As businesses grapple with the impact of the coronavirus crisis, they are more concerned about business continuity and sustainability.
Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) have already hit the rocks.
In fact, 50% of SMBs in the US have shut down, laid-off employees, or furloughed them. As uncertainty looms large, the overall business sentiment is not optimistic at all.
If you’re a business owner, you’re likely to be going through a rough patch. It’s high time you take a hard look at your processes and think of mitigation strategies.
For the continuity of your online business, you need to get into crisis mode and rethink the way you function.
Right now, it’s essential to focus on business resilience.
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4 Tips to Develop a Solid Business Continuity Plan
As a business owner, it can be unnerving to bear the brunt of the crisis and to adjust to sudden revenue cuts. But if you want to weather the storm, panicking is not an option.
Instead, you need to be solution-oriented to get back on your feet.
In this article, let’s take a look at how you can ensure that your business can survive the COVID-19 crisis.
1. Recalibrate Your Business Strategy
The pandemic has disrupted the way we live. With lockdowns all around the world, people are spending more time at home. Such a huge lifestyle change has altered people’s priorities and needs.
In this light, you need to recalibrate your business strategy. Take a step back and assess whether your business model is still relevant for your target audience.
For instance, people can’t go out for a fancy dinner anymore. That’s why restaurants are suffering. During the present circumstances, their businesses have lost their relevance.
What’s the way out?
You need to step up your game.
Invest some time into finding out what your target audience needs right now. Then, think of ways you can fulfill these needs without burning a lot of money.
One way to do this is to repurpose your inventory.
For instance, restaurants may explore selling grocery items to open up a new revenue stream.
Smart brands are also leveraging this strategy to maintain their business continuity. At the same time, you can help meet a market need. Take inspiration from US-based alcohol company, Pernod Ricard USA.
From alcohol production, they moved on to manufacture hand sanitizers to meet the increasing market demand.
Image via Instagram
Similarly, major auto companies like General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Toyota Motor Corporation have started producing ventilators.
Regardless of the industry you are in, you can reframe your core competencies for business continuity. All you need is a shift in perspective and the willingness to be adaptable.
2. Boost Your Online Presence
Stuck at home, people are turning to the internet to keep themselves entertained and updated with what’s happening in the world. Subsequently, they are spending more time online.
In an interview, Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said that their web traffic spiked over 20% in just one week after the lockdown in the US. Another survey revealed that people in the US are spending more time on social media amid the COVID-19 crisis.
How does that affect you?
This spike in online activity opens up an opportunity for your brand.
Boosting your online presence should be a crucial part of your business continuity plan. If you boost your social media presence, you can reach out to your target audience.
Create Your Own Website
One of the best ways to strengthen your online visibility is to create your own website. We live in a digital era. So, it’s a prerequisite to maintaining your business continuity.
A well-designed website can help you boost your brand awareness, deliver a strong marketing message, and get more leads.
For strong branding, you can leverage a .ONLINE domain name. Not only does it have a global appeal, but the word “online” in your domain name indicates that your business is online. Plus, the probability that your first-choice domain name is available on .ONLINE is high which means you will not have to compromise on your online identity (your domain name).
The best part is it’s equally relevant for brands as well as individuals.
Take a cue from digital marketing expert, Jeff Bullas. He is using www.jeff.online for his blog and social media promotions.
P.S. To help your business go online, there is an exclusive offer just for you at the end of this article.
Create Engaging Social Media Content
Want to make the most of your downtime?
Here is what you should do:
Leverage social media to bring your community together.
Create relatable content keeping in mind how the lives of your target audience may have changed during the pandemic.
However, tread carefully. If you hard sell your products, you may come across as opportunistic and insensitive. Instead, focus on how your business can help your audience.
Keep in mind that everyone is going through a hard time. So, while communicating with your audience, empathy is essential.
Take for example this campaign from Airbnb:
As a part of their campaign, the company partnered with their hosts to provide free or subsidized home stays for 100,000 COVID-19 responders globally.
Image via Instagram
3. Create Digital Products
As we discussed earlier, it’s important to look at different ways of generating income for your business continuity.
But it’s easier said than done.
Most businesses are losing out on work and revenue. So, what can you do to maintain your business continuity?
Here is a tip:
Create more digital products.
Not only can they help you boost your brand awareness, but they can also provide you with some passive income.
The best part is that product-based businesses, as well as service-based businesses, can use this strategy for business continuity.
You can leverage digital products like ebooks, online courses, downloadable music, white papers, email templates, and other useful resources to generate income online.
If you are not short on cash, you could also provide free access to your digital products. That way, you can get more leads and can lock in customer loyalty.
Once you’ve created your ebooks, templates, or white papers, make sure you feature them prominently on your website and social media pages.
Take a look at the pop-up box that the communication platform, Acquire, uses to promote its white paper on chatbots.
Image via Acquire
4. Get Involved in Social Causes
If you have the resources to help those in need, do so. Now is the time to contribute to social causes. Along with giving back to society, you can also earn your customers’ goodwill and boost your brand reputation.
If you don’t have money, you can volunteer or offer your products for free to those who may need it.
This can also become the highlight of your coronavirus marketing strategy.
Not sure how?
Take a leaf from Lyft’s cause marketing efforts.
As a part of their LyftUp campaign, the ride-sharing company is offering free rides to vulnerable communities and front line workers. They are also leveraging their transport network to deliver food and medical supplies to those who may need it.
Image via Lyft
Ready to Maintain Your Business Continuity?
Coronavirus is impacting businesses all around the world. If you want to ensure that you can survive these challenging times, you need to come up with a well-thought-out business continuity plan.
Keep in mind that you may have to pivot your strategy completely to provide value to your customers. You also need to boost your online presence to build resilience for your business.
Go digital — that should be your ultimate mantra!
Do you have any questions regarding maintaining your business continuity during the coronavirus crisis? Please mention them in the comments section below. I’ll be happy to help you out!
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