This blog is part of Tandem’s COVID-19 Business Resource Series, where we will update the community regularly and offer industry-specific tips as well as our best solutions to minimize the economic risk many businesses may endure during this critical time. Tandem appreciates your trust in us and will continue to be your valued digital marketing partner during this pandemic.
In times of crisis, it is easy for business as usual to fall to the wayside. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and challenges to come, it is imperative to stay focused on business objectives, the needs of your company, and the future. Tandem has compiled a useful Do’s and Don’ts list as a business resource for all industries during times of crisis.
Crisis Management Don’ts
First, and we cannot stress this enough, DO NOT PANIC! We know it’s tempting, especially when panic is bolded and in all caps. Many business owners and decision-makers are not prepared to handle a widescale crisis or have never faced it before. History repeats itself, so this may not be a company’s first rodeo when dealing with a national crisis. For younger and less experienced companies, a crisis may not have even been considered in business planning. Remember that nothing lasts forever, including the crisis. Stay calm; this too shall pass.
Don’t Spend Money on Nonessential Expenses
Make an internal audit and include everything that money is spent on within your company. A time of crisis calls for a discerning wallet, so save money by scaling back on things like software subscriptions (definitely cancel those that are not used) and other nonessentials like snacks (especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic – no one can eat your organic trail mix when they’re working remotely anyways). If you don’t need it daily, then put a hold on it.
Don’t Think Short-Term
While it is easy to get caught up in the hectic day-to-day during times of crisis, you cannot forget that long-term goals are the key to success. Road bumps will always be there, and sometimes the roads even collapse, but keep looking ahead and with a broad view in order to make lasting positive impacts in your company. Don’t get caught up in the short-term.
Don’t Cancel Essential Elements of Your Business Model
It is tempting to go into your crisis budgeting meeting and hand over a pair of scissors to your CFO, demanding them to cut-cut-cut, but this could be disastrous. Remember to be strategic in your budgeting essentials and assess what will add to long-term strategy. Certain elements of your business are long-term essentials, such as valued employees, brand reputation, and your ongoing marketing plan. As previously stated, don’t think short-term.
Don’t Forget to Keep HR in Mind
Though crisis brings out the mania in the best of us, it certainly is not the time to tell your office crush how cute their butt looks in their new slacks. Even when normal business isn’t in effect, HR still is. Contextualized for right now, do not ask employees if they have COVID-19, as this may violate worker’s rights.1 Save money in times of crisis by avoiding future lawsuits.
Don’t Stay Quiet
Nothing is more disconcerting than silence in times of crisis. As a business leader, you cannot afford to stay quiet. Reach out to your customers and employees and assess their needs. Let them know you are not going anywhere and that you are all in this together. Share content on your personal accounts, stay connected, and be a thought leader. There is a multitude of benefits to this, including boosted brand loyalty and higher potential sales.2 If you need help with your digital image, our social media marketing team is here to help.
Crisis Management Do’s
Do Make a Plan
What better time to evaluate strategy than in a time of upheaval? Stay focused and make a plan with both short-term and long-term goals. Then, make a back-up plan, as things rarely work out the way we expect them to. Flexibility is a key component of business success. Our Fort Lauderdale SEO marketing strategists recommend starting with a long-term goal and building out shorter-term steps in order to reach it.
Do Change Your Google My Business Hours
When there are external forces that cause shifts in day-to-day operations, a company needs to be on top of transparency. With COVID-19 halting many businesses or causing shifts in demand, make sure to let your customers know when you are available to them. If your hours have changed temporarily, let people know on your Google My Business account by modifying your hours of operation accordingly.
Do Take to E-Commerce
COVID-19 has shut down many brick-and-mortar operations. In order to fulfill profit needs, move quickly and efficiently towards building out your e-commerce operation. This will help minimize lost sales and may even connect you to new customers. It is estimated that there will be 2.05 billion global digital buyers in 2020,3 and there’s no better time to digitize than when tons of consumers are spending their time in isolation online, wallet in hand. Don’t forget that you will save money by reducing brick-and-mortar costs, such as building utilities.
Do Make Video Content
There are many reasons why you should include video content in your marketing strategy, but one to think about during a national crisis is that consumers are just as scared as you are and want to see a face. They want empathy and a direct human connection, which can be easily communicated through video content. Video content often seems daunting, but our video marketing experts are here to assist you and your brand.
Do Continue Your SEO Marketing
A good SEO marketing company incorporates a variety of services to best fit your marketing needs. Maintain your SEO services in times of crisis in order to prevent future loss of traffic and sales as well as maintain a hardy brand image. Trust your SEO provider to communicate with your audience through areas such as blogs and Google My Business posts to keep them up to date on your business happenings.4 This will take a lot of stress off your company so you can better manage the crisis at hand.
Do Limit the Number of Customers You Will Serve
There are many national, state, and local regulations regarding business due to COVID-19. Limit the number of customers that can enter your business at a time or the number of orders you can serve at a time. The first part will help with social distancing while the second part will give your customers realistic expectations of your services during this time. Also, scarcity makes consumers place a higher value on goods, so limiting orders can help with normal demand (come on, everyone is doing it).5
Work with a Flexible Marketing Agency
Once again, flexibility is an asset in all areas of business and a key to success. Working with marketing agencies that do not work on strict contracts and will allow you to allocate your budget for different services creates a dynamic partnership that will suit your changing needs. This is especially important during times of crisis. When disaster strikes, if you’re not operating, consider scaling back PPC and moving those funds towards SEO. This will allow for the best use of your marketing funds. If you’re looking for a digital marketing agency in South Florida that does just this, look no further than Tandem Interactive.
Other blogs in this series:
4Search Engine Journal – 13 Ways Businesses Can Use SEO & Marketing to Combat Coronavirus Impact
5Investopedia – Scarcity Principle