We are living in unprecedented times, and as a business owner it’s never been more important to think outside the box. The COVID-19 epidemic is changing the very ecosystem your business operates in, so the big question is: how do you innovate and adapt so your business not only survives, but thrives?
Adopting a new framework is challenging, and it can feel overwhelming. Many business owners are scared to take action, and the task of finding remote solutions is daunting. But there is a silver lining – your audience has never been so captivated, and the opportunity for increased visibility has never been so great.
The key is to create unique solutions for your customers that differentiate your brand. No matter what industry you’re in, here are five strategies you can implement to thrive amidst uncertainty.
Own the moment
The COVID-19 epidemic is forcing entire industries to pivot how they do business, and business owners are falling into one of two buckets: the panic group, or the moment group.
Business owners that fall into the panic group won’t take action. They’re scared, and they pull back on key drivers like marketing. They might think that conserving is a smart move, but in the long run, it will have disastrous consequences for their business.
The moment group however will be the drivers of their own destiny and focus on what they can do.
Be of Service
Your customers are desperately looking for answers right now – they have never been more captivated, and they have never been more receptive to your message. That’s why it’s crucial to stay connected to your audience. Instead of focusing on how you can get more out of your customers, focus on how you can serve them.
What is the biggest challenge that your customers are facing right now? Create a solution that will solve that problem. If you can’t continue to serve your customers in a traditional way, find a new way to serve your customers.
For example, if you’re a chiropractor and you can’t see patients, perhaps create an online course they can take to get tips on stretching properly and taking good care of themselves while they’re stuck at home. Become a trusted resource now, and they’ll continue to consult you once the dust settles.
Every brand has an opportunity in front of them right now. An opportunity to innovate, an opportunity to expand, and an opportunity to grow with the digital age.
Not every brand will take advantage of these opportunities, but the great brands will. OneDine is an excellent example.
The restaurant industry is having a moment, and OneDine is embracing it. Providing parking lot order & pay technology that allows restaurants to continue serving their customers from a safe distance, OneDine is offering this technology to restaurants for free.
Are they serving their customers? Absolutely. Are they differentiating themselves in the marketplace? You bet.
So how can you use this new ecosystem to your advantage? What opportunities are available to you in this moment that haven’t been available before?
Give Back to the Community
In light of the tragedies people are experiencing, and the challenges the world is facing right now, the media is in need of more positive stories. Brands that choose to emerge as leaders can make a significant impact.
Forbes8, for example, hosts important conferences and events for entrepreneurs. Rather than freezing up and postponing all events until further notice, Forbes8 decided to host a free digital summit on March 20th, 2020. The theme? Business Resilience: Thriving in Crucial Times.
Warhorse Karate, a premiere karate school that teaches hundreds of kids, began offering classes via Zoom. The owner of Warhorse Karate, Damon Tong, took the experience a step further by inviting special guest Matt Emig, a renowned stuntman and martial artist, to join over 300 kids online for a virtual training.
Ford and 3M are joining forces and manufacturing protective equipment such as facemasks, ventilators, and medical equipment. They’re also collaborating to produce a newly-designed respirator to help fight the COVID-19 outbreak.
Share Your Message
If you’re owning your moment, don’t be afraid to share it with the world. Your customers, both current and future, want to know what you’re doing to contribute during this difficult and unprecedented time.
Brands that are taking action and implementing these strategies are engineering virality because they’re the champions of these trying times. They’ll continue to be sought after once the world goes back to a semblance of normal because they owned their moment.
The world is changing quickly, but the changes you make now to adapt to this new ecosystem will only equip you to thrive in the future and ensure long-term success. Remote solutions and remote work have always been the way of the future—this epidemic is only expediting the process. So play the long game and invest in innovative solutions now.