Coronavirus becomes a nightmare for everyone in 2020. Not only it causes over 3,000 death but sends a shiver to the global economic market. The growth of GDP among different countries seems to indicate that the financial market comes to the next recession cycle.
The projection of an economic decline in 2020 and lost demands from consumers make the hardest time for every business owner, especially startup & SME. Most of the industries has been struggling to survive during this downtime.
But the pain will only stay temporarily, our future will be brighter. And as entrepreneurs, let’s focus on the insights we can learn from this crisis instead of being pessimistic about the future.
We will share FOUR insights that we can both reflect on and apply to our business.
1. Online Interaction is accelerating.
While in-person interaction is suggested to be minimized in order to prevent cross-infection. Online interaction becomes the norm and replaces most of live communication.
online class(Education), online meetings even online conferences are no longer rare terms.
People are adopting online communication earlier than we expected. Coronavirus crisis has accelerated the adoption of online interaction from early adapter to majority.
One of the e-communication tech giants, Zoom, has increased over 2 million active users in 2020 so far which already exceeds the number for 2019, 1.99 million. Even though we believe human to human interaction is invaluable and could not be replaced by virtual one, online communication could be an effective way to deliver your message and emotionally connected with people.
1. If your business is based on offline interaction, such as workshops & classes, consider adapting digitalise your workshops. It is not only considered to survive from coronavirus, but it could also be a long-term business model that caters to new segments of customers.
2. Allow online meetings if possible. Some meetings are necessary for in-person interaction and discussion while other regular meetings can be held online to save time and boost efficiency.
2. Stay Focus & Stay Flexible
Coronavirus crisis has disrupted our original plan and forced us to create & execute our plan B.
For example, allowing employees to work remotely, re-designed marketing strategy, cost management e.t.c.
We need to respond quickly are properly in order to minimize the risks and prepared for the rebound in the future. This can be difficult for companies that already establish a mature system, this is all about company culture though.
It is no doubt that stays focus on one or a few business values is the key to stands out from the crowd. It is equally important to embrace the flexible company structure. It does not mean to have any structure at all, but instead, clarify the main focus and structure but allowing employees to reach their targets with a certain level of flexibility. A lot of works does not require “office” to complete.
1. Nurture companies’ culture and adapt purpose.
2. Always have Back-up plan for no matter nature disaster or human changed.
3. Design Your Customer Relations Strategy
Developing loyal customers is as important (even more) as generating new customers. If your business is all about the live experience and online transformation is not easy or applicable to you, does it mean you can do nothing?
If the answer would be a resounding Yes, then you missed a great opportunity to convert your customer into loyal customers or someone who promotes your business (word of mouth).
Re-design how you communicate with your existing customers. For example, omnichannel is a great way to nurture and engage. The key is to let customers feel that you care about them & not just convince them to buy your product or service. You should design more about using which channel to deliver what message. Sales are not about convinced others that your services are the best, but your service is specifically designed for your customers – emotional connections.
1. Don’t just send sales messages to your customers, send something that caters their emotional needs.
2. Try to segment your customers into different groups (base on their purchase types /frequency) and design different strategies to re-engage them.
4. Human & Health should be your First Priority
Finally, the biggest lesson learned from this crisis is to take care of you and your teams’ health.
It is not just simply about providing masks or hand sanitiser to your employees, it is about how to let them stay healthy both mentally and physically so that they can stand at the top of their performance.
Human resources, especially your employees, are the most important asset to your business.
So take good care of them means takes good care of your business.
Other than health-related benefits, you can consider offering fitness/yoga classes to your employees. Be sensitive to their emotional / physical shift and provide support as much as possible.
1. Make sure your employees stay close & healthy.