Is your business suffering due to the current pandemic? Are you looking for ways that you and your business can adapt to stay ahead of the outbreak?
As we know, the world is a scary unprecedented place right now. The outbreak of COVID-19 is something we've never seen before and has brought about disruptions in all types of businesses across many different industries. However, we are confident there is a way through by adapting and implementing some strategies in order to maintain your business.
We're providing some tips to help your business survive and potentially thrive throughout these times. Read through and learn about some strategies that your business can implement to keep afloat.
Keep an Open Mind and Stay Positive.
Look at this as a time of opportunity. These times have pushed people out of their comfort zone and forced us to think outside the box. It's healthy to step out of your comfort zone, by doing this you find things you may have never found otherwise and can lead to exciting new branches or ways of going about selling. Times like these bring about remarkable innovations! We are suddenly faced with extra time on our hands with events and socials etc. out of the picture. Our calendars are suddenly sparse allowing us to spend time on other things. Seize this opportunity to rethink our routines and spend time proactively and productively.
Use this time to:
- Declutter and organise your shop. 5 top tips on maintaining an effective fabric retail display
- Reflect on and rethink how you work and how to adapt
- Work on improving your way of working (even for long term)
Identify the Challenges to your Business
Secondly, list the challenges your business is facing during this pandemic. This could be from trouble with your suppliers to difficulty in communication, not being able to do sewing classes or finding it hard to generate customers and sales. Regardless of how the outbreak is going to pan out, plan for every conceivable scenario, including the worst. Reflect on things and how they are currently challenged, reconsider what you do, how you go about doing it and why you do it. At Kennard & Kennard, our biggest challenge was not being able to visit our customers face to face and generate sales.
Plan Solutions with Several Challenges
Once you have created your list of challenges, its time to generate solutions to overcome these problems.
INTRODUCE ONLINE MEETINGS
If you are a sewing tutor you may be finding it hard to be conducting classes during times of isolation. Instead of conducting sewing classes in a room together, how about doing a virtual lesson, using Skype or Zoom. This way your staying connected with your customers and maintaining business relationships and it also allows remote people to have access to lessons from professional instructors.
At Kennard & Kennard, we overcame our challenge of not being able to visit our customers face to face, by communicating through zoom meetings to display our latest collections and specials. This change has brought about some excellent feedback and results and is definitely something we will continue in the future.
Stay inspired! Changes we make now in view of adapting and becoming more efficient could potentially bring about innovations that we would have never otherwise thought of.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
If your having trouble with your suppliers, how about a quick phone call, to see how they are going because like every business, they too maybe going through a tough time.
Communication between employees, suppliers and customers is your ticket to success. It creates a stronger team, boosts growth and increases efficiency. Communication can be done through open meetings, one on ones, phone or social media. "Pick up the phone" and ring your clients, to see how they are going and remind them that you are here to help out. This is an effective way to stay in close contact with your customers because after these unprecedented times, you'll find that those customers are more likely to remember you and come back and buy from you again.
Between 9:30am-10:30am, Kennard & Kennard spend the time ringing new and old customers, to see how their fabric business is going and whether they need any help during these crazy times. We call this the 'power hour'. and it's a way to stay connected with our customers and listen to the struggles/successes they are going through. Every Monday morning we hold a 10-15 minute staff mtg. This allows us as a team to come together and raise any issues, announce any exciting news, draw in motivation and to see how our collegues are going.
DO NOT CUT YOUR MARKETING
When in crisis businesses tend to act defensively. Many businesses are frantically cutting back on their marketing efforts out of concern over losses and risks. Instead, focus on efficiency and use this time for innovation. Your competitors are also cutting these costs, so seize this opportunity to invest more in marketing as every dollar spent is now more effective as it delivers a higher share of voice above your competitor (who is still cutting back on their marketing budget). Capture additional market share while your competitors are losing ground. Also remember, consistency in your marketing can show strength and reliabilty and it is important to keep this trust and dependability between you and your customers. Stay in front of your customers minds.
So, our top tips to maintaining your business during Covid-19, is to first have a positive mindset, and know that this is only temporary and won't last forever. Secondly, declutter and reorganise your retail shop/website, make it appealing and attractive to customers. Thirdly, identify any challenges, however big or small and generate solutions to overcome these problems. Stay innovative and continue to communicate and keep up your marketing to your customers. For business of all kinds, it's important to not give up, to have a firm strategy in place and to remain flexible and adaptable in order to remain successful.