2020! This year is the year that challenged all of us.
In the midst of a presidential election, a raging pandemic, and a country divided, many industries had to adapt quickly and change their go-to-market strategies without much warning at all. Some of our favorite businesses have made it through so far. Others haven’t fared as well. We’ve learned a lot about our own business, and we know you’ve learned a lot about yours as well.
Here are a few ideas our team will take away from this unprecedented year.
Embrace innovation. Some of us are more ardent when it comes to change. Those reluctant to change likely had even more difficulty throughout this challenging time. Businesses were forced to think differently about sales. For brick-and-mortar locations that could not receive foot traffic, moving to an online store became imperative. This affected restaurants, merchandisers, and bars alike. Having an interactive social media feed became essential to update customers about how they could be served. Think about the restaurants who were able to pivot to outdoor dining and carryout services – innovation kept them alive. Look for opportunities to pivot and stay profitable; your customers will follow you where you lead them.
Abandon plans when necessary. Similar to embracing innovative ideas, if your immediate plans don’t align, learn to move forward with the changes necessary to keep yourself afloat. Put your plans in a file and save them for resurrection another day when the stars align. One day, you’ll most likely be able to dive into them again!
Listen to what your customers need. Tuning into what your business needs is one part of the equation; listening to your supporters is another. You might see some solutions that align with your business plan very easily. If you’re willing to ask your clients what might benefit them, the responses could spark new ideas or services. Customers will feel included in your business, and brand loyalty can be built this way. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask important questions and find a base committed to helping you stay in business.
Be vulnerable and ask for what your business needs. It takes courage to stand up and ask for help when you need it. This shouldn’t be seen as a weakness! Most of your customers, partners, and fellow businesses are empathetic and willing to lend a hand where they can. Why not tap into that goodwill when you could use a helping hand? Ask for patrons to support you with a purchase, a share on their social media feeds, or by leaving your business a glowing review! Just remember to return the favor whenever you can.
All of the things we’ve listed above are some ideas that we’ve seen, implemented, and capitalized on for our clients. How you carry out these tasks is up to you, but the major lesson we will take from 2020 is this: Be kind. In all that you do, extend empathy and love to everyone. Your philanthropic attitude will help your business to shine.