2020 has already been quite a year, hasn’t it? Who would’ve thought that soon the world is going to be battling against an unexpected, new-born virus, which would soon cease human activities, almost all over the globe. This sounds like the story line of an old Sci-Fi movie, right? Corona virus crisis has hit our personal lives hard, but it has hit our professional lives even harder. People are advised to stay indoors and adapt social distancing as an everyday practice, till we have a better solution to deal with the global pandemic. There is no sugar-coating this situation. Thousands have lost their lives, and many severely affected.
People working in major sectors such as hardware manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, transportation and tourism have been critically impacted. They’ve lost near and dear ones, their freedom, their jobs, and have incurred huge losses in their businesses due to COVID-19 crisis. Aiming at keeping ourselves well informed on what is going on and how we can make conscious changes in our personal and professional lives, we have important information and advice to businesses on how to embrace the situation with open arms and transform the face of their businesses. To stay well informed is the first step to device the right path forward.
The Your Hustler team has extensive experience developing digital products.
Impact of Corona Virus Crisis on the Global Market
“In the United States, the number of people filing for unemployment hit a record high, signalling an end to a decade of expansion for one of the world’s largest economies”-BBC news
The corona virus pandemic has left most, if not all, businesses counting costs. World’s major economies are suffering grave damages during corona virus crisis. Shares worldwide have taken a big dip since January. Investors, across the sphere, fear that the spread of the corona virus will destroy years of progression in economic growth. Consequently, unemployment, especially in the U.S., has hit an all-time high. The developing countries are suffering as well, with reduced labor and low cash flows, and poor healthcare facilities make it even more sketchy. The travel industry is going through loses due to movement restrictions and no tourism. Industrial production is suffering due to bans on imports and exports.
“In China, where the corona virus first appeared, industrial production, sales and investment all fell by 13.5% in the first two months of the year, compared with the same period in 2019”- China National Bureau of Statistics.
China makes up a third of manufacturing, globally. As a result, all of hardware selling businesses have suffered delays, customer escalations and lost opportunities. And so, the vicious circle continues indefinitely. On one end, if you had your business partners or suppliers linked to China, the impact to the supply chain and eventually customer satisfaction has been devastating. On the other end, customers, to begin with, are hesitant to purchase or do business due to budgeting or cost cutting measures due to the global crisis.
There’s no denying that the situation is bad, and that we will take time to recover and get back on track. But if there’s a silver lining in this emergency, it has to be this- the universal pandemic is nudging us to stay digitally linked with the universe and try to regain what is lost- connect, stay informed, and collectively work toward resolving the crisis. Despite of all the downfalls of COVID-19 at a macroeconomic level, all is not grey. This could be the birth of a truly digital culture that all old and new business owners must welcome.
Legacy business owners need a shift in their plan to keep their businesses afloat. If you had a traditional store with great customers, you suddenly find your profit plummeting. You’re not getting much anything anymore, are you? So, at this point, do you accept defeat and relive all the good times your business has had in the past, or you put your energy in devising a plan to embrace the Digital era now more than ever?
If you’re a fresh start-up owner, you had planned just the perfect road map focusing on growing your business and getting stability. The only thing that you didn’t consider was a world crisis. Should you keep your blinders on and continue your planned path, or take a new approach?
If you find yourself aggregating with the latter parts, this is the right place to be.
No business can succeed without people being in a good personal space. To keep your mental and physical fitness in check during the adversity, we have a few quick tips before we get into business related specifics:
- Stay Positive. Have a glass-half-full frame of mind.
- Do Not Panic. Be comfortable with changes and uncertainties as a way of life.
- Manage your Family and make them understand that you have their backs
- Do an activity that you love, preferably on your own, or indoors.
Alright, now that we have the personal aspects taken care of, let’s jump right into how your business can succeed in a time of an overall crisis, such as now.
10 things that businesses need to do during the corona virus crisis, RIGHT NOW!
1. Invest in Digital transformation of your business
We are in the middle of uncertainty. Experts have divided opinions over the long-term impact of the corona virus crisis on the market. However, majority have consensus over a lasting impact of the ongoing abrupt digitization, as consumers become used to digital services and form new habits, quicker than ever. To put in simpler words, transform your business or become irrelevant: It is as clear as it could ever be. Each brand needs to decide on whether to invest in technological improvements or digital transformation. Smart one would bank on this and would go digital with full force and conviction. The next few steps would further stress on why your focus should be on building a strong online/virtual identity for your company.
2. Digital Media and Online presence
Due to the pandemic, more people are online than ever before. And this behavior will persist. What that means for your business is to make sure that your business can be found online and has a great impression. Spend your time and money on digital marketing so that you can be found ahead of your competitors. Most of them have probably stopped spending on marketing which makes up for the perfect time to move ahead.
3. Increase your digital content on the internet: videos, blogs, testimonials, reviews
Remember that time when you were so held up on increasing digital content and online presence for your business? And then, other things came up. Well, now is just the right time. Start with going back to your old clients and requesting for testimonials and review your work. Write more blogs, both text and video, on your web page and on digital media. Market researchers predict a rapid shift in consumer behavior to go fully digital. And having good testimonials will only help strengthen your case over others. Whether you’re in the teaching profession or in other spheres, webinars are a highly effective way to engage your audience into listening to what you have to say. So, spend that free time on planning for weekly webinars.
4. SEO the hell out
Search engine optimization (SEO) is probably the most effective tool right now. Done in the right way, it helps your business climb up on online search results. So, a prospect looking for a service goes online and looks for it. And look where they ended up, with you. SEO is a great way to attract new customers and be out there in the digital sphere. And that’s what businesses need to focus on in times like this when the whole world is relying on digital content.
5. Digital Advertisements
Your clients are not going to look out of their windows for that banner or pamphlet your marketing team has been working on. They’re going on their phones and laptops. So, invest in advertisements online such as Pay-per-click advertisements on Google, Facebook, and have a powerful landing page directing lookers to your website.
6. Keep in touch with your clientele virtually:
Staying transparent with your customers in a worldwide calamity is pivotal to hold on to your clientele. You need to assure them that your business has the right mindset to overcome the crisis with greater prosperity. To give a personal touch, use virtual tools like Microsoft Teams, Zoom or Google Hangouts to talk and hear their concerns. You could also host or record video calls and share with them.
7. Stay transparent with your employees. Keep them positive
The engine of an organization is its workforce. Whether you have a hand-full or hundreds, every single one of your resources are crucial in times like these. Be as connected to them as possible. If you were in the middle of hiring new talents, do not hold on till everything clears out. Interview your potential employees, and even interact with prospect customers, on their experiences, skills, and culture.
8. Know your competitor’s strategies
It’s always a good idea to sniff around and be aware of what your competitors are doing in an uncertain market situation as the one we’re currently in. Are they doing something that we need to investigate? Moreover, what are the things we, as a business, can do to differentiate ourselves.
9. Administrative clean-ups
They say that clean and organized environment leads to clear thinking and effective strategies. Same goes for a company’s internal data management. So, prioritizing it at this moment would turn out to be highly beneficial in the long run. You could analyse that data you were always so interested in build that presentation deck or dashboard that was never on the top of the list. Now us the time.
10. Strategize on during and post COVID situations
Most, if not all, of the highly effective marketing strategies include taking the current situation and offering a solution or service related to it. It’s a great way to get new customers, increase profitability, and win customer loyalty. Look into investing in new, creative ventures such as partnering with other businesses or clients to provide shared services as a package. The list could be endless on what can be done.
There cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach for such scenarios as a global rampant. However, as business owners and leaders, we need to be creative and be open to explore new avenues. As a matter of fact, what was once a ‘nice to have’ could eventually become a ‘must have’ for the existence of a company. And while short term survival needs to be priority, for businesses to thrive over a longer time period, business owner must revisit their digital transformation plans, as stressed on earlier. Remember, how you decide to react to the current crisis is going to make a significant difference for the future of your business. So, now that you have these 10 things businesses need to do during the corona virus crisis, act now.