Business Survival 2021: Get Prepared to Go Back to Basics

Portrait of Marg Lange

2020 wasn’t the best year for many people. But guess what: things aren’t back to ‘normal’ and businesses could still get shut down in an instant.

How to survive – and thrive – in the new normal?  Marg Lange Change Agency was my guest in The Joyful Business Club Facebook Group earlier today, and she shared some of her wisdom around managing change and being profitable. And it’s not what you might think.

This is a guest blog post from Marg.

Why businesses need to go back to basics in 2021

Even before this pandemic happened, PWC did a global study which found 79% of people felt businesses had lost the human connection element in their businesses. And 59% said they would prefer to talk to a human than an automated machine.

The long lasting effects of COVID have created changes to behaviors of people’s values and priorities. Once upon a time we knew what was going on in our communities and how our neighbors were faring. We had strong networks in the good old days who were only too happy to support us at a moment’s notice. Some of that came back in lockdown. But for those who didn’t experience lockdown (like we did in Melbourne), we must understand that we have come out the other side damaged.

Those in Victoria will be different from other states of Australia in the way they perceive you and your business offering. Everyone has a very personal experience of the impacts of COVID-19 so you can no longer second guess the market. You need a relationship strategy offline as well as an online strategy. As everyone goes online its harder to get noticed. There is a lot of noise with nobody bothering to pick up the phone to see how their customers or suppliers are.

There is only one pot of gold called discretionary income, so those you are marketing to are going to have to trust you before they part with that money. Going online assuming you know their pain without bothering to develop a relationship or connection won’t cut it.

The pandemic has forced people online during the lockdown and this has forced them to see other options. Accordingly, loyalty to brands is not like it was in the past. For instance, we have found new brands online other than previous staples such as Myer, ASOS or Iconic.

People are now wanting to support local more than ever before, so rather than trying to get the next sale on a crowded marketplace online, instead consider that the person across the street or around the corner could be the person who is your next sale or referral to a sale.

With JobKeeper ending this month, a lot of business owners will run out of money to market their business and will have no other option than to stop marketing – unless they have a connection relationship strategy in place.

We have spent a lot of time online listening to webinars – and now there is Clubhouse.  How does listening or scrolling and reading posts online, or liking and commenting bring in sales? You can’t pitch online so why bother crafting one unless you are at a networking event and it’s expected; not that it really lands you the next client anyway as everyone knows that the pitch is about you attempting to convince them they need your business.

How to find leads

Any form of paid advertising such as SEO or Facebook ads is like a trip to the casino. Many people will try to convince you that it’s the way of the future and that digital is king.  This is just BS and I am proof of that.

I successfully found and converted leads to business deals during without paying a cent in marketing online (and recently offline).

A problem is that Facebook advertising (and other digital online marketing) keeps changing the rules.  For instance, I used to post 1 minute videos but now Facebook prefers 3 minute videos, so all the 1 minute videos I had recorded last year are a waste of time. You will also see a lot of stuff on Facebook spruiking the need to come to my webinar as you need to know the latest changes to SEO.

What you need to do in 2021

You need to learn to become a superconnector as this will put I place a connection strategy that will build trust.

And you need to do market research.

How are your strategies changing in 2021? Are you embracing local? Or is your strategy based on digital?

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