With the coronavirus pandemic decimating the world’s economy since March 2020, businesses aren’t sure what lies ahead in 2021.
It would help if you revised your marketing strategy and even a business model to keep going in these trying times. Learn from Charter. They gave free Internet to households who couldn’t afford Spectrum TV plans, waived penalties, and offer other facilities like self-support services to keep the business going. Some of the offerings were short-lived but they helped with sales.
Hoping for the best is one option, but this optimism doesn’t really help in practical life. What is it an entrepreneur can do to survive and successfully navigate through the storm? Let business analysts do the talking. Here is expert advice on the matter:
1: Monitor Your Cashflow
For any business, cashflow forecast comes in handy in planning, especially during uncertain times. Experts say you must have at least 12 to 16 weeks of cashflow forecast, and it needs to be updated every 2 to 4 weeks.
This forecast will help you identify potential cash crunches so that you can plan and a necessary action instead of being shocked.
2: Keep on Cashing your Debtors
In business, nothing is worse than not being paid on time. It can kill the business. That’s why you should always stay in touch with your top debtors and clients. When payment due dates exceed, take action immediately. The more you delay, the more your business suffers. Send follow up emails and call them up. Customers pay the one who chases them harder for payment.
It’s best to offer your client an incentive to clear the invoice on or before the due date in the form of a discount.
3: Nurture your Brand Advocates
Happy and loyal customers are your business’s biggest asset. They will play a significant role in marketing your business. They will talk about you with their friends and might as well post about you on social media. This free advertising can bring you a lot of business.
Have customers like these? Find them and connect with them. Perhaps comment on the reviews they like on your social media channels. Let them know how much they mean to you. Another way of showing appreciation is to offer them referral incentives. For instance, if they refer your business to a friend, they will get a discount on the next purchase.
4: Get Insights
Many businesses have changed their business model amidst the pandemic, and it helped them not just survive but thrive. This is done by extracting the right information. It’s time to evaluate your accounts, my friend.
Use KPIs such as EBITDA and gross profit to measure the performance of your business. Ideally, a business should have multiple income streams. The pandemic has made that pretty evident. If you do, check the management accounts to determine the profitability of each one.
With this information, it becomes easier to decide which income stream to scale and which to let go.
For any small business, a strategic alliance could be a great growth opportunity. It could be a way to monetize your business with little cost or liability. However, it’s imperative to form the right alliance. Only then can you sustain and expand your business in new markets. If your business has been slow, investigate what type of alliances you can form. Identify the organizations that are willing to form alliance partners and start communicating with them.
6: Continue Marketing Your Business
No doubt revenues are down, but you can’t stop marketing your business. It makes sense to reduce the marketing budget. However, to use marketing to your advantage, concentrate on those components that are guaranteed to bring positive results. When the business improves, you can always update your marketing strategy. Marketing cannot and should not be ignored even during troubled times. A good marketing strategy lets you connect with current customers, identify potential customers, and convince your target audience that you have something valuable to offer.
Here again, it’s imperative to mention charter. They gave free access to premium channels like Epix and Showtime to existing subscribers of Spectrum TV packages for a few weeks. This stopped the customers from cutting their cable and attracted others who didn’t have Spectrum cable, to begin with.
Advanced planning and thinking out of the box is the key to survival. Don’t sit on your hands for the storm to pass, prepare so that you can survive and thrive.