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The second wave of coronavirus: what should businesses do?

More than half of entrepreneurs have not yet recovered from the first wave of coronavirus, and experts are already predicting a new outbreak. We tell you whether it is possible to prepare for such an outcome and minimize damage to the business.

What did the first wave teach businessmen?
The head of the Aspro sales department, Sergey Galyamov, believes that crisis phenomena are cyclical, so every entrepreneur should have a “plan B” and a financial cushion in case of unforeseen situations. In difficult times, it is important not to succumb to panic, but instead to slow down and think about plans, think about possible scenarios and calculate the consequences of their implementation. It is better to choose anti-crisis measures taking into account the specifics of the business, and then it will be possible to survive the second wave with the least losses. Here is what the experts propose to do today.

1. Go online
If you have not yet mastered the benefits of the online space, it’s time to start taking action. Give consumers as much information as possible: describe the services, tell and show the stages of production of the goods, list what problems the buyer can solve with the help of your products. The more interesting and detailed the content, the more loyal the audience. Try different formats: social networks, email newsletters, direct dialogues in the style of “question-answer”: it is especially important now to maintain the reputation of the brand.

2. Revisit the USP
Perhaps the old USP is not effective in the new realities: replace the offer, and, if necessary, the product itself. Show that the product or service can be useful during the period of self-isolation. So, board and educational games can be presented as a remedy for boredom, and our own cloud developments as a tool for organizing remote office work.

Savings are in trend today, so it is important to demonstrate how your product can save the family budget during this difficult time. Marketers believe that the audience is now in limbo, so those who can help, explain, suggest, and not impose their services will win. Show that your product is useful and important – and it will be purchased even in the midst of the coronavirus.

3. Develop logistics and online transactions
When there is a real struggle for a client, simple communications come first: online payment in 1 click or contactless delivery. Experts are sure that the introduction of such technologies has a positive effect on the growth of the average bill.

4. Improve service and communications
Minimum program in the era of COVID-19: implementation of chatbots, no more than 5 minutes for a response on social networks, daily communication at all levels of the sales funnel. If you do not follow these recommendations, customers will go to competitors, and audience loyalty will begin to fall.

Teach your employees how to properly respond to negative feedback, turn even negative reviews into free advertising, don’t keep them waiting: in a study by Artox Media Digital Group, every third user admitted that he hopes for an answer within 5 minutes, and more than 60% of respondents are completely ready to refuse product and even leave negative feedback if the wait is too long.

5. Remove Ineffective Marketing Tools
In the face of a shortage of profit, it is foolish to spend money on advertising channels and events with low conversion. Track where the maximum flow of customers comes from, find out how they reach your company, and work in this direction. Try free platforms and tools: specialized resources (Yandex.Services, YouDo, etc.), various services (YouTube, Yandex.Q and Yandex.Zen), Turbo pages for better website ranking. Do not neglect word of mouth: offer customers a discount if they bring their friends and acquaintances, write a recommendation and review on their page.

6. Cut costs
Continuing the theme of savings: look around, because not only in marketing, finances are not spent in the most efficient way. Perhaps it is time to temporarily withdraw unprofitable goods from circulation, refuse to hire new employees (especially if there is no urgent need for them), freeze projects that will not bring money in the near future. At the same time, everything that makes a profit must be financed 100%. In the digital era, you can even save on office rent and transfer employees to remote work.

7. Caring for employees
Appreciate those who bring money. They will become the basis for survival in difficult conditions. Have conversations with essential workers, discuss plans and scenarios for action, donate time to strengthen communication between departments. It is better to meet new difficulties with a close-knit team, ready for anything.

Will there be a second wave?
Many analysts are sure that there is no reason for mass panic. For example, Alexander Abramov, professor at the Institute of Applied Economic Research of the RANEPA, believes that the transition to remote work and mass vaccination are completely capable of preventing a new round of the disease. Doctors today, according to the scientist, are much better prepared, so we should expect balanced measures without “distortions”.

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