The world as we know it has changed and it will take businesses time to regroup and redefine their business model so they can survive long term. The thing is that businesses need cash-flow now to survive long enough to enable them to regroup.
Sales have crashed across many sectors placing most businesses in a challenged cash-flow. The government support that has been put in place here in Australia may be of assistance, but it will not, and was never aimed at, replacing the needed income from sales. Businesses must take action that can generate cash NOW!
Product and services will still be purchased, just not as many. For example, new car sales were down almost 20% over March last year, but the thing is people are still buying them. Any strategy for survival must start with attempting to capture as much of this sale activity as you can, followed by looking at how the business model can be tweaked/redefined as quickly and easily as possible to match this new reality.
I propose a four-stage strategy for businesses to get through this crazy time
- Intercept – Clearly identify how potential customers prefer to source, and decide on buying, your product/services and the find a way to place your product/service in that “Buy Path” so you maximise your chances of capturing the potential sales. In other words, intercept as many possible sales as you can using technology.
- ReTool – Become familiar with the technology tools and channels that are readily available, and how they work, so as to match their features with your product/service delivery. Do not try and create something new. This is all about time to market so the aim here is to use existing technology and proven method.
- Regroup – Create a plan based around the technology tool set you select to create an ongoing demand for your product/service. This adds further dimensions to the buy path by either adding extra features or levering off the newly gained understanding of the technology.
- Pivot – Now you have achieved some breathing space, you have the time investigate ways of “pivoting” your business model (everyone is talking about pivoting) to best take advantage of the new world order.
So how do you do this?
The first question you must ask is what is the “Buy Path” for your product/service? A “Buy Path” is the activity flow that a potential customer goes through when they purchase a product or service. It may include things like going to a known proven supplier or doing a search via Google for the closest supplier or asking a friend for a referral.
Your existing customer base normally has a slightly different Buy Path to prospects but in challenging times there is a higher chance of your customer base modifying their Buy Path so not only do you need to consider the Buy Path of potential customers but also your existing customers. If the Buy Path includes searching via the internet for information this gives a business the opportunity to easily intercept the Buy Path by optimising their digital presence, especially local businesses.
Tip: YouTube is owned by Google and publishing simple videos targeting long-tail keyword on YouTube will quickly position you favourably in a Google search.
The time required to become familiar with the different mainstream technology tools is considerably less than most people think. When you review how the technology works it becomes obvious very quickly if that tool will be of use in your crusade. The trick is to find a place where you can easily get unbiased information that enables you to go only as deep as you need to get the required understanding the technology. To this end, Katipo Digital has made available a suite of resources, that were only available to their customers, to any business that wishes to use them free of charge. This includes 13 different video courses (11 hours and over 200 individual videos) on various technology tools and what they can do for a business, in particular local business.
Tip: Arm yourself by becoming familiar with the main tools available by reviewing the FREE video courses .
Now you have armed yourself with this new found knowledge you need to define the easiest quickest way to place you and your product/service directly in the buy path in the best way you can by adding new features and/or increasing the required engagement.
The end-result will be maximising possible sales hopefully giving you the breathing space needed to pivot.