Entrepreneurs were super optimistic about the new decade until it surprised the world with the deadly COVID-19. The rapid outspread of the virus turned it into a global pandemic, putting the entire world on hold. People switched to online shopping while companies started creating remote teams to continue working from home – all thanks to digitalization.
During these challenging times, it might seem like there aren’t any opportunities to grow or expand. However, despite these setbacks, you can still make the most out of current circumstances and continue growing your business. Firstly, be strategic about your digital marketing efforts. You can capitalize on ‘free of cost’ marketing channels such as emails, social media, blogs, etc.
Likewise, look at your brand from the vantage point of the consumer and reevaluate your business model. Is your brand different? Does the market need your offerings? Believe it or not, there is always an opportunity for unique products. Here we are unfolding five skills for business expansion during the pandemic.
1. Flexibility & Adaptability
As employees resume working from home (WFH), entrepreneurs have to become more adaptable and flexible. You may have to keep a close eye on productivity levels to ensure WFH isn’t impacting business profitability. More than that, you have to develop an open mindset and learn to work under pressure. Likewise, prepare yourself to adjust to new and unexpected deadlines because clients are becoming more demanding. In some instances, you have to take on additional responsibilities to ensure customer satisfaction.
Moreover, you have to commit to learning and understand the business world inside out. For this, you can complete a Masters in Business Online to expand your skillset. Alongside schooling you about management practices, you will learn how to adapt to a fast-progressing world. In turn, you may be better able to implement new business strategies that foster growth.
2. Understanding of Current Dynamics
Today, the markets are more uncertain than ever. Many people have lost their jobs since companies have been laying off workers, significantly decreasing purchasing power. Similarly, the lack of economic activity is opening doors to financial problems. Therefore, you can’t expand the business by selling luxuries in the current situation. You have to address customers’ present concerns and provide relevant solutions. And this requires a careful and well-executed approach.
If you are selling home essentials, consider developing a new range of products that supports the crisis. You can launch another variant of detergent or shampoo at a lower price to expand the revenue streams. In addition to attracting a new target audience, your active response to the situation will give you an edge over competitors.
3. Effective Communication
Like you, the customers also feel uncertain about the pandemic. Therefore, take a holistic approach to your customer communication strategy. You can open new channels of communication to ensure people can get in touch without hassle. Similarly, you can provide 24/7 customer support by leveraging chatbots. Besides this, talk about the changes you have made due to Covid-19 and what people can expect from your business.
Moreover, keep up with your employees because the team needs effective leadership in times of crisis. You can integrate savvy communication tools and conduct virtual meetings. You may also create a list of goals and discuss it with employees to ensure everyone is on the same page. It will give employees a better sense of their value to the company and make them feel motivated, ultimately leading to business growth.
Even before Covid-19, the digital skills gap was pretty apparent in the business world. Giant companies were excessively investing in information systems to automate operations and improve workflows. Well, the pandemic has accelerated the need for tech skills. After all, every business has to become more aligned with today’s technologies and platforms. Thus, entrepreneurs should know how to work with big data, cloud computing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
Furthermore, you have to develop a keen understanding of analytical tools. It will help in anticipating upcoming marketing, letting you respond to changing market needs. Also, you may brush up on your virtual selling skills. You might be pitching over a zoom call, but that doesn’t mean it is any less professional. You have to be proactive, offer valuable resources, and guides to the prospect. It will keep your business in customers’ minds even if you don’t close the sale right away.
5. Leadership & Resilience
Effective leadership in a prolonged crisis is inevitable for every organization, but it requires emotional and psychological fortitude. Therefore, entrepreneurs must learn to transcend adversity to emerge more robust than ever. You have to model good self-care, resilience, and passion for leaving an example for the workforce. When employees see their manager working proactively through a crisis, they are likely to follow the same approach.
Besides this, you must learn to recover from shocks and stresses positively. Things might not go according to plan during the pandemic, but it doesn’t mean you should lose hope. You have to keep striving until things start turning in your favor. For instance, if you could not close the deal for the merger, talk to analysts and develop a new plan. Demonstrating resilient leadership can take the business in the right direction, letting owners maximize profits and expand operations.
Undeniably, the entire business world is going through a tough time. Some have decided to shut down operations while others are trying to make ends meet. That’s not how one deals with a crisis. Successful entrepreneurs know how to find opportunities in crucial circumstances and capitalize on them. Hence, instead of letting these setbacks hinder growth, equip yourself with skills and expertise to expand operations. You can launch new products in the market, target new customers, and upscale internal processes.