A 4-Step Guide to Preparing Your Business for a Post-COVID Era
by McKenna Hogan, on Jul 27, 2020 8:30:00 AM
If your business took a hit from the effects of COVID-19, you’re not alone.
Whether you had to transition to working remotely, or were forced to completely shut down temporarily, the country’s gradual reopening may be the perfect time to mend those few months of unstable business and reinvent your brand.
For those of you still uncertain on how to move forward in future months, we created a comprehensive guide to help your business bounce back in a post-COVID era.
1. Focus on how consumers find your business
Businesses such as retail and other non-essential industries lost out on their main channel of sales during COVID: in-store business.
Relying solely on their websites for the time being, Google Business listings required updates to inform the public of adjusted hours and closings as well as links to helpful resources during this time.
With the country starting to slowly reopen, all of those businesses transitioning back to regular operations will also need to provide necessary updates to their listings—so might as well take advantage of this opportunity to rebuild your presence.
In fact, Google recently devised a free marketing kit for small businesses with the intention of boosting interest as well as visibility.
Google Support sums up the kit by stating, “The Google My Business marketing kit website lets you create free posters, social posts, window stickers, signs, and table tents. You can display these items at your store, or digitally through your social presence.”
Instant access to these resources to help build a stronger marketing strategy for small businesses is not only convenient, but extremely beneficial in updating consumers on the state of your operations.
Not to mention, this kit combines digital and out of home marketing tactics so that consumers can easily find your business as well as keep you top of mind.
Need help optimizing your listing? Learn more with our Google My Business Checklist.
2. Capitalize on social media
As the world set into strict quarantine regulations, digital content consumption reached astronomical levels—despite the fact that content strategies were a bit unstable.
Although social media may have been the last thing on any business's mind, staying active right now is the best way to stay relevant to consumers.. And we mean all consumers.
Data shows that in 2019, 90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation X, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers were active social media users. And that was before Coronavirus transformed the digital landscape.
As proof by numbers, age shouldn’t deter any industries from capitalizing on this opportunity to reinvent themselves and their brand through social platforms.
Need help brainstorming? Below is a list of relevant - and easy - topics to post about for every industry.
- New product or feature update
- Local news
- Testimonials or reviews
- Relevant data
- Articles pertaining to your industry
- Employee posts (“get to know” or team member highlight posts)
- New content posts (i.e. blogs, digital content, etc.)
- National day/Holiday posts relevant to your consumers
- Any type of recent digital content
Keep in mind that 54% of social browsers use social media to research products, which makes social media upkeep almost just as important as an optimized Google My Business listing.
Want to maximize engagement? Here are the best times to post on social media in 2020.
3. Partner with local businesses
If there’s one thing modern consumers love, it’s a unique experience.
If your business has been a bit under the radar over the last few months, capitalizing on partnerships will be sure to spark interest—especially as more public areas start to reopen.
Partnering with a local business - or businesses - has actually become pretty common practice, especially in real estate. Modern consumers are actively seeking out those special “extras” businesses offer, and don’t spend too much time on ones that don’t provide.
The thing is, consumers - particularly renters - are desensitized to average accommodations, many citing that they expect certain services and amenities.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your in-house spa and fitness center are no longer worthy selling points.
CBRE did some research, and what they found was that since renting is increasingly becoming a long-term choice for people of all ages, an apartment or senior living community that prioritizes innovation and tenant experience will be what separates you from the rest.
This modern trend mixed with the fact that more people are staying home as the country cyclically reopens and closes down makes unique business partnerships that can be experienced within a community an excellent way to “bounce back” post-COVID.
Below are just a few apartment extras that will be huge in 2020.
- Live music
- Tech integration
- On-demand dining
- Convenient grocery
- Local brewing/wine making
- Specialized classes such as ceramics and cooking
As you can see, consumers have increasingly high expectations—and that didn’t slow down just because the rest of the world did.
Our advice? Secure partnerships now while many businesses are still in a transitional phase, and get ahead of competition.
4. Don’t slow down technology use
It’s not a secret that the abrupt onset of COVID-19 left businesses scrambling to integrate the appropriate technology to maintain regular operations.
Real estate integrated virtual tours, fitness centers held online classes, hotels transitioned to virtual check ins, the list goes on.
And guess what? Not only did advanced technology help businesses get by, it actually had positive effects on revenue as well as lead generation.
Not to mention, digital solutions allow extensive tracking of analytics, which aided in structuring the perfect strategy during relatively uncertain times.
The pandemic has acted as somewhat of a “test case” for digital transformation. And while some businesses held on to traditional practices, the ones that didn’t are the ones currently appearing on top.
“Though it may seem counterintuitive, crisis is the ideal time to double down on digital transformation. Rather than putting digital transformation plans on hold, organizations need to go all in” -BDO
From the same article, below are a few ways in which technology provides an overall advantage for businesses regardless of the effects of Coronavirus.
- Customer advantage
- Agility advantage
Integrating the appropriate digital solutions doesn’t have to break the bank, either.
To summarize, keep updating your technology. Not only for the sake of remaining technologically relevant, but to prepare for future circumstances that could cause irreversible damage to your business.
“Business reinvention isn’t always a choice”
Businesses across the country have faced much uncertainty over the last few months—but why look at it as a disadvantage?
Reinvention may have been forced, but it provided an opportunity to start fresh. Try something never done before, invest in unique tactics for attracting consumers, and above all, prepare for the worst so it’s the only time your business will have to bounce back.