What are you doing to respond to the current state of affairs?
Respond is different than react.
The world has changed, and I think we can now all agree that your buyer’s behavior has changed as well. So, the question is…” How will your business change?”
I can’t tell you how many people tell me they are dressing appropriately only from the waist up for Zoom calls. That is changing the clothing that people buy, and many people have shifted their purchases online.
People are not driving as much. What impact will that have on the regularly scheduled service that many shops rely on?
I think everyone is aware that restaurants are going to have to shift their model. Sit down dinners and real estate prices are going to eat away at margins. And this shift was coming before COVID. I remember a talk by the CEO of Red Robin, at Denver University, last year. She was talking about how they were exploring ways to ease the tension between declining dine in meals and rising delivery meals.
NOW is the time for innovation. That does not mean you need a big innovation lab or large investments. It means, put yourself in your customers shoes and ask, “How can I help them meet their wants in this difficult time?” (Wants are different than needs).
So, what does innovation look like?
- For my dentist, it is extended hours so they can meet the regulations required for social distancing.
- For a private dining club, early in the pandemic when everything was closed, it was offering their customers pick up of food and paper products like toilet paper and cleansers. (Their distribution channels were different than Kroger’s).
- For an auto mechanic, it was picking up, repairing, sanitizing and delivery of vehicles.
- For many local restaurant’s, communities helped them by blocking off streets. This allowed them to extend outdoor dining and volume.
What will you do?
- Do you want to add an e-commerce site now that your customers are not visiting your store like they did?
- Do you want to communicate how you have sanitized your restaurant, so people feel safe eating there?
- Do you need to go back to your marketing and make sure it is addressing your client’s NEW wants and desires? (They have changed.)
- Keep Marketing and Selling. Companies that pulled back in difficult times lost market share in every downturn.
- Be prepared but don’t panic. This too shall pass, just like the Y2K panic, the SARs Panic, and, The Bird Flu panic.
Get with your advisors and start exploring your options. You want a second opinion. If you don’t have an advisor, you can ask me a question at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t sit still and wait for this to pass. The market is evolving, you want to evolve with it.