There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to business right now. While many businesses are completely shut down during the stay-at-home order for COVID-19, there are still plenty of businesses that are up and running, especially if their workers are able to work from home. Of these businesses, many have been able to secure funding through the Paycheck Protection Program, with more poised to receive aid as Congress approves another wave of funding. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that they have a lot of work for their employees, especially if their customers aren’t buying services right now.
For those businesses, the big question: How can we invest in our business during this downturn to prepare for the upcoming recovery period? We have a few ideas.
Upgrade Your Digital Assets
When we’re busy working on our core business offerings, we often let things like our websites, customer relations management systems, or other digital assets fall to the wayside. But now that business is facing a slowdown, it’s a good idea to upgrade those digital assets so that they’ll be shiny and new when the economy comes back.
Start with your website. Is it interesting and relevant? Is it engaging for visitors with a clear call to action? Does it load quickly and answer questions about what your company does? Does it look good on a handheld device?
Chances are, you built a quick website sometime in 2012 and haven’t looked back. But the internet has changed, and if your website is aged, you’re going to fall behind, no matter what is going on with the economy. Now is an excellent time to invest in an upgrade, including:
- Finding a new managed hosting platform to increase load speed
- Embarking on a redesign to improve flow, especially for mobile traffic
- Rewriting content to be snappier and more customer-centric
- Identifying helpful and relevant information that can be repurposed for gated content to fuel your funnel
If you have an internal team that can commit to this endeavor full-time, put them to the task. You can also find a digital agency (like LuckyTamm) that has expertise in web design and development and set them up with your internal team to ensure success.
Once you’ve redone your website, you can look to other digital assets, such as your internal business software, document processes, customer relationship management software, and others. If you have the capital to invest in new, upgraded digital services, this is a great time to do so. Not only will you have more time to teach yourself and your employees how to use the service; you may also receive extra attention and customer service from your providers because they have fewer clients than usual.
Nail Down Your Processes and Procedures
Another thing that falls to the side when we’re busy killing it as a business is the internal structure of what we do. Maybe you’ve never written your human resources policies down, or maybe you just haven’t looked at them in a few years. What about your mission and vision? What about your client acquisition processes? Are there any compliance programs like SOC 2 or ISO 27000 you should be following to make your company stand out?
The point is, there are dozens of possible standard operating procedures (SOPs) you should have defined to keep your business on track as it grows. Now is the time to get those organized and tightened up. Write them down, edit them, and publish them to your entire organization as a company handbook.
As a general guideline, an SOP can include the following, depending on what it is describing:
- Procedure Steps
Again, you can hire an external consultant to help you, or you can put folks to work within your organization who may not have as much to do right now. You may find that some of your employees or colleagues have a real knack for this kind of work.
Refocus Your Business Strategy
For many business leaders, the situation with COVID-19 is forcing them to face a moment of quiet reflection that they wouldn’t normally have built into their calendars. It can be scary, of course, but it can also be a gift of time to refocus your business strategy.
It may seem like this is a bad time to try and set goals, mostly because there are so many uncertainties right now. But there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from how this downturn is affecting your business, your industry, and your personnel.
For instance, you may be learning that your team members are far more productive working from home than they were in the office. Or with some businesses opening back up, you may find that it’s hard for some of your employees to return to work because they don’t have reliable daycare for their children. It may be time to revisit your business strategy with regard to how and where your employees work.
There’s a good chance that your marketing strategy is dusty — if it exists at all. This downturn is a time to ask who your customers really are, why they need your product or services, and how you can actually reach them. Then, map out a step-by-step plan for how you’ll make that a reality in the coming months, years, and even decades. This is something that LuckyTamm Digital Marketing has vast experience with, so if you need help, you know where to turn.
Of course, you should never push yourself or your employees to be more productive than is safe for your health or sanity. And if your business does not have the economic means to pay employees or add services, obviously you should avoid overspending. But at the end of the day, there are a number of ways you can invest in your business right now to prepare it for the end of COVID-19 and beyond.
If your company is ready to invest in a new digital marketing strategy, or you need help implementing your existing marketing goals, reach out to LuckyTamm Digital Marketing.