How Your Business Can Respond To The Coronavirus Pandemic

Less than 4 months ago, the world was introduced to a discreet, invisible enemy. A new strain of the common Coronavirus, COVID-19, manifested in it’s first victims in Wuhan, China. The indiscriminate virus soon ravaged the entire country and began spreading throughout the world. It was only January 21, 2020 when the first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in the United States. In the very short span of time since, cases have grown exponentially throughout the world–with the US currently confirming nearly 215,00 positive cases at the time of this post. Unfortunately, this number isn’t expected to slow down any time soon. Governments are responding with extreme measures rarely ever seen before to combat the virus. Responses range from cancelling public events and recommending limits to social gatherings, to mandating all non-essential businesses to close and imposing “Shelter In Place” and “Stay At Home” orders to citizens. No matter where you live in the US, “social distancing” has most definitely become a part of your daily vocabulary. 

 

Let’s face it, this is tough for everybody right now. In what seems like a blink of an eye, the global economy has ground to a halt. With customers wary to leave their homes, revenue is dropping for businesses across the country. This is causing businesses across the board to lay off workers and close down temporarily, even permanently in many cases. It’s safe to say our formerly booming economy was ill-prepared for a global pandemic of this proportion. To be frank, it’s a hostile time to be a business owner. If you’re lucky enough to still be open for business or if you’ve saved enough capitap[l for an emergency, count your lucky stars. You may be wondering how to respond proactively to the COVID climate, or what you can do to maximize growth with more time in your hands. In these uncertain times, growth may seem unattainable–but the smart business owner will look for ways they can capitalize on the circumstances of any situation. Here’s what Alpine Point Media is recommending to our clients:

 

Explore New Ways to Reach Customers

Whether it’s working from home or social distancing, people are doing their best to stay indoors. What does that mean? They’re spending more time on their phones, tablets, and computers. Everyone’s been confronted with the dilemma of occupying their time indoors. Every generation of internet users from Gen Z to Baby Boomers is reporting increased usage on their devices since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak. More time online means more social media usage, more web browsing, and more opportunities to get your name out there. Obviously, a social media influencer agency, found a 76% increase in daily accumulated likes across their Instagram campaigns alone in the last two weeks. To respond to this, businesses have focused more resources in online initiatives. Even traditional brick & mortars like the Container Store, Michael’s, and Nordstrom have invested in their online retailing platforms and have even begun curb-side delivery on online orders. These strategies make it easier for customers to continue their shopping habits in the comfort of their own homes while ensuring that sales don’t take an irreversible dip during forced closures. Most importantly of all, if your business does not already have an online presence, now is the time to create one. Customers are looking to interact with their favorite businesses online now more than ever. Whether this means creating or remodeling a website, ramping up social media posts, or offering new and innovative online services, it is imperative that business owners focus on their online strategies during the COVID crisis.

 

New Sales & Promotions

If your business sells toilet paper or groceries, consider yourself lucky right now. For everyone else, times couldn’t be much worse. People are saving their money, and as global demand in many industries declines, it’s vital that businesses give their customers a reason to buy. This may sound like Marketing 101, but the lesson rings true. What should businesses do when demand is down? Offer sales and promotions, of course. This is already taking place in many industries, and you can find the evidence on your TV screen in what I like to call “COVID commercials”. Takeout services are offering free delivery, car manufacturers are offering payment insurance for job-loss, and tons of retailers are offering sales and promotions to customers to incentivize purchasing. Just yesterday, I plugged in COVIDSUCKS as a promo code to save 10% on a pair of shoes. Offering sales and promotions is critical to maintaining sales right now, especially when no one is completely sure when this crisis will be over. It could be many more weeks, even months, before non-essential businesses reopen and consumer confidence is restored. As more and more people save their income for basic necessities and living expenses, many consumers are hard-pressed to pay full price for anything. Let’s be honest, everyone could use a break right now.

 

Invest, Invest, Invest.

Another sobering fact of the current global crisis is that the bull market of the past few years has been wiped clean, and all nearly gains since President Trump took office in 2017 have been erased. Business closures, social distancing, and worrisome expectations on the progression of the pandemic have led to mass sell-offs and sinking stock prices. Now I’d be remiss if I were to tell you I’m an expert investor. Investing is certainly not my forte, but to put this bluntly, if you have the capital to buy right now you would be stupid not to. The smart investor sees the inevitable recession as an opportunity rather than a setback. If you have money set aside and it is within your means to invest, now is the time to buy while stock prices are low. Let’s not downplay the fact that thousands of people across the country are facing financial emergencies right now, whether they’ve lost their job or had to close their business. However, building an income stream separate from your job or business is essential to financial independence. Increasing your investment strategy is coupled by the fact that the federal government will be injecting $2 trillion to stimulate the economy and is sending $1200 to every tax paying American in the next few weeks. Ideal industries to look at right now are oil, hotel chains, airlines (bailout money) and biotech.

  

Though the COVID pandemic has shaken up all aspects of life right now, new challenges are presenting new opportunities to many business owners. Remember to stay safe, keep your distance, and wash your hands. If you see an opportunity amidst this crisis for yourself or your business, reach out to us and we will help you build. 

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