Most business owners know something about Management Principles 101, Marketing Principles 101, and Selling Principles 101 but not much about Pandemic Principles 101. Thankfully, the business world has not had to learn anything about Pandemic Principles 101 until now (unfortunately).
The pandemic has been hurled upon all of us like a ton of bricks, and businesses must learn to deal with it in order to survive. Some pandemic principles incorporated into today’s business world can be a byproduct of acquired knowledge while some principles require a new way of thinking.
This “new normal” will require a pivot in thinking by integrating the following pandemic principles into the current business climate:
Transparency, communication, honesty – Business owners must be forthright with everyone they are dealing with. Customers, employees, vendors, lenders, and shareholders all must feel comfortable in whatever role they play in a business. If important factors are hidden only to surface one day in the future, all credibility of the business and owner will be immediately lost.
Prioritize – When so many different decisions have to made all at once, it is almost impossible to make prudent business decisions all at the same time. Decisions must be prioritized depending on what will have the greatest operational and financial impact on the business.
Create new opportunities – Doing business now and in the future has changed…certainly for the foreseeable future. Loyal customers and markets must be preserved, but new opportunities and new customers must be explored. Brands must be expanded to attract new customers and, perhaps, new markets targeted to encompass different demographic groups. The time might even be right to consider forming a strategic alliance with another business.
Amplify benefits – Customers have always purchased for either benefits received or problems solved from a product or service purchased. More now than ever, businesses must amplify this concept basically saying to buyers, “We’re here to help you.”
Build goodwill – Not every buyer is in a position to make a purchase today. Trying to understand a buyer’s situation and adapting to the needs of individual communities and market segments builds goodwill for future purchases. Taking care of customers today lays the foundation for tomorrow’s sales. During challenging times, connecting can be more important than selling.
Anticipate – Anticipate in advance customer questions and desires. Know the answers and be knowledgeable before questions are asked. Regardless of the type of business, customers want to feel comfortable that they’re making the right decision before completing a purchase.
Reboot/reinvent – Since the current times necessitate doing business in a different way, this might be the time for a business to reboot/reinvent itself…change operations, diversify products and/or services, or transform its approach all with the sole purpose to survive, drive forward, and remain profitable.