Updated: Feb 25, 2021
Grab your whiteboard and post it notes! Come with an open mind, your team and a couple of hours to brainstorm new ideas. Due to the global pandemic, the landscape of most businesses has shifted. In person sales meetings are limited if not happening at all, retail stores have resorted to selling goods online and once popular restaurants and fitness establishments have opted to deliver the same product through delivery or mobile apps. It is your responsibility to get back to the drawing board, to spend the time innovating and to develop a plan for coming out on the other side. Now is the time to seize the moment to flourish!
At TIENNE Consulting, we always start from square one and recommend the same to you and your teams to create a short term survival strategy along with your long term strategy for resilience and growth. Here are our trade secrets to help pivot your business strategy and develop a sustainable path to profitability and future growth.
Conduct a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis provides a thorough analysis of a company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. Although we recommend conducting a SWOT analysis each year, most companies don’t. Whether or not your business was affected by the pandemic, conducting a new SWOT analysis will pave the way to a strategic marketing plan.
Complete a customer analysis. Evaluate your sales and marketing, social media and digital analytics to see if and how your customers have changed. Once you understand who your customer is, then you will determine the best way to communicate to them and ultimately develop an effective marketing plan. Ask yourself, “Is your target customer from 8 months ago still your target customer today? How are you speaking to your loyal customers while developing a marketing strategy that speaks to new customers?” This is also a great opportunity to ask what is most important to your customer at this time as it has likely changed during the pandemic to focus on health and safety above all else.
Complete a competition analysis. According to YELP, nearly 60% of businesses on their platform are closed permanently including 100,000 restaurants and over 30,000 retail establishments. In addition to the service and retail industry, thousands of other companies have been greatly affected by the pandemic and have permanently closed. Who was once your competition may not be your competition anymore. Similarly, new and emerging companies may have developed in your area or former competitors may have developed new products. Research and evaluate.
Reevaluate sales structure and sales tools. Budgets have tightened, travel is limited, networking opportunities are reserved to digital and supply chains may have changed. It is time to review if your goals are still attainable and if the sales materials are still relevant to the pandemic era. Then think about ways to close efficiency gaps by taking a big picture look at who is handling what work and how. Ensure your messaging is updated if you are able to deliver a product to your customer safely, virtually/touch free and rapidly.
Assess value delivery. After you’ve done the legwork to secure a customer, it is imperative to deliver value in order to retain them long term. Most customers like to do business with companies that care about making a positive impact. Ensure your marketing materials convey your company’s purpose and reason for doing business. Be sure you are true to your company’s “WHY”! Bonus: Partner with charitable organizations that align with your company’s goals. But remember to focus on making connections with your customers and take the necessary steps to understand what their needs are and address them. Pick up the phone (yes, that still works) and speak to your customers directly.
Have an open mind. Don’t get caught up in strategies that used to work or did not work. Utilize your team to brainstorm new ways to differentiate your company and speak to today’s customer while also delivering value. And when you need additional, outside perspective, give TIENNE Consulting a call and we will help deliver and execute a comprehensive plan to help your company go from merely surviving to THRIVING.