Article Written by Katina Jaye Beveridge, ASBAS Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre.
Most businesses are still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic and some may not recover at all.
As the year 2020 comes to a close, it is important to look back at what happened a few months back and analyse the lessons that this year has taught us.
Lesson #1: Create a crisis response strategy.
Although 2020 is one of a kind, you’ll never know when another crisis will happen. The best way to lessen the impact of these negative events is to be ready for it. Draft a general crisis management plan that you can use when an unexpected even turns up. Make sure that your plan has a room for adjustment to tailor it according to the circumstances.
Lesson #2: Maintaining customer relationships is crucial.
Your loyal customers will be your saviour in times of crisis, so it is important to nurture a relationship with them. Minimise customer churn from dissatisfied customers by improving your customer service. Ditch the script and talk to them personally. Answer all your customer’s questions and respond to every comment, review, or message. Social media, forums, review sites, and your blog comment section are the best venues to engage with your customers.
Lesson #3: Optimise your website.
Your website is going to be your lifeline, especially during difficult times. Customers rely on your website for information about your business — from your products to current promos to changes in your operating hours. Make sure that the information on your website is always updated and that it loads quickly —three seconds or less.
Lesson #4: Explore new market.
Look for new opportunities to grow your audience. Exploring new niches is always beneficial for your growth. Look for other industries that might benefit from your products and services. You can also try coming up with new products that you can market. Being innovative pays off even during regular times.
Lesson #5: Don’t cut down your marketing budget.
During the pandemic, several businesses decided to cut down their marketing expenses, but studies have shown that this budget slash did not have a positive effect on their overall situation. No matter what happens, marketing will be the one that keeps your business afloat. And it is all the more important to invest in marketing when your business is facing some difficulties.
Different situations require different strategies. But one thing remains true: improving your business foundation by taking care of your customers, having a solid strategy, and maintaining your website, can help you overcome any business or economic crisis.