When the economy is steady, it’s natural for business leaders to focus on things that directly add value to their organizations, such as increasing sales. Unfortunately, some leaders make the mistake of not planning for the rainy days ahead. This lack of long-term thinking has left many companies struggling to sustain themselves through the global economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For many businesses in the Garden State, a common knee-jerk reaction to the downturn was to dramatically scale back on marketing and other “nonessential” areas. Other companies laid off staff in huge numbers. Some had no choice but to dramatically curb their spending.
As New Jersey reopens after several months into the pandemic, some businesses have found out that they over-reacted.
Why is business resiliency so important?
Business resilience is everything in these troubled times. The only thing constant in today’s technology-driven world is change. And if your business can’t adapt to change, you will struggle to maintain your value proposition when far more agile startups take over.
Every recession has its winners and losers. Here are some tips to help make sure you company comes out on top:
1. Focus on doing what you do best
Every successful business has something they’re very good at, most likely their core product or service. That’s exactly what will carry them through a recession. However, some products and services need a rethink, especially in the age of social distancing, the closure of many high foot-traffic venues, and the cancellation of face-to-face events.
Now may not be the best time to diversify your services, at least not if you’re thinking about launching something new. Focus on what people like most about your core offering, and improve and adapt it where necessary. For example, organizations in the education sector can offer more online courses, while retailers should beef up their eCommerce game.
2. Prioritize digital transformation
It’s hard to imagine what the world might look like had COVID-19 happened a couple of decades earlier, when digital technologies were at their infancy. But although every business leader now recognizes the value of technology, many find it extremely challenging to navigate the change and disruption technology brings with it.
The ongoing crisis will accelerate digital transformation initiatives. There’s more pressure now to offer digital services as the alternative to face-to-face interaction. Businesses today need to invest in technologies that will help employees work efficiently while on remote and allow customers to interact digitally.
3. Invest in client relationships
A recession isn’t a good time to focus on growing sales and finding new customers. Even in normal times, acquiring new customers costs more than maintaining existing ones. Moreover, consumers alike tend to spend less when there’s economic uncertainty, so acquiring new customers will be harder.
Now is the time to focus on your existing customers and reassure them that you’re still in touch with their needs. Invest in existing client relationships by channeling budgets into your customer-facing departments. The last impression you want to give customers is that you are struggling to keep afloat during the recession, which is why you need to continue providing responsive customer service and remain consistently present through all your online channels.
4. Don’t scale back on marketing
When companies face an economic crisis, marketing is often one of the first things to go. In some cases, it makes sense to temporarily scale back on marketing. However, that’s the last thing you should do if your core product or service is essential.
It’s more important than ever that your product or service should remain top of mind with your customers, especially when there’s so much to distract them. However, it’s also very important to change your marketing message appropriately — nobody wants to see tone-deaf marketing content during a pandemic. Neither do people want to see yet another cut-and-pasted message stating how your company is navigating the current crisis. Instead, focus on empathy, and don’t focus on the hard sell.
Online Computers helps companies in the Hanover, Morristown, and Madison areas to prepare for the challenges of tomorrow with managed IT services and support you can depend on. Call us today to learn more.
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