Boost Your Business During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 global pandemic has proved to be a difficult time for most businesses. Necessary safety measures such as total lockdowns and restrictions have meant businesses are facing enormous challenges. Like the adage ‘sink or swim’ most businesses must choose between adapting or accepting their fate and shutting down. If nothing else, the pandemic continues to be a time of immense learning. True, things are not the same; but change can mean opportunity. Pivoting may be the best decision you make for your business.  Of course, it can be difficult to decide just what you should do — but don’t despair. We’ve got you covered. Here are some different ways you can boost your business during the pandemic.

#1 - Deliver

With pandemic restrictions, your customers can’t always come to you the way they used to. So, take your products and services to them instead. Home delivery has helped many companies survive during the pandemic. Others who relied on their customers to visit their store or wait till access was available again suffered. Explore your options when it comes to doorstep delivery. You may need to outsource delivery to another vendor or drum up some resources to start offering delivery yourself. You could also use private couriers or the postal service as simple options. Find a solution to get your products to your customers because that’s how you can recover your losses.

#2 - Keep it simple

If there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that there are only some things which are truly essential in life. Direct that same mindset to your offerings. Trim the fat and focus on the basics. You obviously can’t produce the full range of products or provide every single service that you did before the pandemic. And you don’t need to. Instead, just pick the products or services your customers absolutely need, and the ones you can provide even with limited resources. Do what you can and do your best. These are unprecedented times, so be smart about what you can provide to your customers. Keep it simple so you can maximize sales while minimizing your losses.

#3 - Go online

If your customer base can’t know what you’re selling, how will they be able to buy anything from your business? The pandemic has meant that brick and mortar shops simply had to be closed for long stretches of time. Yes, this meant you faced losses. But you can recover or at least reduce those losses if you go online. You can start a new website or get onto social media. Take some time to learn about what works online, optimize your website, create accounts on the different social media channels. If you have products that you want to showcase online, you don’t have to even create a custom website. You can use e-commerce platforms like Shopify and Etsy. You can even use the ‘Shops’ feature on social media channels like Facebook and Instagram that allows you to sell directly off those social networks. If you’re offering services, get your previous customers to leave you reviews. Offer valuable tips or entertaining and relatable content on your social media accounts to attract more customers and showcase your knowledge. Your efforts online can provide immense returns offline, by boosting your sales and brand value.

#4 - Dial it up

While most businesses do need to focus on the basics and keep it simple, you may find that you need to do the opposite. Instead of reducing your offerings, you may find it would be better to amp up what you provide. When should you dial it up? When what you provide will help your customers solve a problem that has been made worse by the pandemic. For example, many people have found that working from home can be taxing. They may be ill-equipped for home-schooling their children or helping their kids with online classes. Social distancing and lockdowns mean more free time and isolation. If your business can tackle any of these problems in any way, then you should go full throttle and plan to provide your solutions to your customers. They will thank you for it, and so will your bank balance.

#5 - Get financial support

Even though all the challenges the pandemic has thrown your way seem daunting, don’t lose hope. You’re not alone. You can find financial support through a business loan. You could even consider refinancing your mortgage or investigate opening a new line of credit. Do what you need to tide you over during these tough times. Keep in mind that all of us at Innovation are there for you whenever you need us. If you’d like to explore your loan options, you can speak to one of our loan specialists. Unsure about what steps you need to take next when it comes to your finances? Then please get in touch with one of our financial advisors. They will be able to provide valuable suggestions and give you the correct advice based on your unique financial situation.

#6 - Keep an eye on trends

One of the best ways to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to business is to keep an eye on customer and market trends. While we do not advise blindly following every trend, you should be on the lookout for what is popular, and what is losing favour. This is the key to any kind of pivot you may want to plan for your business. If a trend aligns with where you want to take your business, then it provides the perfect opportunity for your business to make it big. At the same time, it is also equally important to keep checking if any trends you follow have begun to fade in popularity. That would mean that you may need to evaluate and plan your next move. Remember, your business should not simply jump onto any bandwagon. Simply be aware of trends and if one suits you or will be profitable for you, only then try to see how you can use it to your advantage.

#7 - Partner with other businesses

There’s power in partnership. This is especially true during the pandemic. With almost every business struggling to survive, it may be more beneficial for two or more businesses to band together and support each other. It depends on the type of business of course, but if you can find businesses that have complementary offerings, then you can approach them to see if they are open to a partnership. You may find that you can form multiple partnerships with different businesses of varied kinds. Or you can help to organize many different providers of the same kind of products or services to come together and offer a united front to your consolidated customer base. What are the benefits of coming together? For one, the risk is divided amongst all the partnering businesses. That takes some of the pressure off you. Next, the profits are shared. So, even if your own business is not doing as well, you will still be able to have some support. Similarly, you can also support another business and prevent it from going belly up. Just by being someone’s anchor in their time of need, you can provide immense value to the world, even if it's not strictly monetary value.

#8 - Ramp up your marketing

This may seem counter-intuitive but hear us out and then decide. Most entrepreneurs think they should invest in marketing when their business is doing well. However, the most crucial time to invest in marketing is when your business is not doing well. Why? The main goal of marketing is to drive sales. The more sales you make, the better it is for your baseline. Another reason to ramp up your marketing is because other entrepreneurs are not looking into increasing their marketing efforts. As we said above, the common move is to pull down marketing and use those resources elsewhere. What this does is reduce the cost of marketing for you. Lesser marketing by your competitors also allows your customer to pay attention to your marketing. It’s a win-win.

So, there you have it! As you can see, there are many ways you can boost your business even when it seems impossible. There is no one size fits all solution. The important thing to keep in mind is that you do what’s best for your business. What strategy will you choose?