How to Restart Your Business After Lockdown
This year has been an emotional and financial rollercoaster with our downgrade, recession, lockdown and all of a sudden it is back to work. This is How to Restart Your Business after Lockdown, build relationships with past, current and future clients and how to get back up and running and rebuild a successful business.
There are so many opinions out there and so much media drivel about the pandemic that I am sure you are so tired of hearing about it and all we can worry about is our diminishing bank balances and how you are going to Restart Your Business After Lockdown.
I heard a word of advice from Simon Sinek, author of the book, “Start With Why”, a book well worth the read. He was giving an online lecture and the phrase “this is not business as usual” came up. Simon stopped the person bringing up the phrase in his tracks and said, hang on, this is the new business as usual. The business of the past is just that, in the past and this is now the new normal. We need to adapt or die. Simon Sinek gave the example of Kodak, who were late entering the digital photography game and are no longer players of the game. Another example of slow adaptation industries is the Taxi Industry. They thought Uber and similar ride-hailing apps would be a passing fad but boy were they wrong. The sluggish moving meter taxi industry in South Africa was the dumbest of the lot. They should have seen what was happening to the taxi industry worldwide and they should have become Uber’s biggest client but they were blindsided by fast-paced quick decision-making entrepreneurs. And in true South African style try to eliminate their competition by burning cars.
Don’t let your business get left behind. In fact, many industries have capitalised on the mandatory mask business and have sold millions of masks in South Africa and worldwide. A word of caution, don’t build your business solely on the mask industry and there are tons of competitors in the market and the demand, although high now, won’t last too long… I hope.
From a mental and mind prep starting point, this is How to Restart Your Business After Lockdown
Streamline Your Business where possible
Most of your clients run on the lowest budget possible. The value of the transaction may be high but you can bet your bottom dollar that most businesses will run as lean as they can, only buying on order, only buying what they need and limiting stock holding as their money can be channelled and spent on salaries and other expensed. You need to do the same. Don’t order stock because your supplier has a warehouse full and is offering a discount unless you know that you will turn it around and sell it quickly. Either cut staff hours or reduce your staff compliment, hard I know but tough times call for tough measures. This may also be a good reason to assess the value of the contribution your staff make back to the business based on performance and revenue generation and reassign or release staff as necessary.
Relook at your business model
Cul the nice to have services or products that may be costing more to run and promote than the revenue generated by them. Consolidate departments if there are crossover functions and decide what actually makes money in your business right now. All other parts of your offer are probably good for your business but may not be good for the business right now. Once the market starts to turn and your business starts building it may be a good time to reintroduce these products and services. You may find that they are no longer needed or wanted by the market in the long run.
Build extra Value
When cash is tight clients want more. This is usually unfair and if there is buyer competition there is scarcity. Scarcity means higher demand which means higher prices. Now don’t just increase your pricing without knowing what is actually going on in your industry. If your competitors have closed you have the leading edge, and clients may flock to you. But in reality, price increases will be a part of your business recovery but not because you are amazing but due to rising costs of running your business and the cost of supply. This is where you need to add extra value to clients in order to secure them as happy clients that want to give you their money for your product and service. Adding extra value is hard as it means that you need to step out of your daily activities and focus on what matters to your clients.
Build a killer marketing campaign and Promote like mad
Yes I know, I am a marketer and I want you to market your business. Amazing… But, did you know that the only 2 business activities that generate revenue are Marketing and Sales… The rest is a cost? Don’t get me wrong, accounting and legal is important, admin is necessary and HR is also a serious matter but without marketing and selling your products and services, no other business function is necessary. Build a solid low-cost marketing campaign that will reach your clients to expose their needs and encourage their desire for what you offer. Do more than you think is necessary… go to networking meetings, get radio interviews, promote on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, LinkedIn and Google. Get in front of your potential customer by being present in their space. They are not coming running to you, you need to meet them where they are at. Show them what you can do for them and how they will benefit from using you. Show them why you are the best choice for them. Educate them so that they can make an informed purchase decision and add value and add value and add some more value.
Negotiate payment terms with debtors and creditors
Some may owe you money and you may be in debt to others. This will be a test to your best negotiation skills and it doesn’t matter if you are owed or if you owe money, the fact of the matter is that you, your suppliers and customers are all in this together. Structure payment plans with creditors and debtors that help maintain important relationships and build new connections. Cashflow management is vital at this point and helping each other stay afloat is essential. However, be wise with your assessment of those who owe you money and if possible get some security in place just in case they can’t pay. And be open to these types of structures when making deals with those who you owe money to as well.
Bonus Tip: Open up your services to the international market.
Look at what you do and assess how you can package it for the international market. Get it online worldwide and don’t just focus on the local market. Consider how the Rand has devalued over the past few months and how much worse it could become in the near future. A few healthy US Dollars flowing in will be good for you, your business and our country.
Marketing, promotion and online international exposure is something that we at Market Magnet specialise in and it works well. That’s why We are in business. in fact, I started this business in the middle of the 2008 financial crisis and my business boomed. Although quite different coming out of lockdown, your business has the opportunity to not only recover but to boom too. Don’t sit back and face bankruptcy, do whatever it takes to get going and become successful. Your business, staff, customers and family are depending on you getting this right.
There is no reason to fail, It may be a struggle so this is How to Restart Your Business After Lockdown
What do you want to be? Don’t become another lockdown casualty.
Let’s build your business together. As a Lockdown recovery service, I am offering free initial consultations to assess your recovery and growth potential. Contact me here and let’s get you assessed and going.