Disruption can happen to any small business or their industry. An interruption in supply or a sudden shift in demand can interrupt your course. Many small businesses flounder when the rug is pulled, but some have shown undeniable resilience. What is the difference between delicate small businesses and those capable of growing and thriving after a major disruption?
It's not just their chosen niche or the luck of the draw. It's flexibility. A business capable of changing tactics and taking care of customers during difficult times also has what it takes to thrive when the disruption is over.
Let's dive into the best tactics for making your small business disruption-proof with resilience, adaptability, and expansion.
Never Falter on Customer Service
A disruption in the market doesn't have to mean losing your customers. Maintain customer loyalty by providing attentive and personalized customer service to your entire audience body. Companies that were open about COVID delays and worked with customers to find solutions kept a greater percentage of customer loyalty during the great e-commerce migration period of 2020.
Taking care of your customers is the hallmark of a trustworthy brand. During disruptions, customers often need the reassurance that orders are being handled and that their experience matters to the company. Attentive customer services can be a mix of live and well-automated features that keep customers in-the-loop and make associates available to them.
Face the Problems of Disruption Head-On
Small businesses just trying to weather the storm of a disruption might not make it through. It's vital to look at the cause and source of the disruption - and whether the change to the market is permanent. This is why flexible businesses who can adapt to new market conditions are more likely to grow after a major disruption.
Your small business should face the disruption head-on, adapting the business plan to thrive under new conditions. Whether that challenge is mobile apps, remote shipping, or some new disruption around the corner - tackling the disruption will give you the tools to both survive and thrive through any setbacks.
Adapt Quickly and Creatively to Challenges
What are the challenges posed by the market disruption? Let's take the recent pandemic as an example. Challenges included sending everyone home to work remotely, providing service to customers remotely, and enduring severe supply and shipping limitations during that time. We saw hundreds of variations in how brands adapted to these universal challenges.
Many restaurants became virtual kitchens. Many home services quickly learned clean-room protocols. Millions of companies went online and those that were already online expanded. Many local shops partnered with the delivery services or retasked their service team for in-house delivery. Some brands developed very snappy mobile apps that could replace in-person services. The combined effect was impressive and those who adapted quickly and creatively came out on top.
Get Involved in Your Social Media Campaign
Social media shouldn't be a 'set it and forget it' type of campaign. It's your best way to stay engaged and connected with your customers. Customer service is one thing, where you serve the customers that come to you. Social media is your way of reaching out, sending messages, and surviving the market disruption alongside your customers instead of separately as a distant corporate figure.
Get involved with social media and build a more lively and engaging campaign plan. Have one or more community managers and even exec leaders talking to the audience. Build interactive videos and answer questions from the crowd. Share behind-the-scenes information about the team. Humanize your efforts and talk about what you're doing to face the disruption challenges on behalf of your customers.
Give Back to the Community
Local and digital community involvement is another way to stay afloat in troubling times. Communities that feel connected to a brand are more likely to remain loyal customers when circumstances and market influences change. So get involved. Use your venue to host local scout troupes and school performances. Cycle some of your revenue or cost savings to charitable local causes. Offer scholarships and internships to college students.
Choose a community center to partner with or a community event to sponsor. These efforts won't just get your business' name in the local news stories, they'll also bind your business in the good opinion of your local community. Charity increases the morale of your team and the trust of your customer audience. Your company will become associated as a voice and support in the community.
Attending and Hosting Events
Events are another great way to weather the storm of a market disruption. Both hosting and being seen at events broaden your network and build stronger connections with those you share events with. Companies can build their audience or connect with new business partners by attending networking events. A larger network of connections and customers is ideal when there are elements that reduce your normal revenue stream or logistic systems.
Hosting events, on the other hand, builds your reputation with those you invite. You can create a stronger connection with your audience by inviting them to share an experience created by the brand. You can strengthen your relationship with your business partners and reach out to marketplace colleagues by becoming the host of professional events.
Growing Your Small Business After a Major Disruption
Weathering a market disruption can really impact a small business, but you can survive and thrive with the right approach to the challenge. Stay with your customers, providing attentive customer service and sharing openly the challenges you're facing on the customers' behalf. Build your network and your community reputation by joining projects and hosting events. Get active on social media and engage with your audience directly.
By maintaining your customer base and building your connections deeper in the market and community, you can do more than survive a major disruption. Your small business can grow and thrive in response to changing market conditions and ambitious new challenges. When your company adapts, you'll leave the competition behind. Contact us for more insights on how to overcome market challenges and build a strong marketing strategy for any circumstance.