While the world feels as if it has turned upside down, we find ourselves in unprecedented times and our 2020 plan has gone out of the window. A new strategy is now required.
What has changed?
One of the biggest changes, and firstly, is how we all feel. With concerns and worries about our health, family, loved ones, jobs, home-schooling and the future in general, it is a sensitive and fragile time where many of us are feeling anxious and worried. That has changed the atmosphere and environment we are all now living in.
The second is how we are living. Not since World War 2 have our lifestyles changed so dramatically. Currently in lockdown, the majority of us are adjusting to working from home and living a restricted lifestyle until the virus is under control.
Consequently, how we are communicating, working and buying have all changed overnight. As networking, meetings and events are replaced by Zoom and family gatherings take place on Skype or House Party, how we live, connect and maintain our relationships has changed, possibly forever.
What does this mean for your business?
Firstly, we need a new plan. We also need to be sensitive and empathetic when we are producing content, posting on social media or contacting anyone right now. We also cannot ignore the current situation. We have to acknowledge it and the impact it is having on our colleagues, network and clients.
How to create a new plan fit for purpose.1. Focus first on retaining clients
Where possible and, hey!, it won’t be possible in all cases, your first point of focus is how can you retain the clients you currently have. This isn’t business as usual, so you need to be proactive and create a plan of action. Don’t wait for them to come up with the answers for you. Figure out a game plan for each client or group of clients.2. What has changed for your clients? What impact has it had on them?
Understand in detail what this situation has changed for your clients. One of the aspects of this situation that just continues to roll out every day is the ripple effect it has - on business and people. You need to understand every aspect of how this has affected your clients. What impact short-term and long-term will it have or potentially have? Think about supply chains, their customers buying behavior, employment, current and future plans.
Don’t just guess - speak to them at length about it, if you have the opportunity to do so.3. What new challenges do they have?
List specific new challenges your clients now face. Simple as that. Write a list of headlines that cover all of the challenges they now have to find solutions to. Some may have existed pre-viru,s but there will be new ones.4. What do they need support and help with?
Once you know what new challenges they face, work out what solutions and types of support they need. Again, it is likely in many cases this will have changed. Ask yourself what one thing you could do for them that would offer them a valuable solution and make all the difference?5. Are there any new potential opportunities?
Any change will bring new opportunities. We’ve already seen businesses in every industry adapting their model and delivering online - whether that’s fitness classes, gigs online, webinars, we are finding new ways of doing business.
Is there now a new group of potential customers that have emerged? That didn’t previously need your services, but do now?6. How can you offer and support them?
Having answered all of those questions, you should be in a much better place to work out how you can offer and support them. What package, service or product would benefit your clients now? How can you add value, support and assist them through this period?
Once you have the answer to this pull it all together as a package or offering even if it is only for the duration of this situation. Adjust prices if you need to, but don’t assume you have to.7. Roll out your new position and offer.
Now you have your new position and offering, role it out in your marketing. Start posting about it on social media. Put it on your website. Speak to each of your clients about it, offering them new solutions.8. Consider new potential opportunities for your business.
Now consider who else could benefit from your new package or service. What new industries or customer groups could you contact and build relationships with that you could support and help.
The key to this is understanding how this situation has impacted and changed the environment we are all living and working in. Then working out with your expertise, knowledge and experience how you can best support and enable your clients and network to get through this situation.