The year 2020 has been a year of unexpected and unpleasant happenings, more so for Nigerians living in Nigeria. From the COVID-19 breakout to the subsequent 5months lockdown, to the #Endsars protest and even to the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) strike (which strongly dealt with student-run businesses), there is no gainsaying the fact that the year 2020 has been a difficult year. Businesses have been at the receiving end of these difficulties. Earlier in the year during the lockdown, there were several real-life instances where firms/corporations had to lay off their staff in order to cut down costs. They were also cases of businesses folding up and declaring bankruptcy.
With the recent #Endsars protest, the situation has tremendously worsened. More than a few businesses suffered losses because they were directly impacted particularly through vandalism, arson, and looting within the protest period.
Does this scenario depict you and your loved ones? Are you on the verge of giving up on that business that you started months/years ago? Or are you concerned that your business is not thriving as it should be? Do you know you can rebuild your business to be bigger and better than it was pre-COVID-19? Here are a few tips to help you rebuild your business;
1. FOCUS ON YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
With all the recent happenings in the country, it is so easy to derail from the focus of your business. As an entrepreneur, your topmost priority should be providing solutions to a problem through your products and/or services to your target audience. You do not need the patronage of every single person living on the planet earth. The trick is to reach as many of your target audience as you possibly can and transform them into paying customers/clients. A good way to do this is to spend time studying the metrics and behavioral tendencies of your target audience. The following questions would help you understand them better;
Which of the social media platforms does your target audience frequent? (Spend time) Your social media presence matters, so spend time growing them particularly the social media platform they frequent.
What is unique about your product or services? Use that as your unique selling point (USP) and distinguish yourself from competitors.
Have you identified the underlying challenges that birthed the problem(s) your target audience is facing? Customers want to feel like you can understand and commiserate with them. They thrive on empathy! Show them that you understand their problem and can actually be empathic by rendering quality services or products to solve them.
2. RENDER GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICES
In a world where businesses are springing up in every nook and cranny, customer service is easily and severely neglected. Customers, who should be at the core of the business, have been relegated to the background in pursuit of more profit. The irony is that without customers, revenue generation can be considered non-existent.
Bouncing back from your business crisis means that you have to reset your priorities and place your customers at the top of the ladder. Well-trained polite customer service staff is a must for this to happen. In addition, think of ways you can ensure a 24/7 seamless flow of conversation in terms of feedback and enquiries between your customer and your brand. A happy customer will always come back or refer other customers to you. No matter how ordinary your products or services are, if you render them in extraordinary ways, you will always have a flock of high-paying customers.
3. TELL YOUR BRAND STORY
The art of storytelling is indeed a powerful one in our present age. People find it easy to spend an outrageous sum if they can relate to a particular Brand’s story. As an entrepreneur seeking to rebuild your business, one of the most effective ways you can maximize the potentials of your clients is to tell your brand’s story. So, what is your brand’s story? Still unsure how you can tell your brand’s story? Contracting a professional service to help you do that might be a better option.
4. REASSESS YOUR BUSINESSPLAN
One crucial importance of business plans is that it gives you a framework in which to explore your business. It assures you of the feasibility of your idea from the word “go”. As your business is facing turbulent times, it is time to revisit your business plan. Through this, you can figure out where you have deviated. Another importance of taking the time to reassess your businessplan is that it allows you to seek for funding. The truth is that some businesses can only be rebuilt by investing in more money. In this case and if you do not have money, your best bet is to seek grants, and/or loans from family, friends, bank, or angel investors. In most of these scenarios, a potential investor may request for your business plan before investing.
It is increasingly evident that 2020 has been a tough year for most businesses across the globe. You are not alone in this and the good news is that you can rebuild your business to even thrive more than it did in the previous months/years. It is not good enough to beat yourself up and wallow in self-pity all the days of your life. No! Rather get up and dust yourself to rebuild your business. Remember that the key to expanding your clientele base is to find a neglected gap or need that your business can fulfill and work on filling it.