How to Pandemic Proof Your Business
1. Implement systems and rely less on people
Never manage people. Always manage systems. This is an E-Myth foundational principle and can help you manage your business better.
And in turbulent times, people become even less reliable. We have dozens of different systems and processes we use across my various companies. One tool I love is Trello. It’s easy to create, has a great mobile UX and is simple to learn for anyone that hasn’t used it previously.
2. Put customer safeguards in place
If you’re able to put customers on contracts now, that could be beneficial. That’s a tough conversation to have though currently with so much uncertainty. Something I’ve started to implement across my companies is initiating conversations with our clients and customers about the coronavirus. We ask them simply if their budgets and marketing strategy have been affected by the pandemic.
Creating an open line of communication can help you plan in case things do start to change and their budgets go away, which hopefully gives you a good enough lead time to make changes internally if need be. We’re also sending out surveys to our various customers and clients to get a better understanding of how they’re dealing with the virus.
3. Double down on markets that have served you well
I don’t think testing new markets in the current uncertain economic landscape is an effective use of your time and resources. Contrarily, we’ll be doubling down and going deeper into the markets that have been effective for us.
4. Focus on offerings that make your customers money or save them money.
In these uncertain times, companies are less focused on products they don’t need. But, if your product or service either makes your customer money or saves them money, you become much less indisposable.
5. Productize service-based businesses
Here’s why products matter. You only have so many hours in a day to sell and execute on services (even if you have a team, you’re limited to their hours and so on). Products will help you make money while you sleep. Plain and simple. In order to scale and grow, you need products.
If you’re a service, figure out how to productize some of those services. To keep things simple, just start with one. Products come in all shapes and sizes, from digital SaaS products to courses, to e-books, to anything that can be purchased and paid for online. You want products.