In the blink of an eye, our world has changed.
Usually correspondence from us doesn’t begin quite as dramatically. Still, the Coronavirus has upended business as usual in all industries, including design and creative — there are very few people whose lives won’t be altered in some way by the spread of the disease and its economic consequences in the weeks and months ahead.
This past fortnight has seen everybody getting their heads wrapped around the fact that this is real. We’re in ‘coping mode’, and eventually we need to move out of coping mode and move into ‘managing mode’. But right now, mental and emotional health is crucial.
Wmedia have put together plans to work efficiently from home and keep projects moving under decidedly new circumstances. We are very optimistic that things will get better.
We hope you are staying safe and healthy and are OK mentally and financially. The pandemic and its flow-on effect will create a difficult time for many. We have received numerous queries about what our plans are, as well as what suggestions we have to help.
We have taken some immediate steps and have outlined some of these here along with what we think you should be looking at in your business;
1. Do your bit to help contain the spread
The only way we are going to get back to normal and get this crisis under control is to take all the appropriate steps to stop the spread. We assume that like us you have been putting in place the necessary steps including increased cleaning and allowing staff the ability to work remotely where possible.
2. Tweak your marketing
It is not OK to continue with your standard marketing and pretend like nothing is going on. One of the best things you can do right now is to help your customers out as much as you can. Provide them with as much free information as possible because EVERYONE is looking for the right advice at the moment. It is unchartered territory for all of us.
3. Increase your online presence
If you can afford it, now is a great time to build your database. People are soaking up information as quickly as possible, now is a great time to start getting people engaged and signed up for your business e-communications and newsletters.
You should also be focussed on your social media, as more people are spending more time using it. And of course, if you do not have the right eCommerce presence, then you should also be looking at this seriously. More and more businesses will be moving into online sales over the coming months, and with it, overall consumer habits will shift. When that happens, eCommerce will become even more critical than it already is.
4. Focus on efficiencies
Make sure you use the downturn to get all of those nagging jobs off your to-do list. But more importantly, use it as an opportunity to take some inward reflection on your systems and procedures and to identify efficiencies you can put in place now, to make your life easier when things pick up.
5. Promote entry-level products and services
Everyone is going to be looking to cut back and save where they can. It doesn’t mean you can’t go after high-end sales, but you are bound to get better conversion by focussing on the entry-level products. It may mean less overall margin, but good margin is irrelevant if no-one is buying at the top end.
6. Chase the work that is out there
While, for a lot of small businesses, it seems as though the world has fallen off a cliff, there are a significant number of businesses that are seeing an incredible surge in turnover. Businesses that sell products or services that are in highest demand will need all the help they can get, so find their pain points and give them the solutions they need to deal with their rush.
7. Cash is king
I am finding it interesting to see that restaurants forced to shut down temporarily are promoting gift vouchers. We’ve also observed Airlines promoting heavily-reduced upfront payment deals and pay for one and get one free type of promotions are popping up everywhere. All these promotions are key to keeping cashflow moving. Do what you need to do to preserve your cash flow as this will be the lifeblood that gets you through. We are open to your ideas, and we would like to support you with this.
8. Look for ways to pivot
If the last week has not given you the feeling that all your eggs are in the one basket, then it probably means you have a well-balanced business with a good spread of risk. However, if you have received a bit of a reality check, then you are probably amongst the majority rather than the minority.
Once the dust settles and you get through the process of implementing your immediate crisis management plans the very next thing on your to-do list needs to be a look at your long term strategic planning.
Ask yourself what you can do to realign your plans and more importantly, take the opportunities that are currently out there? If you don’t offer website services, this is an excellent time to turn to Wmedia to help take these clients online. If you are already an expert at working from home, you are in the perfect position to offer your services to help others out who have suddenly been thrust out of their comfort zone. Whatever it is, if you have a customer out there who has a pain point that you know you could be uniquely positioned to assist with, even if it is not part of your core delivery, this may be the time to leap into that new area for your business.
Whatever your plan of attack and whatever you do from here, the most important thing to remember is that this will end, even though it may not feel like it now. The period we are in at present can only be temporary, and so your primary goal needs to be survival. Those that come out of the other end of this crisis are going to be well placed for long term growth and sustainability as markets inevitably bounce back. Follow our tips and your business will have the best chance to be one of them.
We want to take this opportunity to thank our clients for their continued support and for also trusting us with their business. Anything we can do to assist you, we’re right here and excited to help.
We wish you all safe isolation and a prosperous recovery when it’s all clear.