It seems that this time has put many businesses into one of three categories:
- Essential (and maintaining)
- Essential (and declined)
What we’re working through here is no. 2 – Essential and declined. The government has let you stay open, but foot traffic, calls, and transactions have slowed. This is likely the storyline for any open businesses but grocery stores. Even gas stations are taking a hit during this. So, if you’re open and not a grocery store, what can you learn about the consumer perception and needs from this time? A lot.
There are far too many variables to say that anything here is a hard-fast rule, so take them as viewpoints to consider when thinking about your business and how you can adjust things moving forward. And you should adjust things, because, though this storm may be calming at the moment, there is still a chance for more and there will likely be a cultural shift beyond the recovery timeline.
- Have your busy and slow times changed?
- What would adjusting your future business hours look like?
- What products are still being sold?
- Of the products sold, are they necessities?
- If not, why might customers still be purchasing?
- Could you adjust your future inventory to reflect what’s most desired in this time?
- Are those customers essential employees stopping in for convenience?
- Are people going out of there way to purchase from you?
- Are you getting new customers or are they your ‘regulars’?
- Is there a demographic trend?
These questions may not have solid answers, and that’s okay. At least, we hope, they are getting you started on ways to shift some practices for the new normal approaching. Some other questions might include:
- Are there any trends that suggest people frequented your business for convenience or social needs versus a stronger appeal for the products alone? In other words, why are people still coming to you?
- If there is a product that stands above the rest, could that be due to price, convenience, or quality when compared to your competitors? How can you use this to your advantage?
- What might the above answers say about how consumers perceive your brand? Is that how you want to be perceived? How might you adjust that perception? How might you play into the perception for your advantage?
- Has there been an increase (relative to the overall situation) that surprised you? Can you see this continuing? Would you need to adjust anything in your employee hours/dynamics, your storefront, or your hours to maintain this?
Want to learn more about uncovering new opportunities for your business during a crisis? Check out our mini course The New 2020: Strategizing The New Normal.
About AMP’D Solutions Manager & Creative Director Edward Tuttle
Edward’s resourceful background in marketing, graphic design, philosophy and customer service create an ability to visually communicate business strategy in a very accessible manner. The area between business strategy, and a finished product is where Edward lives. In a way you could say his specialty is client-focused “visual thinking,” but that could be selling him short.
If he’s not in the office you can usually find him taking his family on bike rides & hikes, searching for the newest plants to adorn his home or dreaming of his next outdoor adventure.