One of the latest conversations around the world today is about the new normal after Covid-19. A lot of people both young and old are of the opinion that things will never be the same again.
Of course, they are not far from the truth. A lot has changed in the past four months. And even when it’s a bit uncomfortable to accept this truth, things will never remain exactly the same again.
Just so you know, some of these changes are happening right in front of us. Companies are getting out of business, buyers are cutting down on expenses, the demand and supply chain and economic systems around the world has changed.
This is affecting everyone, cutting across sectors and different strata of the society. Even in the Content Industry for instance, our content strategy has been disrupted. We have been forced to refocus and create content that’s in line with current global realities.
All these are signs of the new normal and they are happening right before our eyes,.
Now, the next priority for most small businesses is not just about how to make sense of the new normal, it is also about how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
What the New Normal Means for Businesses
Truth be told, in as much as the Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted a lot of our plans, it has also waken us up to some realities. Some of these realities for instance include the following…
Working From Home:
A lot of businesses did not believe they can work from home. Personally, I was part of this crew. But with the social distancing and forced lockdown that accompanied it, a lot of us were forced to work from home without any option or escape route.
In adjusting to this new normal, we did everything within out power to make the most of the situation after realizing that the situation cannot really be helped immediately.
Working with tech Apps:
For the first time so many businesses under lockdown have been forced to use apps and other gadgets that will enable them carry out remote work, effectively.
For you, it might be that you were not actually unaware of the existence of these apps. You probably even knew that you could make good use of it but like me, you just didn’t find using them something necessary because there were better alternatives which included working from home.
For the first time, I was forced to attend Zoom meetings. Carry out collaborations on Slack. At first, I wasn’t comfortable doing all this. In fact, I was not conversant or had a convenient experience on my first trial but since these were the only available ways to do what I needed to do, I had to learn how to do them and adapt.
Of course as humans with our love for comfort and predictability, we will always revolt against change but there are always going to be times we won’t have other alternative than to accept the change the way it is.
This is what Covid-19 has brought to our senses once again. The knowledge that not only are these changes the new normal, they are the new realities we will have to work with, as we thrive and work on growing our businesses.
As an entrepreneur, like it or not, a lot of things are going to happen that will drive you out of your usual comfort zone. Covid-19 is just one of them.
Like a fisherman on the high sea with unpredictable winds, you are going to have to brace up for whatever comes. And instead of allowing the wind of change to drive you away, like the fisherman, you’re going to work on using the wind to paddle your boat along the new course.
Now, what this means is that at this point; above all, you need is to re-strategize and look out for opportunities in the system that can help you further your business goals.
It’s true more and more businesses are going to run out of funds. Analysts believe it’ll take years before the economy bounces back from recession that may be induced by the pandemic but, with pragmatic approaches we can survive the season.
As an entrepreneur and a small scale business for that matter this is undoubtedly one of our biggest tests ever. But if we get around surviving this then we are going to learn a lot of lessons that will always shape our decisions.
7 Ways to Survive the New Normal and Grow your Small Business after Covid-19
As the world economy eases down on the lockdown we have to brace up to embrace the new normal. As a small business, the following are 7 ways you can survive the new normal after Covid-19.
Cut off Unnecessary Expenses.
I’m sure you’re aware there has been and there are still going to be enormous cuts in some industries… Thing is, small businesses will not be exempted from this cuts.
It is true that only a thriving business can make enormous expenses. So you’re going to cut off expenses to save some funds that will help your business survive effectively.
Of course it’s going to be difficult because some cuts will make you and your business operations uncomfortable but at this time, with the new normal on our hands, comfort is luxury. You will have to cut down on most expenses in order to survive the new normal.
How to save Cost effectively
In order to cut back on expenses and save cost effectively, you need to do three things. And these includes the following
Forego some services completely. Some of the services or the paid subscriptions you use to run your business are things that are not entirely necessary. You can survive without them. Work on foregoing these services completely. At least until you’re more stabilized.
Find free alternatives. One of the advantages of tech run businesses is that there are always a handful of free alternatives you can use to run your business in most cases. Look out for these free alternatives and use them where they fit in.
Barter some Services. The age long trade by barter has been used by so many businesses till date. As a freelancer or small business, instead of paying in cash for some services, you could provide some services to other people in exchange for their own service to you.
So if you’re a Graphics designer in need of a website Design for instance, you can enter into a contract with a web designer, provide sufficient Designs for him while he builds you a website. With that everyone goes home happy.
You need the money to build your business. So you have to cut down on expenses as much as possible.
Cut Down on Prices
Pricing has always been one of the most defining elements for businesses when it comes to marketing. From influencing your sales to profit, the prices you use for your products and services will affect your business.
During recession, clients will review their priorities and reduce their spending. This will lead to major cut in sales for businesses. And in turn these businesses will look up strategies that will help them thrive with some decent sales.
Sometimes, strategies taken by small businesses could include lowering prices, giving out coupon codes and some decent discounts. This has been happening for businesses before now and it’ not going to be different with the new normal.
As a small business at this point, giving your clients a temporary price slash may look counterproductive but, in the long run it will boost your sales at least, for the main time. Of course, there is nothing as good as a decent discount in times like this where most people are cutting back on expenses.
In such times, some discounts or a little cut in prices will not only be beneficial to you, it will give clients some incentive to patronize you. Personally, this strategy has worked for me.
Experts believe that although this may offset some drawbacks in terms of profitability, in the long run, it will spike some increase in sales volume.
Employ Direct Marketing
Usually as businesses and individuals, the traditional way to get clients is to wait for clients to come for your products and services. This is very rampant in the online business world.
This accounts for the reason why we focus on all sort of marketing. Content Marketing, Inbound Marketing etc., to build relationships that will give our audience reasons to buy from us.
With the new normal, a lot has changed. Most potentials clients have reviewed their priorities and for this reason, it might take a lot before you can convince them to buy.
This is why it’s important to be very strategic with your marketing at this time.
Beyond giving your clients incentives to buy from you, if the traditional waiting takes too long for a potential client to pay attention to your offer then you may have to try direct marketing. Take your offer to them personally.
Create More Value
One of the strategies you want to have in your marketing box in the new normal should be focused on increasing the value you offer to your clients.
This is another incentive that could keep your clients looking your way again and again. Just like I mentioned above, the circulation of money has been reduced and so many people have cut down on their expenses.
Notwithstanding the self-imposed cuts, a slight increase in value offered for some services or products you offer to your clients could trigger some improved sales especially where your positioning is right.
Focus on most important tasks and core competencies. These are times you want evaluate your activities and then focus on redirecting your energy to target resources and activities that will bolster your productivity.
Strengthen Your Market Research
In times like this, it is possible that clients’ priorities will change. Clients demand for certain products and services may change. For instance, instead of seeking to build more website for businesses at this time, clients may be more willing to spend on social media marketing.
With a good market research and analysis, you’ll be able to understand where the demand curve goes. This should guide you on the products or services you should introduce reduce or improve for your business.
The more you get the right products or services before your client, the more likely you’ll make sales.
As a small business owner without a large resource base or credit facility to draw from, so many things will happen and this could really get you scared.
Although the least thing you need right now is fear but I can assure you without doubt, fear will creep in from time to time. Uncertainty will set in but, you have to take it one step at a time.
You want to keep your focus on the goal, re-strategize and step out to the edge with fear in one hand and courage in the other hand. And then with time you will not only be comfortable with being uncomfortable, every little win you have right there will make you more comfortable, experienced and poised for the big win.
So what are your best strategies for the new normal? Let’s hear you!