“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills. “ – unknown author
Ask: Is there something new that I could do?
We all acknowledge that today is different to days from last week and last month. Things around us have changed. The change is real and has impact on our lives. One of the opportunities that change brings is the chance to look at how your business works and perhaps consider some new ways of working.
If you ask the right questions you may be surprised at the answers you find.
To start, consider the answers to these three questions?
- How can you broaden the range of products that you supply to your customers? Uncertain times are a time for developing new and improved products. Your current customer base is “warm”, they know you and you know them. Could you try to broaden what you offer to your existing customers?
- How can you broaden the range of customers that you deal with? Can your products be marketed, possibly in their current or an altered state, to new customer segments or new geographic markets? Can you improve the way you reach out to customers? Are there new paths available to get to the customer?
- How will your customers’ needs change during these uncertain times? As an example, how many people are now getting goods delivered to their home whilst they are in isolation? Lots and lots! This change has significantly increased the range of home delivery services and options. We know of a café that started delivering to their local community for $7 per delivery and did 30 deliveries on their first day. You should look at new ways of working to keep up with changing customer demands and needs. As we have seen, you can be sure that your customers’ needs and buying behaviours will change during these uncertain times.
Below we have collated some ideas that can get you thinking.
Join forces & collaborate
- Talk to other business owners in your area – what measures or improvements have they put in place? Could you work together in some way?
- Begin or join a loyalty program with other local businesses.
- Offering customers the option to order products from joint businesses e.g. a takeaway food supplier teaming up with an ice-cream shop.
Pick up & delivery services
- Introduce a pick-up and drop off service for customers that have identified as being at higher risk or are in quarantine.
- Offer meal deliveries to work and home for our hard-working doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers, as well as other essential service operators.
Adopt a “click and send” offering
- If you’re a bricks and mortar store or market seller, create an online shop to promote and sell your products online.
- Your Many Rivers business coach can assist you with creation of a customer agreement for delivery times including refund and exchange policy.
Increase your online presence
- Can your product be sold via subscription services? Try googling “subscription boxes” for ideas.
- There’s also a lot of benefit by increasing your activities to improve awareness about your business. Give yourself a goal to double your customer base. Sales are not the only objective for marketing, now is the time to focus on brand, reputation and presentation.
Repurpose or sell under-utilised equipment
- Is there equipment that you could use in a different way?
- Or is there another business that needs your equipment and prepared to hire it?
Declutter and launch a sale
- It’s a good time to review your current stock levels and move the old stock – get an early start on the annual mid-year sales!
Be a learner
- Sharpen your business skills. Now is the perfect time to learn a new skill like digital marketing.
- Take advantage of free webinars and courses where you can upskill and learn to reach your customers using the various social media platforms and email marketing tools.
Reassess your customers’ needs and wants – they may have changed dramatically over the last month. Think about how your customers may be coping (or not!) without your product or service. Get creative and see if there’s an opportunity to provide your product or service in a different way.
This is a list of ideas for specific industries:
- Hairdressers: Offer home hair colour packs, and hair treatment packs. Create “how to” video instructions.
- Health Products: If you sell essential oils or other health-oriented products, create positive health related social media posts and links for customers to buy from you. Create videos on how to make essential oil hand sanitizers, or better still make them yourself to sell.
- Gyms and Personal Trainers: Create online home weights programs, or live yoga and exercise videos every morning to keep your customers connected and motivated. You may consider charging a weekly subscription fee or sell or hire out weights and other equipment for people to work out from home.
- Beauty Salon: Create home beauty treatments, lashes or scrubs for customers to purchase and video tutorials on how to use them.
- Trainers and Coaches: People need you now more than ever! Now’s the perfect time to launch an online course or connect with clients.
- Restaurants/ Cafes: Switch to take away options and create home cook or freezer meal packs. It’s a great opportunity to create cooking class online videos.
- Dressmakers: turn your sewing skills to making facemasks.
Please note, the suggestions provided here are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific business situation. We recommend that you contact your Many Rivers business coach for a full review of your business plan.
Thinking about how you could adapt your business to change is important, even more so now in these uncertain times. If you are an existing Many Rivers client and have questions about adapting to change, please get in touch with your business coach, they are here to help. You can click here to read a summary of the top tips to protect your business.
For new clients, Many Rivers is here to help people start small businesses and grow existing businesses. We are here to support you the whole way. Please take the Small Business Self Assessment and see if we are right for you.
Thanks to the following article for inspiration for this post https://www.drrobertdavies.com/executivebriefings/recession-key-questions-for-business-survival-and-growth/
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