Don't Shrink - Rethink and Respond with 5 Simple Steps
COVID-19 continues to disrupt operations for many companies, executives continue to face some tough decisions. As a leader, you essentially have three choices: shrink and try to contain costs; maintain and try to continue operating as you were before the pandemic; rethink and develop a fresh new strategy that reflects the changing needs of your customers. Below is a look at some reasons why you seize the moment and shouldn’t shrink along with five steps you can take to put your business on the path to post-Covid-19 prosperity.
What steps can you take to ensure your business is ready for global economic recovery?
As COVID-19 continues to make its mark on the global business landscape, there is a great deal of uncertainty and it may seem like an economic recovery is a long way off. In reality, many businesses are racing to position themselves.
Step One: Maintain a positive outlook
Companies win because of their people. A glass half-empty approach can create a negative work culture, especially during challenging times. Your employees will look to you and your leadership team for guidance and cues, so it's important to maintain your confidence and a positive outlook.
But how do you remain positive when every day seems to deliver new obstacles? The key is to find the silver lining and turn lead into gold. Continually focus forward, seek to engage your team and your customers. Through discussion and attentive listening you’ll find new pain points and challenges that represent opportunity for the future.
Step Two: Do your homework
The path to post-COVID success begins with a keen understanding of your customers' pain points. One of the biggest mistakes some companies make is to immediately generate a "solution" before researching their clients' needs or mapping out a strategy.
The good news is that it's easy to avoid this pitfall. With a little patience and research, you may find that your clients' pain points are a bit different from what you suspected. You can uncover their pain points with surveys, industry news, and check-in conversations with your clients. Move past the small talk, listen with empathy and solutions will rise up.
Step Three: Create value by embracing innovation
"The reality of how companies are dealing with the crisis and preparing for the recovery tells a very different story, one of pivoting to business models conducive to short-term survival along with long-term resilience and growth. Pivoting is a lateral move that creates enough value for the customer and the firm to share." - Mario Guillen, Harvard Business Review
In some industries, attempts to return to pre-COVID-19 operations are a recipe for failure. Survival and future success both hinge upon a company's ability to embrace innovation and pivot to create value. For instance, the 3D printing industry responded to the world's ventilator shortage by manufacturing 3D printed valves for ventilators. This innovative move captured the attention of consumers worldwide and helped the printing industry position itself for post-COVID-19 success.
Step Four: Invest in customer empathy
Listening to your customers is an absolute must - especially during times of turmoil. Reach out to your regular customers to see how they are coping with the "New Normal." Ask them which aspects of COVID-19 have been the most difficult for them and see what barriers are impeding their success.
If you don't currently have a solution for their woes, thank them for their honesty and make a note of their needs. Evaluate what you have heard and use it to fuel innovation, new product ideation and even opportunities for new business models.
Step Five: Keep an eye on your competitors
With so many challenges to overcome, it can be easy to forget about your competitors. In reality, they are facing the same challenges you are. It's up to you to keep a watchful eye on their behavior and monitor any new strategies they have unveiled. Here are a few ways you can stay abreast of their activities:
● Monitor their social media sites to see what promotions they are offering
● Scan their websites to see if they have launched any new products or services
● Read their online reviews to see what customers are saying about their product
What is the single best way to prepare your business for the future?
Maintaining a positive outlook and embracing innovation are essential to ensuring your business is ready to handle the global economy's recovery. However, the single best way to prepare your business is to seek the expertise of an accomplished marketing strategist to help you listen and gain insights from your customers.
We invite you to reach out to us at Grindle Marketing to put your business on the fast track to a forward-thinking marketing plan. With nearly three decades of industry experience, the Grindle team has the resources and experience to arm you with the tools and insights you need to emerge from COVID-19 with renewed confidence and a winning marketing strategy!