From the outset, it may seem that growth opportunities during a pandemic are thin. Everyone’s home, businesses are either completely shut down or operating at a much lower capacity and the purse strings for most are tight. While it’s true that the pickings are slim, there are still ways in which you can grow your business and not only survive, but thrive during Covid-19.
Below, we are sharing 8 ways that businesses have used to continue growing during these troubled times. Read on and learn what you can do to make the most of this pandemic.
1. Adopt a New Business Model
As we enter into the recovery stage of the pandemic, this is the best time to adapt your business model to the new realities that have surfaced. Pivot is going to be your new strategy, as the Harvard Business Review recommends.
Take the example of 58gin, a local distillery in London, UK. As the businesses shut down and lockdown orders were issued at the start of the pandemic, it became clear to the owners of the business that things in their current format may not work. Not many people were showing up to buy the gin, of course.
The company immediately dedicated its operations and resources to manufacturing hand sanitizers – a burning need of the time. It also dedicated a percentage of the portion to local charities. The move not only kept the business relevant to the local community, but also ensured its survival, success, and the strengthening of its reputation.
2. Digitize What You Can
A key growth strategy that most successful businesses have adopted during the pandemic is to go digital. While a robust online presence has always been helpful for businesses, the pandemic has spurred the shift to online in a blindingly fast way.
Munro Fruit Merchants, a Scotland-based local business moved its business to a completely digital model and started taking online orders for collection and delivery. The business not only stayed afloat but grew to an extent that it had to put policies in place where orders were prioritized and no orders except for online are being catered.
3. Customize Your Core Offer to Covid
What is your core product or service? Are you a tech brand? A gym? A restaurant? One way to forge your path towards scaling your business growth is to listen to what your customers are asking for and tailor your product to suit their needs.
American office furniture startup, Branch, nearly went bankrupt when the pandemic hit. According to a report by Tech Crunch, the company’s revenues went from $800,000 in the first weeks of March to an absolute zero. Before the venture could go bust, it started offering home office furniture to hundreds and thousands of NY employees who were being asked to work from home.
The sales stabilized and then increased. Its best-selling item, an ergonomic chair, even went out of stock multiple times. So, if you are wondering what you could do to make sure your sales do not experience a steep dip, customize your product and keep selling.
4. Support Your Team
The Covid-19 pandemic has been instrumental in helping a large portion of the global population to relearn and realize what is important in life. People increasingly felt the need to make the most of what’s available, to realign priorities, and to reconnect with what matters.
In this vein, audiences have been keeping a keen eye on brands to see how they are treating their employees and customers. Brands that cared for their employees in one way or another gained brilliant upticks in positive brand perceptions. Those that failed to do so, suffered consumer wrath.
Some ways you can show your employees your appreciation:
- Reduce your salary as a founder so more employees can be paid their salaries.
- Introducing mental health wellness initiatives
- Applying for government loans so you can pay salaries.
- Multidisciplinary employment training so if one department is being laid off, another can use their services.
5. Communicate Openly and Often
Staying in touch with your audience and keeping them a part of your brand story is going to be extremely helpful to your efforts of growth. As you try to scale your business to offer your services to a larger audience, you are going to rely on your existing customers to share a good word about you.
To be able to do that, you need to talk more to your customers and be authentic in what you have to say. Tell them your goals, your vision, and listen to what they have to say. To keep the communication lines open, post on your blog often, update your About Us and other relevant pages on your website, and host live Q&A events. You can also do qualitative surveys and give your consumers a chance to say what they want to say.
6. Improve Brand Presence Online
Before customers can be enticed to listen to your communication and your plans for navigating Covid-19 waters, they need to look at you and feel the interest to pause and pay attention.
To do that, you need to change your brand façade accordingly. Remember all those pandemic-appropriate logo design changes brands went through during the first Covid wave? McDonald’s separated its famous arches, Coca Cola added spaces between each of its letters, and even the NBA man stopped running and sat down in front of its laptop.
All of these visuals told audiences how each of these brands was taking this pandemic seriously and responding not only in policies but visually too. If you find your brand looking for an image adjustment, an AI-based logo design tool such as Logo Design might do the trick. But don’t stop there. Alter your tagline and make appropriate changes to your web design, too. Also, make sure that your copy is consistent with these changes for the most effect.
7. Strategize Your Marketing
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 areas where you anticipate the most returns. If you haven’t been already, think about ROI and nothing else.
Pay the most attention to digital marketing. But look at paid ad campaigns and influencer partnerships that haven’t been giving back a lot. Perhaps partnering with multiple micro-influencers instead of a single mega one is the right way to go. It will certainly mitigate your risks.
Some other ways you can rethink marketing to suit a pandemic-ridden and post-pandemic world:
- Pay attention to your existing customers and build stronger ties with them. Send care packages, arrange check-in calls, and overall show them that you care.
- Utilize the affordability of Facebook ads.
- Host giveaways, discounts, and deals.
- Everybody is on their mobile now, so optimize your website for better mobile viewing.
- Don’t forget email marketing.
- Pay attention to SEO and link building.
- Be active on social media.
8. Host Virtual Events and Live Sessions
Everybody is on their mobile phone and video is increasingly becoming the #1 type of digital content that people love to see. No matter if the video is recorded or if you are conducting a live session, people want to engage with the action of it.
So, go where your customers are at. Create a video-based content marketing strategy where live sessions, webinars, and virtual events are the main thing. Consider the example of luxury fashion. Brands such as Prada, Saint Laurent, and Balenciaga – among many others – opted to host digital fashion shows amid the pandemic. Even Hollywood hosted its Emmys virtually in 2020. The SAG awards were also a digital event this past week.
So, consider going live on your stream and think seriously about video as your main marketing tool.
Over to You
The growth strategies we have discussed here will not only help you remain robust in the short-term but can also fuel your growth in a long-term lens. Adaptability is going to be the keyword here. Remain nimble 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 of this is over.