MAKE THE MOST OF LOCKDOWN
It's all doom and gloom, but I'd like to invite you to consider trying to use the time in lockdown in a positive way. If your business has had to shut down, then now is the time to take stock, step back and look at the whole picture for your business. Reassessing your business on a strategic level and creating a strategic business plan can be a great advantage to small businesses.
I've posted my top strategic concepts to consider before in this post and I also think now is a great time to reavaluate your brand presence and marketing. Normally the day to day business operations don't leave much time for planning, but if you have some cash to invest in your marketing you can be ready to go with a refreshed brand and some new marketing ideas when lockdown ends. Even if there's no money there at the moment, there's nothing stopping you putting plans into place for the future.
Here's how you can use my top strategic concepts to evaluate your brand.
Benchmarking is the practice of comparing your business processes and performance to the best industry standard. It's a good time to look at your brand presence and compare it to your competitors. What are they doing right or wrong? How could you improve your own brand presence? Maybe your headed paper needs to be reprinted or your website is out of date. Conducting a benchmarking review needn't cost you anything except your time, and you can have a strategic plan in place ready to go when times improve.
2 Continuous Improvement
Continuous improvement seeks to improve every process in your company by focusing on enhancing the activities that generate the most value for your customer, while removing as many waste activities as possible.
Now is the time to take a look at your website and see how it can be improved - can it be made simpler? How does it add value for your customers? How easy is it for you to use and update?
Effective implementation of whatever strategy you have chosen to help you develop your business is critical to your success. Think through the practical implications for your business - your strategic initiatives must be meaningful, realistic and achievable. When you've reavaluated your marketing and branding, ask yourself how you are going to put your new strategic plan into practice. Are you going to redesign your website and have a big relaunch at the start of the new year, for example? If you do that, how are you going to tell your customers? Who will take responsibility for redesigning and updating the site?
4 Time Management
Great time management is critical to your success, and prioritising the way you use your time is crucial. We are all guilty of getting sidetracked - but you cleaned out all your cupboards and got the garden looking great during the last lockdown, didn't you? Here's a heads up: lockdown in England finishes on December 2nd - that's only 22 full days from tomorrow to get focused on what you need to do next and where the best place is to spend your time.
5 Strategic Reviews
I believe it’s essential to take the time to complete a strategic review, once a year at least. Make the most of this time and do it now! Remember to focus on the key things that will influence your customers to spend their money with you, after all - no customers, no business!
I hope there is food for thought and some useful tips for you, good luck!