We have had the dotcom bust and the great recession of 2008 before and we’ve survived it all. Even though the impact of the global pandemic is unparalleled, what we have learned is adapting to change, the only constant, is the key to business continuity and emerging out stronger than ever before.
You can pivot, once you are stable
New ideas and innovation are central to business coming out of their darkest phases and tiding over the new normal. Times of change, including experimenting and creating new things, can also be turned into times of growth. However, pivoting the business can be a daunting task and has to start with something as basic as sustaining the business, as much as possible.
Now is the time to make changes you never had the time for earlier. For example, evaluating talent, reviewing contracts, and deciding on what’s truly necessary. It’s time to streamline the financials by identifying and plugging-in the gaps to reduce losses, becoming leaner in terms of cost burdens, and therefore more agile to move forward.
Once you’ve attained the required stabilisation, 3dotDigital, one of the leading cross-sector technology companies assisting businesses in Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands, has some suggestions for you to not just sail past the crisis but also increase your profit-oriented growth.
Make the Internet work for you
If you are still a brick and mortar company in 2020, you need to turn it digital and explore how you can sell and deliver your products and services online. As a starting point, look at how others in your industry have done it. Grocery stores can encourage people in the catchment area to place orders online; doctors can engage in telehealth and Zumba instructors can impart classes via conferencing platforms like Microsoft Teams or Zoom; real estate firms can showcase their properties using digital walkthroughs and augmented reality. The remote work or Work-From-Home paradigm has set in, and demand for online content, including products and services online has substantially increased. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Aligning your value proposition to current market needs
Customers’ needs have changed and you need to align your existing assets and resources accordingly. Fashion majors have switched to making masks, and gloves, and even protective suits for health workers. Telcos have directed their salesforce to start pitching high-speed broadband Internet connections like fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) in residential colonies and not just in central business districts. Chemical companies are selling sanitising products and gadget traders have started selling handheld infrared temperature measuring devices.
What is it that people will open their purses to, as of now? How can you as a business provide any of what they are looking for now? Answers to these questions will show you the direction in which to pivot.
Resonate with your customers
Realign your marketing material to communicate with your customers how much you would value their help, along with the commitment to do everything in your power to help them. For example, telcos can request new subscribers to opt for an annual package instead of monthly pay-outs and get an attractive discount. It is important to maintain a good relationship with them either through newsletters, or through social media. This is the best time to put up more engaging content online related to your products and services. The gym chain can share videos of easy exercises one should be doing after long work-from-home sessions. If people like these videos, the gym chain is highly likely to get their membership as and when things look up. Tell them that you care in a creative way because this mutual trust matters, more so during the crisis than ever.
Collaborating or partnering can help you come up with new products and services besides reaching out to new customers, markets, and resources. Think of partners who can sell your products and services along with theirs as the right fit. For example, insurance companies can collaborate with banks to sell their policies. It makes perfect business sense for the telcos too for they can showcase entertainment as a value-add to connectivity.
Last but not the least, it’s okay to fail and you can take respite in the fact that a tech giant like Google failed in its social media experiment not once but twice (Orkut and Google+). Also, remember that some of the large enterprises that you see today (WhatsApp and Uber) were founded during the great recession of 2008. It’s about doing what you have absolute control over and quitting what is beyond the realm of your current capabilities.