Every day the uncertainty of “what’s next” looms over us. What is next for my business? What is next for the community? What is it going to be like when this is over?
The answer is: we don’t know. But you can work to be prepared.
“To be prepared is half the victory.” –Miguel de Cervantes
Since the rise of the COVID-19 situation and its impact on our community I have continually asked what’s next and what does it mean for the Alamance County Community? What will it be like when this time passes, and we try to achieve a “New Normal”?
As a business are you prepared for the “new normal”?
What steps should you take to ensure you’re ready, that your workforce is ready and that things go as smoothly as possible?
We all know the importance of handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer but what other protocols should business owners be thinking about? What is the best way to prepare to ensure conditions are safe for returning employees and customers?
The coronavirus is affecting all businesses and industries in unprecedented ways. Preparation is key in circumstances such as this one.
Here are some thoughts about preparation and for building resiliency during crisis and recovery:
Prepare for Increased Demand
Many businesses are suffering from a lack of customers due to stay at home orders. As a result, sales are declining, and revenue is dropping fast. Many companies are choosing to decrease their production and supply levels in order to prevent further financial loss. While cutting may help to alleviate some of the financial stress, be sure not to cut back too far. Cutting back on production is beneficial from a cost standpoint, but don’t do such a high level of cutbacks that your company is unable to bounce back and meet the increased demand once stay at home orders are eased. Predictions are the only option at this point but it is best to be prepared.
Continue Building Sales
Businesses are learning due to the massive shutdowns caused by coronavirus that the ultimate need to have multiple sales pipelines are essential. Non-essential businesses that have only one sales technique, such as customers coming in to a physical store location are struggling. With stay at home orders in effect for weeks in our community businesses cannot rely on one sales tool.
Flexibility is important for any business. How do you increase sales in a time when people cannot visit your location? Online! Learn how to market your business online, create an e-store, adapt to online gift card purchase program and curb side pick-up. Your shoppers may be confined to their homes, but some of them are still making online purchases.
If your sales process or business model has changed or been modified do not forget to tell your customers. Use online marketing channels to keep your customers up to date on how they can continue supporting your business.
Continue Communicating and Building Relationships
With so much uncertainty and caution due to the virus, it may seem reasonable to abandon leads you had in the pipeline prior to the pandemic. This may be necessary for some of your leads but not for all.
It is important to continue nurturing the relationships started pre-COVID-19. When you are communicating with businesses acknowledge the current situation and difficulties associated with it. Find empathy for the situation. By acknowledging the situation and it’s challenges you show potential clients/customers how your company is handling the current situation. This allows you to prove the adaptability and value of your business.
Now is the time to put even more energy into building your relationships.
I encourage you, if you have not already, to start preparing! Dig deep, find your grit, innovate, and pivot. We are all in this together. Alamance County and our Business Community will be stronger in the “new normal”.
There are resources and support in Alamance County for you if you do not know how to or where to get started. The Alamance Chamber is one of those resources. Reach out to us. We can help.