I totally understand the fear that some small businesses have as lockdown take hold in the UK. If you run a service-led business, chances are you’re going to be closed for business as you’ve always known it for a while. If you’re selling products your customers will no longer come to you; you’re going to have to adapt and find new ways to get to your customers. It’s not going to be easy, but why not embrace the challenge and see if you can find a long-term positive from all this mess? Here are some reasons to be optimistic:
Perhaps you should have been using social media and online a little bit more anyway?
The best way to communicate with your customers going forward through Covid-19, without doubt, is online. Social media and emails marketing is going to become the way to reach customers who still need your product and services but can’t come to you. Perhaps, you should have been doing this before?
Now is the time to get to grips with social media, master Mailchimp and engage with your customers through online communities. Talk to them now while they’re listening and they need you. Hopefully, they’ll reward your efforts by staying around once things go ‘back to normal’.
You are not alone!
Everyone is facing the same challenges and as such, the whole market WILL change. People will have to learn to buy online or by phone a lot more. Deliveries and online-services are going to become normal – perhaps this is actually a really good way to do things anyway? We’ve been told for years that meetings will become more ‘virtual’ as technology allows better services, but until forced, we’ve perhaps not embraced it. Post Covid-19, I think people will be much more accepting of online pilates classes, online consultancy, online social Zooming; although of course none of this completely replaces one-to-one interaction, it will have become much more ‘normal’.
More businesses must have set up delivery services than ever before – will this stay? I hope so! Local shops have connected with customers they lost to big store decades ago, mainly because the big brands can offer the convenience of deliveries and choice. When local starts to compete with this – which it has – that’s when I think things can get really interesting.
People are at home
When have you ever had better access to your potential customers who have, potentially, a bit less to do every day? If you’re selling something that isn’t a commodity, perhaps a lifestyle product or service, now is the time to get them hooked. Chances are they’ll love what you have to offer and become a loyal customer and advocate of your brand.
Take stock and prepare
How many times have you thought that you’d like a break from the routine to take stock and refocus? If your business is shut completely, that must be so hard, but try to focus on post-lockdown and how you’ll come out of the chaos full-steam and ready to go. If you want to change things, think about that now – launch a new line of product, target that new audience group, launch your new-look brand.
If your business is having to adapt to reach your customers, think long term. Can you keep doing this alongside your ‘normal’? Is this, in fact, a whole new revenue stream that could continue into the future?
I’m often accused of having rose-tinted glasses, but in times of crisis, I think a little optimism and enthusiasm is a good tonic to getting through. Hence the name Briteside! Make a plan, think outside your normal box, go for it. This is a strange time and probably (hopefully) not one that will reoccur again soon. Use it to your advantage, if you can. If you need a bit of guidance of just a kick-up-the-bum we’d love to help.
If you need any support during this time or just want to talk through some ideas, we’d love to hear from you. We’re offering free telephone/Zoom consultation. Get in touch to arrange!