It has always been essential to consider how to keep a business alive and flourishing.
This year has taught us that it has never been more important to deal with ongoing uncertainty and to adapt to changing times. This is especially true for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.
We have already learned a great deal from the months of COVID: from the initial lockdown to a summer of relative relaxation and now with new restrictions in place.
Businesses have to deal both with the complexity of these restrictions and also with the confusion of customers over exactly how to follow guidelines and still live their lives.
Even while we wonder if the news of a vaccine can give us some hope for next year we have to deal with current realities and insecurities: here are some pointers for sustaining your business
- Changing behaviours
People are good at adapting to change: it is important to keep observing how people are responding to the challenge of Covid. They are staying local and travelling less. They are using a variety of apps and online services to cater to their needs. Money is tighter and customers are looking for value. They are looking at local businesses and are open to discovery.
- A new sort of normal
On a positive note this means there are opportunities to learn and thrive. It’s best to imagine the current situation is now our new normal – and not think about ‘when things get back to how they were’.
3 Keep evaluating
Keep an eye out for how different businesses in your area are implementing changes that are having an impact. Talk to neighbours, talk to customers, find out what people are missing and what they need – and how you could adapt your business to meet those needs
4 Build new connections
There is a chance to reach out to new customers great service, with small variations in the products or services you offer that will help them during lockdown and create a real feeling of loyalty and value. And get involved with new networks locally to learn and share experiences. And above all, take the time to explain any decisions about changes in services to your customers – communicating more rather than less is the best possible way to stay in touch with existing and new customers.
Hannah Charlton is a Linguist, journalist, multimedia publisher and digital explorer. She specialises in branding as a way of changing how we do business.