Canada is struggling right now along with the rest of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are having to lay people off, either permanently or temporarily, and we’re all worried about the economy and our futures.
But that doesn’t mean we don’t keep going. There are many ways to keep ourselves busy and work on our businesses right now, and some are handling it better than others.
Here are a few ways to keep things moving right now, even when things are difficult.
Ramp up your employer brand
Now is a good time to work on your employer brand. Admit it, it’s actually something you’ve been meaning to do and have never gotten around to. A strong employer brand is going to be an incredible asset when we come back from this thing. This means investing time in working on your reputation as a great place to work. Why does this matter? Because, at the end of the day, it’s your people who will make or break your business success, so you want to attract good ones. Employer branding blog posts and videos are an excellent time investment right now. So is keeping your existing employees happy! How we handle our teams at this time is going to matter a great deal down the road.
Maintain your customer relations
We’re all stressed and some of us are very distracted but if you’re losing business, this is no time to let your relationships with your customers lapse. Hopefully you have some sort of CRM strategy, and if not you should design one. In most cases, any attempt at active sales is a bad idea right now and will make you look tone deaf. Instead, try connecting with existing customers to offer support, insight and advice, or a free service, if you are in a position to do that. Free delivery, for example, or online tutorials on how to perform a service that you normally provide for themselves. A hair salon might teach customers how to trim their own bangs, while a coffee shop could show us how to create cool latte art.
Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service recently wrote, “How organisations respond over the coming months will be remembered by customers and employees for years to come. As we have seen time and time again, in difficult times, these are the real moments of truth – and when we emerge from this, the organisations that have connected with customers in an authentic way will be rewarded with ongoing loyalty.”
Maintain your brand presence
Whether your business is B2C or B2B, you’ll also have to maintain your brand presence on top of your employer brand presence. Even while we’re losing business, we are all still assuming that we will get through this and that there will be a future in which your business will again thrive. It will be easier to hit the ground running again if you maintain your brand presence along with your customer relations, as mentioned above. This means maintaining your social media channels as well as your regular communications — to a degree. I think we can all agree that we didn’t need to know what every email we’ve ever given our email addresses to is doing about COVID-19. While it’s important not to act like nothing is going on, ask yourself how your communication is valuable and whether you’re just trying to get in front of people. If you’re not sure about the value, hold off until you find it.
While many are laying off and cutting back, some companies and sectors are still hiring, ramping up for when we come back or staffing to fill positions to meet demand. There has never been a better time for online recruiting and candidate sourcing. In person meetings, job fairs, conferences, networking events – all of these things are on pause for the time being. Fortunately, you have online job boards as an option, as well as social networks. If you’re hiring, the internet is where you’re going to find your top talent.
Fortunately, technology has made us ready to source, recruit, onboard, and train candidates remotely. Remember, that we will get through this and it will be a lot easier to get back on our feet if we do our best to maintain operations in the meantime.