We have heard all the bad things concerning this new virus, the numbers, the dangers, the risks, the precautions, the varied political opinions, the damage to sales of Corona beer.
Now it’s up to us to come up with ways to operate in these hard times. It is up to us to find ways to conduct business while the virus is about to sweep through this blessed country of ours.
Here are seven things that you can do (besides washing your hands while singing Happy Birthday three times, not touching your face, not sneezing in someone else’s face, avoiding crowds, staying off planes and for heaven’s sake not going to China!)
- Write your company’s policy statement on what you are doing about the virus. This is mandatory, everybody has to have a statement. So this is the first rule of order: write a simple, humble and virtuous statement on your company’s official CoronaVirus policy.
- Communicate by making phone calls. I hear from my Redmond client that pretty much all of Washington is shut down. Companies like Facebook, and Google, and Microsoft, just to name a few of the many high tech companies in that part of the country, have told their associates to stay home and work from their homes. And this is happening in most other parts of the country as well. This means that you will have to develop a steady means of regular communications with them. Guess what? The phone is making a comeback! That’s right there is now a real purpose to using your phone to make…gasp, a phone call! Finally, your customers will take your phone calls! Isn’t this what you have been complaining about for the last few years? Well now is your time. If people are working from home, they will have more time to take your calls and more time to talk to you about their needs and what you can do to help them.
- Texting: yes, now we have a real business use for texting. This is a great way to communicate with your customers. Bone up on your acronyms and emojis, because now you can use them to solicit new business and take care of the old business.
- Email: This is the most valuable communications tool of all. Where we have all been complaining about how our customers are doing everything by email, now this means of communications is more vital than ever. Start working on your email skills. Make sure that your emails are short and to the point. And remember that emails speak louder than words, so temper your tone when sending emails.
- Newsletters: Emailing newsletters is now not only a reality, but a key method of keeping your customers abreast of what is happening not only in your company, but in your region, as well as your industry. For once they will become a real newsletter, actually being used for what they were really meant to be used for, conveying the news. I’d recommend that your newsletters be short and to the point and more frequent. It would not hurt to start a weekly or even daily newsletter bulletin telling your customers what is going on at your company, letting them know about your capacity and capabilities. The more you reach out to them during these hard times the better it will be, as long as your messages are pertinent, to the point, and always delivering valuable information.
- By using all of the communication tools mentioned above you could actually increase your sales. Think about it, Asia is virtually closed to us and now Europe is as well, as is pretty much the rest of the world. Sure, there is still some global trading going on in the PCB world for example, but much less than before. And for the first time in a long time, buying domestically is more appealing to our customers than ever. So, use your communication tools, remind your customers that you are still open and operating (if you indeed are) and make them offers they can’t refuse. This is probably a great time for domestic PCB fabricators to let their customers know they are open for business, just down the street in some cases, and are ready to take on their business.
- Work on your marketing. Take this time to work on your marketing. Develop that new marketing and branding plan. Create and implement your social media plan. Work on a plan on exactly what you are going to do once the danger of the virus has passed. You should be taking advantage of this enforced hiatus which has caused everyone to slow down a bit. So that while other companies, your competitors, are just hunkered down waiting this thing out, you can be proactively setting yourself up for success once the virus is gone, the doors are open again, travel resumes, and life gets back to normal.
And one more in the spirit of under promising and over delivering, here it is. Stay cool and calm, keep your sense of humor, there is nothing we can do about this except what we personally can do. These are scary times for sure and serious times as well, but the best thing you can do is keep your head about you, and keep your sense of humor. This too shall pass. It’s only common sense