Article: Covid 19: Threat, Opportunity

Making the most of a bad situation...

Covid 19: Making the best of a bad situation

Make no mistake, whilst some will see the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent societal lockdown as an inconvenience, for many businesses it could be utterly devastating.

Already, entire sectors are under existential threat. The entertainment, sports, hospitality and hotel sectors spring to mind as first-line casualties but there will be others. Any business which depends on discretionary spending by consumers or businesses could well be threatened during an extended period of uncertainty and “social isolation”.

Covid 19 - a serious threat to business - but can business use enforced downtime effectively

The support measures offered by Government seemingly offer a lifeline to tide businesses over to the return of “normality” (whatever that will be) and one sincerely hopes that these will be enough.

But could the enforced downtime that many businesses will suffer be an opportunity in disguise?

The Day to Day – Disrupted – Opportunity?

Most businesses, both small and large, have a usual day-to-day existence of chasing their own tails.

Resources are tightly allocated and it’s often a challenge to get the “business” done in working hours – let alone think about the longer-term direction and strategy of the business.

The enforced downtime that Covid-19 has enforced on many businesses could therefore be a blessing in disguise. Allowing under-utilised resources to be allocated, albeit temporarily, to assess processes, strategy, positioning, marketing and a host of other important aspects of every business that generally don’t get the time they deserve.

Things we would recommend include:

Strategy

Perhaps now is a good time to think about the longer-term strategy of the business. Where do you want to take it, what sectors do you want to exploit, how are you going to take the business there?

The marketing plan

You do have one don’t you? Now’s the opportunity to invest a bit of time to build one out to help your business after the recovery – or in worst case scenario to survive in the new climate.

Marketing collateral

All those brochures, flyers, information cards, signs and the like which you’ve been thinking about updating – there is literally no better time.

Day to day marketing

There’s a huge amount of uncertainty out there at the moment. Customers don’t know what’s open, closed or gone. Take the opportunity to remind them – social media / email marketing or traditional direct mail. Let them know your still open for business. Let them know what precautions you are implementing – keep the dialog open.

The website

Yep, that thing you’ve been meaning to update for years.

Take the time to update it, refresh it, make it more relevant. Look at what the competition are doing for ideas if you need them, or brainstorm.

In summary

The Covid-19 crisis is unique. For a vast range of businesses (and the people they employ) it’s potentially devastating – but the underlying business conditions are benign. With the level of governmental support being offered most sectors of the economy should bounce back to broadly equivalent pre-crisis levels.

That’s not to say it’s going to be painless by any means. That’s not saying things won’t change – they will.

The success of businesses going forwards isn’t necessarily getting through the crisis – it’s making a success of themselves post-crisis.

It’s getting out there and tapping into that pent-up demand, it’s about adapting and changing where necessary to make the most of those opportunities.