We’re in unprecedented times with many businesses closing and others diverting to work from home strategies due to COVID-19. While this absolutely has its downsides, companies can take advantage of the extra time on their hands and invest their resources back into their business. If you’re wondering where to start, read on to discover our tried-and-true methods to scaling your business.
1. INVEST IN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
Prior to this pandemic, there were still many retailers, agencies, small businesses, and medical practices focusing solely on their brick-and-mortar presence. Many of these businesses have had to switch gears and focus on generating revenue using online methods. Instead of settling for temporary online solutions, take advantage of this time and invest in expanding into different permanent revenue streams.
Depending on your business, this switch may take many different forms.
RETAILERS & SMALL BUSINESSES
If you make money by selling physical goods, consider starting an eCommerce portion of your business. You can create a website to sell most, or all, of your typical products. Share your new website with your customers through your social media channels and email lists. Don’t forget, everyone else is on lockdown too, so they’re looking for new ways to purchase their favorite products online - fill the void consumers are looking for.
AGENCIES & CONSULTANTS
Luckily, for many agencies and consultants, most of their work was done primarily online prior to the pandemic. However, many of these businesses still relied on in-person meetings to sell their products and services. To overcome the barrier of the stay-at-home mandate, switch to virtual meetings and work-from-home strategies to maintain your current revenue streams. To expand into the online space, consider creating online courses or educational materials to sell directly to your clients. Not only will these additional product offerings help supplement your income, but clients likely have the downtime to absorb the content.
Prior to COVID-19 it was standard practice to visit your physician in-person for everything - including the smallest ailments. Because many offices are now closed most medical practices are switching to telemedicine. While telemedicine certainly isn’t new, what is new is that our favorite physicians and nurses with who we’ve previously built relationships are now online - it isn’t a stranger via some telemedicine app.
Now that physicians have branched out into telemedicine, you should consider maintaining the practice post-pandemic. While it may not always make sense to see your patients online, there are many situations when it does. Patients will find virtual medicine more convenient for their busy lifestyles and because everything is virtual, you’ll be less likely to run behind on your schedule.
2. CREATE A MARKETING PLAN
Depending on your business model, it may not make sense to heavily invest in marketing right now if people are unable to visit your store or you’re unable to provide services. However, there’s nothing wrong with using your extra downtime to create a marketing strategy to give your business a jump start post-COVID-19. When designing your strategy follow these simple steps:
- Determine your goals
- Set a timeline
- Explore both online and offline advertising methods
- Set your budget.
- Track your results
You have dozens of marketing options to choose from for advertising your business. Consider online advertising options like social media and PPC, as well as traditional methods like magazines and mailers. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy, and even if you don’t know the perfect advertising formula right off the bat, feel free to experiment.
3. SOLIDIFY YOUR LEAD FUNNEL
It’s much less expensive to retain customers than it is to acquire new ones, but to ensure that your customers continue to come back you have to nurture your lead funnel. Hopefully, you’re already collecting email addresses or phone numbers, but if you’re not, it’s never too late to start. Once you start collecting your customers’ information you can use it to retarget them.
Existing retention programs like Fivestars ask your customers to enter their phone number every time they visit to accumulate points that can then be used for discounts or freebies. Of course, you can also manage your own lead funnel with regular customer emails, birthday discounts or gifts, and monthly newsletters and specials. Your most valuable asset as a business is your lead funnel and any time you invest in it will get paid back many times over.
4. FOCUS ON YOUR EMPLOYEES
Your employees are the backbone of your business and you can’t expect to scale your business without their full support. While employee satisfaction and retention could be an entire blog post on its own, we’ll mention a few high-level tips here.
- Ensure Your Employees Feel Included: If your employees feel like they’re in the dark regarding major company decisions or changes, they’ll be less likely to trust and stick by you.
- Maintain a Sense of Community: It’s human nature to want to feel part of something greater and for many employees, their work fills that hole. Whether it’s planning potlucks or team outings, creating personal connections with your employees will go a long way.
- Compensate Appropriately: While we understand you may not always be able to pay the highest amount, many employees are looking for benefits other than compensation. Consider offering schedule flexibility, extra paid vacation, or even bonuses as ways to bulk up your compensation packages.
When your employees feel appreciated and valued you’ll be surprised how far they will go to support you and your business, through both thick and thin. Listening to their feedback and acting upon it will scale your business quickly and in the right direction.
5. DELIGHT YOUR CUSTOMERS
While employees are the backbone of your business, your customers allow your business to thrive. Many successful businesses focus on delighting their customers to increase growth and sales. Happy customers turn into repeat customers and their support will quickly grow your customer base. 92% of customers trust earned media like recommendations from friends, over paid media, like advertising, so focusing on your customers will pay off both in the short and long run.
Many of our above tips like customer retention programs and online stores already give your business a leg up against the competition as they provide more opportunities to delight your customers. However, if you’re in need of extra support for scaling your business, look no further than Inventive. Our experts create a variety of solutions to help grow your business including custom websites, apps and consulting. Give us a call today!