A common trait of successful business owners is the ability to identify obstacles and turn them into opportunities. Some obstacles are easy to spot, and from the right perspective, they can present a big opportunity.
With companies making bigger and more significant changes (think digital transformation) and consumers rethinking their spending and buying habits, the marketplace has more movement than ever. It could be your chance to re-establish your brand, build your reputation and acquire new customers. It feels like a big task, but you can start small. Here’s a simple list of things you can do right now as a business owner to gain an advantage without spending a dollar.
Review your main message and value proposition
After carefully planning or sticking to one communication strategy or message for a long time, it can be hard to make a change. But in today’s rapidly changing business world, a finely tuned message may now be tuned to the wrong frequency. If the market and customer base are in a state of change, then it’s the perfect time to re-evaluate who you’re speaking to, what you’re communicating and how you’re saying it.
As you re-craft your marketing message or value proposition (ie. how your customers’ lives will be improved with you in it), go back to the basics. The rules haven’t changed; you’re simply reapplying them.
Consider how your audience is adapting ⎯ you can probably relate. Is your brand speaking to their new needs? Make sure they know who you are and what you can do for them. Even if they were your client in the past, they’re also re-evaluating their needs, so prove to them you can still provide value. It’s also possible that a new segment of the market is in need of your product or service now, so clear and informative communication is a necessity.
Remember, this is a review of your current content. Parts of your marketing plan may still work and others may require adjusting. The goal is a strong, cohesive message for anyone looking at your business after a period of uncertainty and change.
Update your website
Your website is still the first place someone will go if they have questions about your business. With so much change happening all the time, particularly during significant events like economic, social and cultural shifts, it’s important to constantly communicate to your customers what is changing in your business – or not - and how it will impact them. Whether you’re making minor adjustments to adapt or transforming to stay afloat, open communication helps keep everyone on the same page. It could be that nothing is changing – providing peace of mind to your customers.
When assessing your website, ask yourself what your target market wants to know about you. It could be as simple as letting them know you’re still in business, with new business hours, or maybe you’ve introduced some new policies on how you will serve them. Most importantly, confirm all the content on your website is current and relevant. If something no longer applies, replace it with valuable information that answers their most pressing questions.
Check in on your clients
With everyone focusing on their own business, it can be easy to lose track of others. Don’t forget to maintain those personal connections. It may be the easiest suggestion on the list, but it goes a long way.
Simply reach out and say “hi.”
Ask clients about their experiences over the quarter, six months or year. You’ll find common ground and gain some insight into what they need now. Show them you understand their unique situation and offer your services if necessary. By approaching them personally, rather than through a marketing push, you’ll show you haven’t forgotten about them. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you will likely gain valuable insights that will help you to make sure you are reaching your audience.
Offer free advice
This can be in the form of a blog, white paper, infographic or even a meme. Your main consideration should be how much expertise you want to offer to draw people in and how much you want to hold onto until they become clients.
With constant change, people can feel like their life is in flux and may be focused internally on managing change in their own lives. The bigger the period of change, the more a helpful suggestion to get them closer to normal — or a bit of certainty in uncertain times — will be remembered.
Doing these four simple things will set you up well to refresh your brand and take advantage of the opportunities that obstacles present.
To learn more, connect with an advisor today.