3 weeks has felt like a lifetime, and it felt necessary to document it…
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 1: (9 am) For my own safety, I’ve decided to quarantine myself in my house. I have enough food to last me for six months. (10 am) I’ve run out of food.
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 2: My homemade mummy costume was met with violent online backlash.
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 3: I’ve forgotten what my actual job was, as I seem to be my kids’ assistant, scheduling all their ‘appointments’ with their friends on Messenger Kids
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 4: Finally getting the hang of physical distancing, I’ve resorted to sending risky texts to random strangers just to get my heart rate up.
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 5: Really missing watching sports on tv, just watched a video on youtube about what your cat’s sleeping position reveals about their health and personality – I don’t have cats.
- Dear Quarantine Journal – Day 6: Realized how much I like eating out, shopping for non-essentials and touching my face.
- Dear Quarantine Journal – I don’t know what day it is anymore, it’s been weeks since I last left my house and talked to another human, I miss rush hour traffic and working 9-5 – Dear Jesus, what’s wrong with me?
All jokes aside though, so much has changed globally, industry has halted, rules have changed, restrictions have escalated, and consumer behaviour has changed.
For small businesses, the great escape act is dependent on us all staying relevant, cutting through the noise, selling with empathy and making our marketing message relevant and authentic. The goal for some is to survive, but for the bold, it’s to not just survive, but find a way to thrive.
Everything we thought we knew about consumer buying behaviour has changed, maybe the best way to describe it is a digital evolution. One that we thought was coming in the distant future and we needed to put plans in place for, in the coming years – but now, it’s something we needed to have in place 6 weeks ago. Pivoting is the buzz word we’ve had to embrace because, without it, our companies risk becoming irrelevant, stagnant and ultimately dead.
This brings us to a choice…in situations of panic and fear, we all face a flight or fight option. We chose to fight, and I’m sure you did too.
“There’s a moment in fighting when the strength of muscle ain’t everything because the enemy has already given you enough energy to gain the victory” – Toba Beta
If we truly say that in response to this pandemic we choose to fight then we need to create relevancy in the face of changing consumer behaviour. For some companies, the greatest need is to pivot, because it’s no longer an option to do business as normal. For a few select companies, they are more relevant than ever before (think technology, IT, lawyers, cleaning products, etc.), they now need to scale to increase their capacity for growing demand. What is it that you are facing?
If you’re pivoting or scaling you need a plan! You need strategic action to determine your next move, you need to be empathetic in your message and in presenting your authority with tact and intentionality ask 2 questions:
- Who is buying?
- Why are they buying?
You need to consider how you promote your business without being too opportunistic (because you will kill your business if you sound tone-deaf to the challenges faced by EVERYONE in the world) and what benefit do you provide to people ’stuck’ working at home in quarantine?
According to Donald Miller (StoryBrand), right now every business needs 4 plans:
- A Cash Flow Plan – Consider what’s necessary for the near term
- A Business Plan – Strategy to make money over 90 days
- A Messaging Plan – Your customers’ new pain points have changed
- A Recession-Proof Plan – What can you offer people, coming out of a recession
How many of these do you have in place? There’s no shame in saying you don’t have these in place to a level that you’re proud and even happy with, we’re all battling with something no-one saw coming 6 months ago. We all keep saying that we’re in this together. Simon Sinek says trust is built on telling people the truth, not telling people what they want to hear. So listen up, these are scary times but it will end and we will get through this together. The places in the world that have been dealing with this chaos before we have, are providing a daily example of what to expect as we plan for a rebound – and it is coming! So if you’re deciding to fight and you’re deciding that ‘stuck’ is not a way you want to define your business – let’s work together to create clear and intentional plans of what you can do for your business, starting now.
Let’s have a COVID[EO] call (free to schedule, it’s our commitment to help), to explore the opportunities that exist in your business, industry, and marketplace – just be prepared that the new normal is not your old normal.
We’re Office Guardians and we’re here for you! Let us be your #quaranTEAM!