What Businesses are Doing to Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic

While we’ve been living in a global pandemic for several months now, I know it’s still been difficult for a lot of people to get a handle on how COVID-19 is affecting business.  I was intensely curious myself so I created a survey and asked everyone I know to fill it out.  Now, I want to share the results with you.  I’ve got the answers to questions like: what are companies doing to adapt? How are budgets and hiring plans changing? What can I do for my business?   Read on to see what your fellow professionals had to say. Money, Money, Money I was surprised to find that most businesses are operating only slightly below their normal budget.  In a time when it can be all too easy to find bad news, this was a breath of fresh air.  Whether due to internal practices, external support, or a mix of both, I was happy to discover that, rather than sinking, many companies are still navigating these tricky and rough waters. Knowledge is Power I asked the tough question, “If there was one area to focus on right now during the current landscape, what would that area be?”  Almost all the answers I received fit within three categories: How to Stand Out; Communication; and Finances.  Here are a few specific examples business leaders shared: How to Stand Out
  • Being top of mind when a client can’t hire full-time, but can hire an interim consultant
  • Keeping in front of prospective clients
  • Giving back
  • Enhancements that help people do business digitally
  • Focusing on things that might seem unimportant but will be harmful if left on the backburner too long – like SEO
  • New course format, service offering, and website upgrade to reflect new services
  • Retention of current clients by showing them our ability to be nimble and flexible
  • Developing and using appropriate messaging
  • Better targeting and identification of our ideal customer
  • Building new relationships
  • Connecting members to one another
  • Social media and everything digital
  • Lifting people up via valuable content
  • Top of funnel awareness building
  • Expanding production capacity
  • Focusing on federal government spending
  • Conserving cash
  • Identifying new prospects
  • Loan forgiveness
  • How to save clients money
  • Growing existing clients
Honorable mention: Cyber Security and Family Goals for the Year and Goals for Right Now I asked everyone to rank their goals, most important to least important, for the rest of 2020 as well as their immediate focus.  Here’s what they had to say: Company Wide Goals for the Rest of 2020
  1. Hitting our revenue target
  2. Reducing spending
  3. Completing planned campaigns
  4. Launching products
  5. Hiring 
The Most Important Area of Focus Right Now
  1. Social media presence
  2. Organic search optimization
  3. PR
  4. Paid digital advertising and Online reputation management
  5. Review sites, like Yelp
The Two Things MOST Important for the Rest of 2020
  1. Increasing sales (60.27%)
  2. Cutting expenses (38.36%)
The Two Things LEAST Important for the Rest of 2020
  1. Updating and expanding a Wikipedia presence (60.27%)
  2. A better understanding of Google Analytics and Google Data Studio; and having a high level of visibility into the ROI of a digital ad spend (both 28.77%) 
The Main Takeaway? Staying Present Most businesses are making a strong presence their top priority.  Whether through SEO, social media channels, outstanding and uplifting blog content, or another format, the focus is on ensuring current and potential customers are aware of what your business can do for them.  Sound familiar?  The need to grow brand awareness and seize new marketing opportunities is not new.  Yes, we are currently reacting to pretty unique pain-points, but the skills we’ve honed through years of managing our companies are going to serve us well.  It’s going to take creative thinking and community support, but we can adapt and ride out this wave.   I hope that by sharing these survey results, I’ve helped you bring a little more sense to the world.  I know that the ability to step outside of our lives and analyze the world around us is essential for any business leader.  If you want to talk through any of these results in more detail, or have questions about how to make yourself stand out and attract new customers, I am always ready to talk.

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