Whether you’ve been in business for decades or are just starting out, changing times call for reset and reflection. They also demand innovation, resilience and a new way of thinking. Did you know that some of today’s most successful companies – think Uber, Airbnb, Slack and WhatsApp – were founded during the last US recession of 08-10? So how do you make the new normal work for you? And what can you do now to not just survive, but thrive like never before?
It’s time to pivot! List your capabilities and available resources and then map them to newly emerging customer problems. For example, Four Pillars Gin Company in Healesville has mixed leftover alcohol with aloe vera to create ‘Heads, Tails and Clean Hands’, to help alleviate the shortage of hand sanitiser. With decreasing demand for flowers, Fitzroy’s Vasette Flowers are using their delivery networks and cold storage facilities to provide produce boxes to families. Think about the value you can provide people and the kinds of things they need most, then get to work.
Broaden your horizons
Consider advertising in ways you haven’t thought about before to reach customers you didn’t know you could have. Try Spotify, Youtube or if you haven’t already, give Instagram or Facebook advertising a go. If you don’t have the cash reserves, do a bit of research and submit your business or products to lists on blogs and in publications like Broadsheet, Pledge now… Play later’s Instagram, Support your local or #savehospo. Grab people’s attention now while they’re online and listening. Then find a way to turn that value into long lasting customer relationships.
Don’t forget your people
Maintaining strong customer relationships will be your strongest tool to weather the storm. Keep your customers in the loop with any changes to your business and find ways to continue providing value. Reach out personally if you can and thank them for their support. Offer discounted gift vouchers for bulk sale, discounts for ‘friends and family’, add value with free delivery, handwritten notes, or small items of thanks.
Activate your community
Staying close to home (albeit further apart) is essential to our survival. People are therefore looking to their local communities for the things they need the most. Consider hosting a virtual town hall. Start a Facebook page for your suburb and list all the businesses to support. Team up with other local businesses and offer cross-sales and promotion like these three shops in Melbourne have.
In times of uncertainty and hardship, starting a business might feel like the worst thing to do, but it could also be the perfect time to start a side hustle or chase that entrepreneurial dream. Download our Startup Starter Kit to get the ball rolling or reach out with your questions and we’ll get them answered by one of our entrepreneurs.
It’s not all doom and gloom. With the right resources and a bit of support, we can all find opportunity in the new normal and use our entrepreneur within to take the world by the storm.