The coronavirus crisis is having a serious impact on many SMEs. It’s a stressful situation, but it’s also an opportunity to change the way we do business.
Countless businesses have had to slow their operations or even close as a health precaution, which cuts them off from their main source of income. But the lull has also freed up extra time. This is a good chance to rethink your business strategy and find new ways to deliver your services or generate revenue. Here are a few things you should consider when reassessing your business model.
Promote online sales
Self-isolation has boosted e-commerce, so it makes sense for companies to include online sales in their overall strategy. If you already have an online shop:
- Introduce deals or discounts to promote sales;
- Cut shipping costs to remove this disincentive;
- Offer freebies to get your name out there and boost sales of your other products or services.
Choose alternative sales methods
If your company doesn’t have a transactional website, see if you can use existing platforms or other means to liquidate stocks. For example:
- Partner websites;
- Secure sales portals;
- Telephone sales with products available for a scheduled pick-up or delivery by an external partner.
No matter which method you choose, make a point of promoting gift cards, which are a good short-term cash source.
Use technology to provide your services
There are great tools available to help professional service companies manage their customer relations and accounts:
- Turn to tech platforms like Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts to keep in touch with clients and offer virtual support;
- Create content like webinars and live videos to keep relationships alive and maybe even generate new revenues.
Your business could benefit from support measures, such as the government’s initiative Le Panier Bleu, the City of Montreal’s urban delivery and digital shift support, as well as a Québec program to help update the skills of your employees. Consult the summary of available support measures, updated on a regular basis on our website.
Innovate today to prepare for tomorrow
In the current context, customer needs are changing all the time. It stands to reason that the services they require today will be different from those they need tomorrow. How can you prepare for new expectations? It’s time to start innovating by developing new value-added products and services.
This is a time for renewal, so seize the opportunity to make adjustments so that your business will be stronger than ever when the crisis ends.
This is also a good time to review your business model and client journey so that you can determine how to protect business continuity in the future, no matter what happens.
For example, you might want to add new technologies for offering and distributing products or services.
Maintain your customer relations
No matter what happens, keep the lines of communication open with your customers:
- Remain present on traditional and online media;
- Send relevant information in your customer newsletter;
- Engage with customers on social media.
Use all channels and methods to strengthen relationships with current customers and be seen by prospects.
Share insights about the things you and your team are doing. Ask your customers about what things are like for them. Maintain close ties with your audience.
Be creative and engaged. When things get back to normal, you’ll be in a better position to resume operations.
Provide top-level service
Your business has slowed down, but you still have loyal customers? Take this opportunity to coddle them. By going the extra mile for certain clients, you’ll strengthen their fidelity and secure them as your ambassadors when the economy picks up.
As hard as things may be right now, this period presents an opportunity to reinvent your business, find new ways to create value for clients and expand your offer to generate income and keep your clients.
It’s not always easy to know which avenues to pursue. Our experts are there for you. They can help you reassess your business model and develop a winning strategy.
25 Mar 2020 | Written by :