8 Tips to Improve Your Startup Business During a Pandemic
From the outset, it seemed that growth opportunities during the pandemic were slim. Everyone's homes, businesses are completely closed or operating at a much lower capacity and wallets are mostly tight. Even if the payoff is slim, there are still ways to grow your business and not only survive, but thrive during Covid-19.
Below, we share 8 ways businesses are using to keep thriving during these trying times. Read on and learn what JPase you can do to make the most of this pandemic.
1. Adopting a New Business Model
As we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic, this is the best time to adapt your business model to the new realities that emerge. Pivot will be your new strategy, as recommended by Harvard Business Review.
Take 58gin, a local distillery in London, England for example. As businesses closed and lockdown orders were issued at the start of the pandemic, it became clear to business owners that things in their current format might not work. Not many people showed up to buy gin, of course.
The company immediately dedicated its operations and resources to producing hand sanitizer for today's urgent needs. It also dedicates a percentage of the portion to local charities. This step not only keeps the business relevant to the local community, but also ensures its survival, success and strengthening of its reputation.
2. Digitize What You Can
The key growth strategy adopted by most successful businesses during the pandemic is going digital. While a strong online presence has always helped businesses, the pandemic has driven the switch to online in a very rapid way.
Munro Fruit Merchants, a local business based in Scotland moved to a fully digital model and started taking online orders for pick-up and delivery. This business has not only survived, but has also grown to the point of having to implement a policy where orders are prioritized and no orders except online are served.
3. Tailor Your Core Offerings to Covid
What is your core product or service? Are you a technology brand? A gym? A restaurant? One way to forge your path to scaling your business growth is to listen to what your customers are asking for and tailor your products to fit their needs.
office furniture startup Branch nearly went bankrupt during the pandemic. According to a report by Tech Crunch, the company's revenue rose from $800,000 in the first weeks of March to absolute zero. Before the business went bankrupt, he began offering home office furniture to hundreds and thousands of NY employees who were asked to work from home.
Sales stabilized and then increased. His best-selling item, the ergonomic chair, has even run out of stock several times. So, if you're wondering what you can do to make sure your sales don't suffer a sharp drop, adjust your product and keep selling.
4. Support Your Team
The Covid-19 pandemic has played a role in helping a large part of the global population to re-learn and realize what is important in life. People increasingly feel the need to make the most of what is available, to realign priorities, and to reconnect with what is important.
In this vein, audiences are constantly watching brands to see how they treat their employees and customers. Brands that care about their employees in one way or another get a brilliant boost in positive brand perception. Those who fail to do so suffer consumer ire.
Some ways you can show your appreciation to employees:
Reduce your salary as a founder so that more employees can receive their salary.
Introducing mental health initiatives
Apply for a government loan so you can pay your salary.
Multidisciplinary employment training so that if one department is laid off, other departments can use their services.
5. Communicate Openly and Often
Keeping in touch with your audience and making them part of your brand story will go a long way in your growth efforts. When you are trying to scale your business to offer your services to a larger audience, you will be relying on your existing customers to share the good news about you.
To be able to do that, you need to talk more with The Crunchy Coach and be authentic in what you say. Tell them your goals, your vision, and hear what they have to say. To keep the lines of communication open, post frequently on your blog, update your About Us and other relevant pages on your website, and host live Q&A events. You can also conduct a qualitative survey and give your customers a chance to say what they have to say.
6. Increase Online Brand Presence
Before customers can be persuaded to listen to your communications and your plans to sail the waters of Covid-19, they need to see you and feel the interest to pause and pay attention.
To do that, you need to change the facade of your brand. Remember all the pandemic-related logo design changes brands went through during the first Covid wave? McDonald's separated its famous arch, Coca Cola added spaces between each letter, and even the NBA man stopped running and sat down at his laptop.
All of these visuals tell the audience how each of these brands is taking this pandemic seriously and responding not only in policy but also visually. If you find your brand is looking for image adjustments, an AI-based logo design tool like Logo Design might help. But don't stop there. Change your tagline and make appropriate changes to your web design as well. Also, make sure your copy is consistent with these changes for maximum effect.
7. Set Your Marketing Strategy
This is the time to use your resources wisely. These resources include time, money, as well as effort. Your marketing needs to be focused on the areas where you anticipate the most returns. If you haven't already, think about ROI and nothing else.
Pay great attention to digital marketing. But look at paid advertising campaigns and influencer partnerships that haven't given much. Maybe partnering with multiple micro-influencers instead of one mega one is the way to go. This will definitely reduce your risk.
Some other ways you can rethink marketing to fit a pandemic and post-pandemic world:
Pay attention to your existing customers and build stronger bonds with them. Send a care package, arrange a check-in call, and demonstrate in its entirety that you care.
Take advantage of the affordability of Facebook ads.
Host giveaways, discounts and offers.
Everyone is on their phone now, so optimize your website for a better mobile view.
Don't forget email marketing.
Pay attention to SEO and link building.
Be active on social media.
8. Host Virtual Events and Live Sessions
Everyone is using their cell phone and videos are increasingly becoming the #1 type of digital content that people love to watch. It doesn't matter if the video is recorded or if you're doing a live session, people want to be involved with the action.
So go where your customers are. Create a video-based content marketing strategy where live sessions, webinars and virtual events are key. Consider the example of luxury clothing. Brands like Prada, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga – among many others have chosen to host digital fashion shows amid the pandemic. Even Hollywood is hosting its Emmys virtually in 2020. The SAG Awards were also last week's digital event.
So consider going live on your stream and think seriously about video as your primary marketing tool.
The growth strategies we have discussed here will not only help you stay strong in the short term but can also propel your growth in the long term lens. Adaptation will be the key word here. Stay agile and ready to change. This will not only pull you through the pandemic but also launch you as a leading brand in the post-pandemic world when all this is over.