay afloat in a crisis. Connect with us to discuss how you can use it effectively.