Your Business Can Survive and Thrive During the COVID-19 Pandemic - 9 Steps
Updated: May 18, 2020
Every business owner and every company executive team is nervous about the COVID-19 Pandemics' impact on their business. We have spoken to hundreds of owners/executive teams in a variety of industries and all have the same concerns.
Each business is struggling with split ideologies with customers, staff and decision makers on opening. The big question, do we open or not? Do we protect everyone at the cost of losing our business? When is the risk worth it? Listen, we are all in the same boat, it doesn’t matter if you are large company or small, deciding the next steps is a difficult one.
The good and bad news ultimately depends on which economist you believe; the US will lose around 20-30% of its businesses due to the financial impact of the virus. There are about 32.5 million businesses in the US. *1
The easy part is the math. If we go with 25% - the US will loss 8,125,000 businesses. The hard part…What are you going to do to make sure you are in the remaining ¾ of businesses that survive.
The first goal is to not simply survive but to thrive
The following is a list of things you must to consider to survive.
1. Evaluate your entire company and expenses.
You must do a complete evaluation of your company if you are going to survive. Many large corporations have an entire team to access this, but many mid-size and small companies do not have this. Worse, many don't know what they are looking for or even how to begin.
Most small companies have a lot of holes in their boat. It is critical to find them and repair the problem. Small holes will sink your ship in rough seas.
2. Develop if/then scenarios.
Note: Second Quarter is expected to be worse that 1st quarter. Companies are down 20-75%
Have you ever noticed how when you look into the future it gets brighter the farther out you go? We all have a natural tendency to look on the bright side. It’s why you’re in business in the first place… because you see a vision in the future that you believe, or believed, possible. The challenge with this is that when we run a forecast, or pro forma, we tend to use sunshine math. For example, it’s easy to say that in 16 months your sales will be up 10-18%. It’s easy to bump it up based on the numbers at the bottom line. Being real is critical, it’s painful, and it is very necessary
Your pro forma must consider possibilities. Best, likely and worst scenarios help you plan for the future without the burden of emotion. In many cases, bringing in outside help produces a much better outcome because the emotion is removed. It allows you, in any scenario, to consult your projection and make quick and appropriate decisions.
3. Finding the silver lining in a world gone mad.
Once you recognize the problem and give some time for the shock, disappointment, anger etc. to sink in, you can cope and are ready to move on. This is a very import part of the process. For many people that have sunk their entire life savings, dreams, etc. into their business it is extremely hard to face. Have a few drinks, rant, go ahead and have an emotional explosion and then get ready to move on!
The positive part of all of this – you can grow market share much faster in a slow economy than a strong economy. If your brand is not #1 in your segment, then there truly is a silver lining here. The door in now open for you to move up fast. This is not the time to cut marketing – its time to invest wisely!
Many brands we know of today thrived during the Great Depression –
P & G, GE, Disney, HP, Publix, Coke and Gallo Wines. They used aggressive marketing strategies while many of the competitors pulled back. The concentration of attention from the consumer means a stronger comeback for the companies who lean forward. But of course, you have to know how to make that happen. You have to keep pushing, branding, marketing in a down economy. That takes finesse.
What are some things you can do to THRIVE:
1. Re-evaluate your current marketing campaign– it might need message changes to fit with the new consumer market. Instead of just one campaign you might consider two or more with adjustments readily available for when the market begins to open.
2. Evaluate what marketing mediums are truly the most impactful - which mediums will best work during this time. Times have changed and continue to change quickly. A huge mistake of many is relying on what worked in the past.
3. Get your website and products online - This might be adding an e-commerce platform to your business. For companies with strong distributors this has been an ongoing topic – if you were going to move to on-line this is the best time to do it. It might save your company.
4. Get creative and BOLD - This is your best time to stand out in a crowd.
5. Do weekly evaluations of the campaigns and adjust to trends.
6. Be open to expansion - Parts of your business may be less in demand – find new avenues for your business that fit the current demand.
Let’s learn from the history of the Great Depression and Thrive during the COVID-19 Pandemic
For additional information on the points presented and other crisis management help visit www.btb-innovations.com or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
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