As a business owner, you have a thousand backup plans. You’re prepared for anything. Yet sometimes, events that no one could have predicted damage your business. Your community may be struck by disease or natural disaster, or your building may need unexpected repairs. This can be devastating for your company, especially if your customers and employees are primarily based in a brick and mortar location. When this happens, there are ways to keep your business running smoothly. Here are our top 5 tips for getting your business through a crisis.
1. Rely on your website. Now is the time to fall back on your online presence. If you don’t have a website, you need one – it will get you through the crisis and be there as a backup for the next one. Even if you already have a functional site, you may need to make changes or revamp its capabilities. Adding a payment method for your customers or an intranet for your employees can massively increase your ability to successfully conduct business online. If you want to find out what it might cost to add vital functions to your website, contact us here. A website is one of the highest return-on-investment items you can buy for your business.
2. Increase flexibility for employees. In times of crisis, everyone needs options. That may look like offering flexible hours, remote work options, or other concessions. It can be scary to switch to a remote work system suddenly; you may feel as though you’re losing the ability to supervise your employees. However, according to Forbes, employees provided with flexibility are both happier and more productive. Setting up a mindful remote work system can provide your business with stability while giving your workers the wiggle room they need.
3. Expand product options. During unprecedented times, customers are looking for new options. If you provide services for individuals or other businesses, consider temporarily restructuring payment plans. If you get recurring revenue from a customer, it may be worth it to offer to defer or reduce their payments for a month so you can retain them in the long term. Maybe you can offer slimmed-down versions of your services for a lower cost. This will help keep revenue coming in despite universal financial struggles. If you’re an e-commerce company, think about new ways to offer your products. Promo codes and mystery grab bags let customers feel as though they’re buying themselves a little gift during these trying times. Additionally, you can help make customers feel safe by offering curbside pickup or contactless delivery. These steps help to keep people buying during uncertain times.
4, Emphasize your brand. When customers can’t visit you in person, what sets you apart is your company’s personality. Right now, people are making efforts to buy from small, local businesses that stock American-made products. If that’s part of your brand, now is a great time to emphasize that. Refer to your community and your roots in marketing emails and social posts.
5. Be transparent. Your customers and employees want honesty. Be clear about the steps you are taking to mitigate risk. Inform customers of the safety precautions you are taking to protect them. Whether your physical location is open or not, this reassures people that you will be open and available in the long-term. Stability and clarity are the best ways to keep your customers coming back despite uncertainty.
Getting your business through a crisis is intimidating, but with mindful modifications of your processes, you can do it. We look forward to seeing you come out even stronger on the other side!