Mar 25, 2020 Preparing Your Business or Organization NOW for the Aftermath of the Coronavirus Pandemic
Life as we know it has been a little different lately (that may be the understatement of the century) with the mandatory shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders from various states, cities, and counties around the U.S. due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This has caused millions of businesses and organizations to either shut down completely or drastically alter how they operate. Each day, businesses are shut down, it is costing money due to fixed costs that can’t be reduced. Those costs include rent, web hosting, insurance, loan repayments, services under contract, and many other necessary expenses. With little to no revenue, this hurts.
While many people are panicking and not doing anything to help their businesses or organizations, I’m suggesting that you be proactive during this time. While selling your products or services during this time of shutdowns may not be feasible, there is something you can do. You can plan ahead. You can be ready as soon as the pandemic is over. You can be ready to go at it 100% on the first normal day back at the office.
Update Your Company Goals
If you haven’t revisited your business goals in a while, now is the time. Are you still on track? If not, how will you adapt to get back on track? If you don’t have written business goals, get started creating them. Goals give us something to work toward. They also help motivate your employees to reach them. Lay out a plan not only of the realistic goals you want to achieve, but also the steps needed to reach those goals. Is it increasing local web visibility? Is it making more phone calls? Better social media management? Consistent and relevant blog content? Increasing sales (pretty much a given for all companies)?
For maximum effectiveness, incentivize the goals. If your organization reaches your goals, celebrate. It may be a dinner out with your team. It may be a cash bonus. Or it may be corporate gifts for each employee. If choosing corporate gifts, make sure they are high-quality items and useful to your employees. Remember, they don’t have to be items that are used at work.
Is your branding a bit outdated? Does your company logo need refreshing? Maybe it only needs a color update. Maybe it needs to be simplified. Use this time to modernize your branding. Refreshing your brand can improve trust with your current customers as well as with your prospects. This shows that your company is proactive. There is something to be said for old-fashioned, however, if everything about your business remains the same as it was 20 years ago, your business will likely become obsolete. New and smart competitors are arising everyday in every industry. It’s so important to remain proactive and make sure your branding is speaking to your target audience. Our graphic designers can help with your brand makeover.
Prepare Marketing Campaigns
As soon as society normalizes again, be ready with your next marketing campaign. You don’t want to have to go back and spend a week preparing it before it can launch. Being prepared to launch on Day 1 will ensure you are ready and ahead of your competition. As businesses, we need our streams of revenue to pick up quickly to make up for the losses we are all experiencing during this downtime. Non-profit organizations need donations to pick up as soon as possible. Create your digital marketing assets during this downtime. Prepare your email campaigns now that you plan on launching when your office reopens. Order your promotional items now to compliment your campaign so you have them in hand when you need them. Did you know that according to a PPAI study, 88% of people who receive a promotional item can recall the advertiser when asked later? That’s powerful, especially considering you have seen thousands of billboards, web banners, and TV commercials and likely can name very few you’ve recently seen. Go ahead and try to recall them…I’ll wait while you think.
Here are some more interesting findings from a recent PPAI Consumer Study.
Update Your Website
It’s so easy to get busy with sales and the everyday tasks of running your business and neglect your website. Think of your website as a salesperson who is on duty 24 hours a day. What is that salesperson saying to your prospective customers? Is it telling them about outdated information? Incorrect pricing? Irrelevant information for the current times? Is it time for a website upgrade or major update? These times we are in may be the wake-up call letting you know it’s time to start selling your products and services online. Be prepared for the next time you are forced to close or work remotely. Many businesses have already experienced closures in the past depending on their geographical location. While it’s not quite the same, closures may have happened from events such as hurricane evacuations or wildfires. You can bet many of these businesses learned from those experiences and prepared their company for situations like what we are in now. If you are ready for a new website, we have web designers ready for your project.
Get Ready to Welcome Back Your Employees
While some people thrive working remotely, many are easily distracted and plagued with various struggles. Here’s an interesting survey that Buffer conducted:
The truth for most is while it sounds great to work from home, the majority of people will miss those in-person interactions with other colleagues. Most need the motivation from others.
Make sure you welcome back your employees with a nice gift. Maybe it’s a nice company branded water bottle or maybe it’s a spiffy new laptop case. You know your employees. Go with a welcome back gift they will like and can use.
You’re likely going to find that your staff will come back excited and full of energy. Adding a warm welcome will help motivate them to go above and beyond to get the revenue flowing again!
New Team Shirts
Is it time to refresh your team shirts? Maybe it’s also time for a new design. Think about releasing new shirts to your staff quarterly. Shirts get old and look dingy over time. Excessive washing and drying can make shirts look less than professional. Keep your employees looking sharp by offering them a new shirt on a regular basis. Switch styles and change up the designs often to keep it exciting! If you don’t have a designer on staff, no worries, our graphic design department can help. We can help you find the popular (and comfortable styles) while creating amazing designs.
Dedicate a day of the week to wear specific shirts. Maybe Friday is t-shirt day. Monday can be polo day. This makes for great photos of your team so you can share on social media. Your customers and prospects want to see the faces behind the corporation. Be sure to add this personable element to your marketing.
New shirts can also be part of your welcome back package for your employees. New apparel is always exciting to receive when it looks good and it’s comfortable to wear!
While the effects of this pandemic are significant and reaching to most industries, we can work through it. We can prepare for our future success instead of being paralyzed with fear. We can be strategic instead of giving up. We can choose to find the positives of the situation we are in instead of focusing on the negatives.
While enjoying some of the downtime with your family is certainly advised, use some of your time to prepare your company for reentry into commerce. For most small business owners, we have little to no time during the average day to work on our own company branding. We are working hard for our customers and not always thinking about our own needs. Therefore, take advantage of these strange times when customers are scarce. Update your business goals. Refresh your branding. Beef up your own marketing. Update your website. Prepare welcome back kits for your employees. Order new team shirts or uniforms. Set your company up to be successful as soon as you can go back to business as usual. Good luck to you and your business. I wish you prosperity and success. I look forward to helping you anyway I can.