Running a business is difficult even at the best of times. Owning your own business involves a lot of hard work and a great deal of risk. There are many types of risks that can threaten your business at any time, and a number of these risks eventuate when a global crisis hits.
Crises, especially those of a global scale can threaten your business, but they don’t have to mean the end of your business. Here are 5 tips to help your business survive a global crisis and come out stronger on the other side.
1. Go Local
When events are shaking the world, this can impact parts of your business that are linked to other parts of the world. In particular, your business can be greatly disrupted if you rely on overseas suppliers for the products you sell or for materials and components that make your products.
During a global crisis, you need to look for local solutions: how can you solve your supply problems with local suppliers? Keep in mind that if you ship to customers in other parts of the country or other parts of the world, you’ll need to find suppliers that are local to their area. The more locations you ship to, the more complex this will be.
2. Listen Well
Listening is an important skill for businesses at any time: listening to your customers gives you valuable insight into what is working and what isn’t working so well, so you can be responsive and improve your approach. This is particularly important during a global crisis: during a large crisis, you will have to come up with new approaches as the landscape changes. Rapid customer feedback will help you to know if these new tactics are working or if you need to change things up.
Additionally, listening to your customers will give you the extra competitive edge that may make the difference as your business comes under strain. There a few different ways you can source customer feedback. Check in frequently with your customer service staff or other team members that deal directly with clients to see the comments or generally vibe they are getting from customers lately. You should also pay close attention to comments or messages on social media, as well as taking proactive customer feedback surveys.
3. By Empathetic
It is also important during times of crisis to understand the strain that your customers are feeling. At this time, your customers are likely under emotional and financial strain, as well as dealing with a range of other problems.
Acknowledge this whenever you interact with customers, whether directly or indirectly, such as through social media and online marketing. You can also think of ways to help your customers at this time with special offers or by adding value that will be especially appreciate during the crisis.
4. Be Creative
A crisis of a global scale means that the business landscape you operate in has changed significantly and you need to pivot your business accordingly. Think about new ways you can offer your products and services. Then, think about how you can best promote or leverage your changing services in the new landscape you are being forced to operate in.
For example, if your businesses is a physically-based one such as a bricks and mortar store or eatery, you could now deliver your product to people’s homes. Furthermore, you can use Stickerit stickers with your business logo on your delivery packaging to promote your business and build your brand. In this way, you are taking the new situation and turning it to your advantage.
5. Strengthen Your Current Customer Base
During difficult times, it is unlikely that you will be able to expand your customer base much, if at all. It is therefore critical that you double down on your existing customer base, to ensure you maintain their loyalty and their business, therefore ensuring the survival of your business.
Make extra efforts to serve your current customers. We’ve already talked about the importance of listening to your customers: take this one step further by acting on their feedback and then making an effort to show them that you’ve done so. This will demonstrate to your customers that you’re responsive and empathetic, and help to build trust and loyalty.
Now is also a great time to reach out to existing or previous customers with special offers or deals. Make sure your customer service is flawless: you can dedicate the time and energy that is available due to other projects being on hold and divert it to customer service to ensure you truly excel in this area.