Thanks to the coronavirus crisis (among other things) the year 2020 no longer feels so happy and promising like it did on January the 1st. Being healthy and wealthy have been the uniform goals of people around the world, but today we are struggling to realise either of the two.
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development(OECD) has said that the world's economy could grow at its slowest rate in 2020 since 2009. Most economies could lose 2.4% of their GDPs - amounting to a loss of 3.5 trillion USD. The UAE will also feel this impact massively, especially the local businesses who are out there on their own. We don't know how long the economic downturn will last, which is why acting now is important. Do not wait for after, start rebuilding now!
Remember the Great Recession of 2009? We got out of that. This time in 2020, we can rebuild even quicker because we have technology on our side. To survive and to grow, a transformation is necessary, and this time that transformation will be digital. NOW is when we equip our businesses with technology, to shine like diamonds after the storm has passed.
How to Sustain & Rebuild Despite it All
1. Time to Modify and Adapt
What do the customers want?
The current demand has shifted. Think about how you can modify your products and services to meet the demands of the customers.
For example, Dubai Kennels & Cattery have offered free pick up and drop along with home vet services. Have a look, how they have announced it on their website with a message that is in line with their brand.
Here's another example to inspire you. So many hotels have opened their doors for people, offering the option to #WorkFromHotel. These hotels have taken to social media to reach out to the people.
2. Hello Digital Transformation!
Yes, you have heard that for so long. Now let's do it.
Not after lockdown, not after a few months, go online NOW to deal with the impact of COVID-19. Here are some easy, impactful and quick online tools you can use for digital transformation:
a. CRM tools like HubSpot, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics etc.
Marketing innovation from one place. It's easy and can be integrated into your website.
b. Cloud storage apps like Google Cloud, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive etc.
Move your data to cloud storage rather than on a local server. This way, you can have an integrated database, accessible to all your employees without the worry of losing the data. It will save time and boost productivity. 90% of companies use the cloud.
c. Payment gateways like PayPal, 2 CheckOut, Stripe etc.
Make online payments a breeze for the future. 82% of Gen-Z smartphones users shop online.
d. Video conferencing applications like Zoom, Google Hangouts, CISCO Webex Meetings, Skype etc.
Conducting online conference calls with your employees is easier with these apps. Start using them for better communication. 58% of business use video conferencing for everyday operations.
e. Digital marketing tools like Canva, Google Search Console, Mailchimp etc.
Amp up your SEO, come up with great content and shoot useful emails.
Research on the internet to find more easy and quick tools you can use now. Another powerful tool of digital transformation is having a feature-rich website to increase visibility, reach, reputation and generate leads. Get it done by the right people to get the desired results.
Blue Beetle can quickly create an impactful, tool-powered, keyword-optimised and content-rich website that will help drive up sales. Even if you are a start-up, you can increase your revenue by 34% through digital-first strategies.
3. Safety First
Do you have an assurance of protection?
Strictly follow the UAE government's health and hygiene regulations and encourage your employees to do the same. Regular sanitisation, social distancing, monitoring for symptoms are just some of the things you can encourage your employees to do. Once you have put the norms in place, tell your customers about it to inspire trust. Take to social media and get creative in how you communicate with your customers about your health and hygiene practices. Here's a good example.
4. Take a Step Back But Don't Stop
Slow is not always bad. Remember the tortoise?
While businesses have slowed down, promotions must go on. Did you know that people are spending 20% more time online than before the crisis? This is the time to have a great digital marketing strategy in place.
Social media promotions on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook etc. will help your business to:
- Increase your reach
- Portray your business in a good light
- Reach out to the customers and help them with their needs
- Spread awareness
- Advertise your products and services
Hire a professional to curate digital marketing campaigns. Invest in a good graphic designer and a copywriter. Work with videos. Establish an emotional connect.
5. Keep Up the Morale & Think Ahead
This too, shall pass.
First, boost your own morale. Your business is your baby, an idea that you have turned into reality with the help of your team. Don't forget that. Yes, the COVID-19 situation has spelt trouble, but you can sail through this. Once you feel motivated, motivate your colleagues and your employees. Engaged employees will help your business' profits soar by 22%!
Try not to cut jobs. Instead, work on ways on how you can keep the business running until the worst has passed. What steps will you take then? Immediately start working on digital transformation. Ask your employees to use this time to come up with plans and strategies that can be implemented right after the lockdown to cover up for the losses like good investments or lucrative collaborations.
You can also share and use these quotes to make yourself and your employees feel better:
Believe you can, and you are halfway there.
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach the destination.
No matter what you are going through, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
Bonus - Don't Forget to Give Back
What you do for others in tough times is always remembered.
The coronavirus crisis is the time to think about people other than your immediate family. As a business, it is your social responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves. The charitable acts your organisation does at this time will always be remembered. Sponsor food packets, offer accommodation for homeless, help NGOs or simply make a donation. Encourage others to do the same. This will show your customers that you truly care.
Ponder on these tips. Get creative. Think out of the box. Seek the help of experts. And in no time, you will be back up and running again.
At Blue Beetle, we are committed to helping businesses in the UAE in every way we can. We are here for you. Why not take advantage of our free 30-minute consultation call that can help you review your website and kick start the digital transformation efforts for your organisation.