Businesses are going through a tough period globally. This is expected as the disposable income of some of the buying population is either reduced or completely lost. In poorer countries like Nigeria, most people are focused on neccesities and are on a survival mode. The pandemic-COVID-19 with its ripple economic effects has led to adjustments in living standards and in most homes and this ultimately affects Businesses accross various sectors of the Economy.
What does this mean for Businesses? Adjust and thrive! or Stay stuck and Die ! It is one or the other. Evidently, the consumption focus of most consumers has shifted with the tides of the pandemic and Businesses that are not responding to these preferences would lose relevance. The case in note are Small-Medium-Enterprises, as these cadre of Businesses are the most affected.
How does a Business thrive in drowning economic times? Businesses are ultimately in Business” to fufil a purpose(s), what ever this may be, the Business wants to remain a going concern atleast to fufil this purpose or purposes. At this time, Businesses should look within to re-enact their purpose(s) and align it to changing times. Ultimately, this would inform new strategies that would help them satisfy the needs and wants of their target consumers.
One of the strategies that Businesses have infused in their operations at this time is Empathy selling. A case in note is Coca-Cola, the brand which has been in existence for about 128 years has gone through various periods of economic trends and times and has succeeded as a global Business to become a household name.Recently, the brand announced that it would be producing hand santizers for donation to hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. This quick and thoughtful action in a crisis is beyond CSR, it is action driven and has closed some gap in the current situation at hand. The consumer unconsciously navigates towards a brand that has a human element to its offerings and this is how a brand stays relevant.
A closer look at Skype and Zoom as mediums of communication and virtual meetings has seen Zoom to be more relevant in this period because the latter has more features that makes customer experience seemless and more interesting than the former. In your Industry, how are you meeting your Customer and Clients needs? What are the changes you have made to give your Customers and Clients better Customer experience in these times? What has your brand and Business operations portrayed as focus in its service offerings? Is your Business , a go to for quick and satifactory resolution of customer/client needs? What are the empathetic measures that have been put in place to reach your Customers/Clients? What does your current Business operations say about you? These and many more questions would provide the health sheet of your Business in this period.
The point to note is that, your Business can thrive even during economic downtimes!