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ENTREPRENEUR LEADERSHIP NETWORK CONTRIBUTOR, CEO of Insights-Beyond
Adaptability and creativity are playing major roles in the pandemic lives of businesses. Inflexible responses to lockdown and slowdown are met with slow sales or no sales. While the effects of the pandemic are wreaking havoc across the globe, some businesses have figured out a way to make the current circumstances work. Some are even thriving.
Here are three tips on how to grow and scale your company during the pandemic:
1. Pivoting to new business models
It’s all about the pivot, according to Harvard Business Review. Companies that pivot to a business model that fills immediate pandemic-related needs can leverage the temporary new normal while also creating a long-term growth strategy.
For example, Spotify was in a prime position to take advantage of a lockdown when customers without a lot of options could still listen to songs all day — except Spotify relied on advertising dollars from businesses that ended up cutting their budgets. They needed to pivot to stay relevant. Acting swiftly, Spotify signed exclusive podcast deals with celebrities, and now that they offer original content, the platform transformed into profitable copyright owners, which is exactly how they were able to secure their deal with Joe Rogan.
2. Collaboration with influencers and brands
Pivoting is another way of saying “meet your customers where they already are,” which is home, on their phones. In response to the increased use of social media, Social Media & Marketing suggests businesses collaborate for mutual benefit with other brands and influencers to grow during the pandemic.
Whether a business hires an influencer to post on their feed or join them in a giveaway, they should invite influencers with at least 10,000 followers to partner with them. Celebrity giveaways are huge right now. HighKey Clout, for example, founded by brothers Jordan and Luke Lintz (their third company) does major celebrity giveaways. They partner with people like Snoop Dogg, Kevin Hart, Rick Ross, Dababy, TrippieRedd and Bella Thorne for cash giveaways to random people on Instagram while working with brands to help promote their businesses and drive followers. The team has given away over $100,000 during the pandemic and is looking to give away over a million dollars in the next two years.
3. Offering protection and safety for your customers
If a business hopes to hold onto in-person transactions, they can start by making their products and services available in the safest way possible, thereby protecting people’s health. As described by CNBC, businesses have implemented contactless transactions and to-go windows to address public safety concerns. Opening outdoor patios with socially-distanced tables allows service-industry businesses to continue operations with the health of their customers remaining a top priority. And, ecommerce has obviously seen a massive increase during quarantine as well.
Healthy products that ensure safety don’t have to just be topical precautions. For example, Skyler Stein leads Gladskin, a biotechnology-driven skincare brand whose products are defining a new category of treatment for eczema. After launching Gladskin’s Eczema Cream with Micreobalance in the U.S. in January 2020, Stein and the Gladskin team have focused on delivering their products through an advanced DTC approach, which is disruptive to the industry and has been a huge benefit to their customer base during COVID. While physical drug stores are the primary distribution channel for OTC eczema treatments, Gladskin makes shopping online more convenient, service-driven and safe during this time of social distancing.
Additionally, as a precautionary measure to contracting COVID, it is recommended by the medical community to wash your hands frequently. However, a person suffering from eczema will experience more rashes, red itchy skin and outbreaks by washing their hands often, which creates an obstacle unique to this particular consumer. Gladskin has seen an opportunity to improve its product and help their customer base by leveraging its patented global endolysin technology science, using its products to improve inflammatory skin conditions by rebalancing the skin microbiome (even with frequent hand washing), which provides a vital feature to their clients during COVID. So even with increased handwashing, their consumer’s skin can remain balanced and moisturized. After helping hundreds of thousands of people across Europe, Stein and Gladskin are on track to do the same in the U.S. –– even in the midst of a global pandemic.
The lesson here is to actively seek ways to make your product and business pandemic-proof by increasing healthy options and alternatives. If you’re a protein brand, introduce a new line that provides an immunity booster and allows people to order online. If you’re a software company, create an online community to promote positive mental health amongst your customer base. In the midst of this pandemic, it will benefit your business to figure out ways to help improve people’s health and wellness. Today’s consumers want brands that show they care about their needs and health. These consumers will remain loyal to your brand.
Whether businesses adopt new ecomm platforms, leverage social media or automate systems that were once processed by employees, technology can save businesses time and money while simultaneously helping companies scale. The pandemic may force companies to adopt new tactics that may be more work or expensive upfront, but in the long run, these tactics may end up helping them grow post-pandemic. This pandemic is unprecedented territory for everyone, but with the right focus, tools and vision, you can grow and scale faster than before.