These are the two most common questions I’m getting from clients now that economies and businesses are starting to re-open. So what is the answer? Full transparency here – I’m not sure! I don’t think anyone is. That’s the nature of an unprecedented event, right? But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use our knowledge and experience to guide us as we “re-start the engine”. Chances are, we’ll need to tweak and twist along the way. But guess what happens when you do nothing? Nothing. And ‘nothing’ doesn’t pay the bills or grow businesses.
First Things First
The temptation may be to jump right back to business as normal, but people have been affected, so they want reassurance that their health and safety are being taken seriously. Establish safety procedures for employees and customers (these should align with the guidelines being recommended by healthcare experts like the CDC.) Just as important is communicating your plans and protocols. There are many different channels and platforms you can use for this (broadcast media, website, social media, email)…the important thing is making sure people know you’re taking the necessary steps to keep them safe.
Take Stock of Your Current Situation
If 2020 was shaping up to be a great year, don’t lose hope! Instead, take time to assess where you are. Has the competitive landscape changed? Did you uncover a potential new revenue source in the midst of all this? What about those customers you were courting prior to shutting down? Are you able to help them with a problem they are facing now? They need to know you’re back. Consider rolling out “recovery” specials and promotions (be sure to keep the tone less sales-y and more helpful.)
Adapt and Adopt
Ever hear “necessity is the mother of invention”? This certainly rings true now. What happened when people were told they couldn’t go to their office? They quickly adopted teleconferencing technology. Same thing for in-person doctor appointments. Even restaurants evolved into “grocers” as they looked to find ways to keep operating. Call it the entrepreneurial spirit or just good old-fashioned resilience – when times get challenging, people look for solutions.
Technology can be your best friend here. Many options exist for connecting and communicating within your organization and with your customers – and with so much emphasis on convenience, you can really set yourself apart by reducing any “friction” that exists along the customer journey.
Getting Out There
Here’s where you make it count. Whether you just cut back your marketing or stopped entirely – it’s time to get back out there. I know what you’re thinking…”I’ve just been shut down for two months and now you want me to spend money on marketing?” The short answer is YES. You won’t get back to business without a little push.
Consider marketing an investment in the future of your business rather than an expense you “can’t afford right now.” Perhaps there are other things you can trim back in order to take this important step forward? As difficult as this season has made it for businesses, there is opportunity on the other side – you just have to be ready to seize it. The good news? With so many marketing platforms available, you don’t need a huge budget – you just need the know-how to get the biggest impact for your business.
Even better news? The team at Miller Public Relations has the skill and experience to help guide you every step of the way. And good luck – as a fellow small business, we’re rooting for you! Reach out when you’re ready.