4 Golden Tips To Make Your Business Thrive In This Pandemic
There are many factors that contribute to volatility in any economy. Real wars or trade wars, sanctions, natural disasters and pandemics top the list today. When even one of these factors unleash themselves on any country or sometimes the whole world, we begin to find ourselves in the grip of a fear pandemic. Businesses go bust, large organizations declare bankruptcy and the smaller businesses some how crawl under this ever growing fear and hopelessness to find ways to survive the storm.
Entrepreneurship of over two decades have taught me a thing or two, and I’m inspired to share some key things with more people from my tribe to help us get through these times
Learn From And Adapt To The Trend
Easier said than done. While we may watch the market very closely and learn more, most of us enter an action paralysis stage when it comes to adapting our businesses to suit the trend. What will my competitors think? What will my team say? And these kind of questions can stop us in our tracks.
Can you imagine a big wall paint company or an alcohol manufacturing plant selling sanitizers and PPE kits. Today, they are! Was it difficult – yes for sure. Difficult on more levels than just creating or selling the product. Difficulty in levels of customer perception, you bet! After all, they are brands like Asian Paints that stand for painting homes and offices in paints that are long lasting, come in thousands of colours and so on, and now they are selling sanitizers and PPE kits.
They have understood the importance of survival in these times and are willing to adapt to the flow and go where the needs of the customers are.
Focus On Benefits Not Features
Does it mean you stop selling your products completely in these times? No. Are people not shopping online for anything else other than Covid Essentials? Of course they are. Even something as discretionary a spend as gifting is continuing as companies are sending interesting gifts like work out mats, laptop stands and a selection of interesting teas to pep up their teams who are working from home and make their infrastructure at home a little better, so then can be more productive!
So how does this help your business? First it makes you believe this drop in sale is temporary and will soon pick up. Second it gives you an opportunity to change the way you present your product. Most businesses take pride in educating their customers about the many features their products have. Classic example – go to a mobile phone shop. And the guy behind the counter will rattle away a whole list of tech jargon that makes each phone different from another.
What if, instead of saying 32 hour battery backup time, he said to you, you can continue to make calls and use the phone through the day even when on the move! Or that the AMOLED screen is not just a feature, but how it will benefit you by keeping your eyes strain free through the day.
It’s the same thing, but different. Features impress them, but benefits make them buy.
Can you relook at your every product today and see how you can talk about the benefits and not the features?
Remember Money Does Not Disappear From The Economy – It Changes Hands
When one business has gone bust another one has doubled its turnover. New businesses have mushroomed all over while you were sleeping – a caterer turned his cooking skills to make a covid lunchbox (to serve healthy food to covid patients in care centres, when the family cannot reach them), covid essentials, covid safety gear, online shopping, teaching online and the list is never ending!
Find new ways to use your current business setup like infrastructure and resources to cater to the customer. Outsource some of your machinery or space or your people to another business that can put them to use during these times – at a cost that is lesser than them having to hire out a fully new space or recruit new people. Make it a win-win. Save their money and bring in some cash flow to your organization too.
Bring Your Skills To The Table
We did this exercise at the beginning of the lockdown when we too were gripped with fear, the long list of financial commitments and were clueless about how we were going to make it through these times. Being into gifting for over twenty years, we knew this would be the last thing on the mind of our clients at the moment. So we brought out all the skills we had on paper, one after another and then tried to figure which one we could try out.
That gave birth to our new brand, The Giving Tree, Kitchen. We realized that food is a sunshine industry, if you play your cards well and be genuine. So we understood the market need for good health at these times, and using our grandma recipes of kashayam or kaadha, those herbal concoctions we would be fed as children to ward off a bad cough or cold, we figured an easier way to package the same into an Immunity Booster – a powder that can accelerate your immunity levels. And before we knew it, it was flying off the shelves and our customers are loving it!
What skills do you want to explore today? May sound silly to write it down, but what have you to lose? You never know what shows up. So please do it.
This pandemic has brought us all to a space of NO JUDGEMENT! The more you look around the more you’ll find proof of this. Instead of mocking or pitying any entrepreneur or professional who has lost his job or shut shop, media and people at large are taking cognizance of their fighter spirit and writing about them selling fruits and vegetables to make a living, or how they have gone into farming, or logistics or taken alternate jobs in booming businesses at this time. You have the golden opportunity to restructure your business, alter your mindset and fortify your health set as we ride this wave! Make the most of it!
We may have a vaccine for COVID soon, but there is no vaccine for fear and hopelessness. Please share this with entrepreneurs and professionals you know who are struggling. And who knows, you may just give them a glimmer of hope and they will soon find their strength back. And if you are reading this article, remember, it was you who brought the business to where it is today. What makes you think you can’t do it again?
The Giving Tree