Turbulent times can send small businesses failing. But they don’t have to. As Einstein once said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” No matter how COVID-19 turns the world on its head, resilient businesses can still build thriving brands.
Here’s where to start.
1. Rebuild your buyer personas
There’s no substitution for knowing your audience. Truth is, your customer’s pre-pandemic needs were likely different from what they are now. Meaning the marketing strategy you launched a year or even a month ago could be out of step. Take the time to reexamine and reorder your persona’s pain points, then work backwards to decide how you’ll address them, eventually sharing that information across the appropriate digital channels for your target market.
2. Conduct a product assessment
COVID-19 has shifted the ground beneath our feet. Brands who want to stay upright may need to shift their positioning alongside it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change your products or core services. Rather, reimagine your unique selling proposition to best reflect the mindset of your key consumer. Aligning with these attitudes will put you in the best position to satisfy their preferences.
3. Be an employer of choice
How you treat your employees is a direct reflection of your brand. The better you care for those that work for you, the better your customers believe they’ll be treated when they work with you. Done right, your employees are also one of your best, untapped marketing resources. Looking for ways to better support your staff? Given that 52% of Australians find it difficult to switch off from work’, you might start by offering flexible hours, even when working from home. Finding ways to stay connected with your team, establishing a uniform online collaboration policy and investing in resources to help your team cope with the stress of the unknown can all go a long way.
4. Leave a lasting impression
Company value looks different during a pandemic. Suddenly, it’s less about the products or services you sell and more about how human your brand can be. You may have more impact by marketing less and helping more. Think about how you can donate your time, talent or treasure to your employees, customers and community.
With a bit of preparation and an eye toward tomorrow, unexpected obstacles can bring unexpected opportunity for small businesses.