In the wake of current circumstances, it’s understandable if you feel concerned about the longevity of your business, especially if you’re a small company or start-up. If your business relies on face-to-face interactions, then you maybe even more concerned.
In this piece, we want to talk about the opportunities the current situation presents. Which might seem a little odd given that it’s a global pandemic, but crisis pushes us to get creative, and this is no different.
If you’re like us and your business is office-based; you’ve likely followed the Government’s advice and initiated a working from home policy. While this may be a paradigm shift, it’s also the opportunity for businesses of all sizes to propel themselves into the 21st century and embrace new digital mediums across all areas of their business.
But what if your business relies on face-to-face interactions?
The opportunity isn’t just for office-based companies that are yet to embrace digital. We’ve been thinking about how traditional businesses such as tutors, beauticians, and even small stores can use digital to transform their business in the short-term, with potential long-term positive impact.
For some small stores, this might mean finally taking the plunge to create a small online store that will allow your customers to continue to purchase your goods online. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just something to give your brand presence and to share with the locals, who’ll already know you from the high street.
If you’re a restaurant, this could be the time to introduce delivery to your offering. Use social to communicate your menu, pricing, and how to make an order to keep the business following. It’s important to remember that our wants and needs haven’t changed, it’s just how we get them that’s going to be different.
For those who usually teach classes or individuals for things like music lessons, Zumba or Yoga, you could start to consider live streaming via Facebook or Google Hangouts and uploading small, teaser classes to your socials or website. It might be that you’re not online at all, and you use this time to create a social presence and build a website.
You could even monetise your video content. Creating evergreen content and then uploading this to an app or eLearning website means you can create valuable footage that people would pay for. It might mean hours of recording upfront, but it’s worth making use of your downtime if it means you can charge for this later on.
A lot of small businesses are already thinking about how they can move their offering online. While it might be tempting to makes cuts at times like these, history has shown us that those that bury their head in the sand or cut back on their marketing now are the ones who will find themselves struggling to catch up when the situation improves – and it will improve at some point. The truth is that when the current crisis is all over, things will be different, and those businesses that survive the isolation will be those that have gotten creative, kept their customers in the loop and possibly continued to make money online.
A similar thing happened during the financial crash of 2008/09, a slightly different crisis but a very similar business impact. At the time, traditional print-based marketing was the established practice, and digital was the up-and-coming underdog. Those businesses that embraced digital marketing during 2009 and onwards realised that it was a much richer and more effective way of getting their business out there. It has a much more immediate impact and a greater level of insight; digital marketing emerged from the financial crisis as a much more effective form of marketing while traditional media has never really recovered.
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