Coronavirus, recession, financial crash. They all seem to end up with the same outcome: paralysis of business. Nobody wants to do anything, commit to anything or spend money – at least with you.
It can appear that everybody’s put the shutters up, nobody wants to listen to what you’ve got to offer. You might as well do the same and hibernate for the next 18 months until it all starts to open up again.
Except, it’s not true. Of course, demand may shrink, but it’s unlikely it’s totally disappeared.
Ask yourself this: “Are you still trading? Do you still have customers?” So do your competitors. There is still a market.
The problem is that the market isn’t growing, so if you want to grow you have to take custom away from your competitors; offer them something that’s better than they’re currently getting… and quite a bit better too (would you swap suppliers for a 5% or 10% saving?)
Or supplement what they’re getting with an additional offer; something that they’re not already getting from their current supplier.
It’s about your offer and the way you promote it. Let’s face it, if you’ve been banging on the same doors, with the same offer for the last six months and nothing has come of it, it’s not working. But it’s not just because no-one is trading; it’s that they don’t want what you’re offering, in the way that you are selling it. But maybe they will if you change what you’re selling, the way you sell it or the people you are targeting.
You will, no doubt, have heard the term ‘pivot’ used a lot over the past eight or nine months. A term for when a business moves its product or service offer away from what it was doing to something different.
Finding some way of adapting their business to service a different demand. Sometimes this is radical; something totally different. Sometimes it’s something they’re already doing, but they make it the main focus of what they do. Sometimes they adapt what they do to serve a different audience.
Then they make sure they market it in the right way to people who are receptive.
It may be that the marketing you were doing before the recession/coronavirus/financial crash wasn’t quite right anyway, but you were getting more business because the market generally was expanding (you were getting your share).
So, perhaps now is a good time to look at what you’re doing in your business to address the situation we face at present, which might also have longer term benefits for how you position and market what you do.