Business ROI is Complicated
Companies and businesses across America are laying off and furloughing their staff at an alarming rate. Some have almost completely stopped trading—if they haven’t already gone out of business. The entire spectrum of business verticals has been caught up in this pandemic. A tiny percentage is thriving, but what can most businesses do to keep things going until the uncertainty ends? How can leaders determine their business ROI in such unknown circumstances.
Embrace your local community and discover
Everyone is in this together. Your customers will be struggling without your business being open or at least not operating normally. Your suppliers are probably also going to have difficulties providing your business with what it needs to operate on a daily basis as well. Reaching out via multiple digital channels is the fastest, cheapest and most effective way to discover what’s going on in your local community.
Social listening is how companies are able to find and engage with their customers and hyper local communities. There have been countless stories online recently highlighting how communities and businesses have come together in a common cause because of a viral post on Facebook. Distilleries offering to manufacture hand sanitizer has been one of the most well received and poignant to date.
By embracing your customers, suppliers, distributors and the greater community online you are able to really be a part of what’s going on and not be siloed into business isolation. It might not be about you donating anything to those in need but it could be that you offer some other logistical, mechanical or managerial support for their cause. You may even combine with other businesses to increase an offering through collaboration. Whatever is going on, make sure your business knows about it and is involved in any way that it can be.
Understand that value perceptions have changed and evolve
Walking into your local independent coffee shop might not be allowed right now so make sure you’re evolving your business model and operational processes effectively. If a customer can’t order their latte ahead of time and collect, then the previous value you offered might become more of a hassle under the current circumstances. Allow your customers another way to trade directly with you. If you didn’t have your menu online, it better be there now. Even if it’s through a third party site that takes a cut. A cut of something is better than a cut of nothing. Broomwagon Coffee in Charleston did not have an online ordering process until CV-19. Now it’s their only revenue stream.
If you don’t offer virtual services, now is the perfect time to do so. One example here in Charleston, SC is Barre South. They are a leading fitness studio that until before CV-19 did not have an online offering. As a result of the CV-19 outbreak, all of their classes are now done online and streamed either in real-time or on-demand to their paid members. Online feedback has been fantastic about their on-demand service and this will surely be another revenue stream for this business.
Even after things go back to normal, these two businesses will be great examples of evolving their primary offering to suit the needs of their customers. You can still take online orders in the future and you can certainly continue to stream workouts online. Because of extreme duress and unprecedented need, these two businesses have doubled their revenue abilities and reach of their products and services; future proofing them from other similar types of disruptions in the future.
Reevaluate your Business ROI and redefine
It might not even be about making money right now for your business. It could be as simple as keeping the doors open, paying your employees and suppliers. Whatever your challenges are right now being able to redefine what success looks like in 2020 will give you a more hopeful outlook in a couple of ways.
If you didn’t trade online, you are now and all the pain, hassle and headaches it took to set that up in 24 hours will be worth it. Perhaps it only paid the bills for a couple of months. Well now, it can be another revenue stream for your business that you didn’t have before CV-19 so take stock of that effort and reevaluate your ROI.
If you can go virtual and haven’t, why aren’t you? You may have spent money on a video camera for your fitness business or stumped up hard cash for a new conferencing platform. That ability to go virtual and on demand means your effort on Tuesday can make you money for all long as that effort is relevant and adds value to your customers. Think about it. One effort, multiple ROI opportunities.
You win some, you lose some in business
Not every business will survive this pandemic for reasons that may or may not have been their own faults. Maybe it was cash flow, maybe it was just a bad business model. The companies still standing will most definitely be better prepared for the next one. Most will have taken some investment into online and virtual and all will have been able to understand the value and ROI that comes from that. It might not be this year, but discovering, evolving and redefining their businesses in times of need is essential in such uncertain times.