2020 was a business year like none other we've seen. Nor have our clients. As we move into 2021, it can be a year of recovery for all of us. We can help our clients to recover lost revenue which will help us to recover ours.
To do so effectively, we need to understand how individual businesses fared during each part of the COVID pandemic.
In retrospect, we can divide the year into distinct parts:
- Jan-Mid March before the shutdown
- Mid March to end of May: The shutdown
- June-September: The opening
- October-December: The bounce-back
- Jan-June 2021: The recovery
To know how to guide our clients as 2021 moves forward, we must know their history. Some businesses barely made it: others did OK: some did very well.
You've probably already heard from clients, "I will wait and see what happens." "I don't know how to plan." "The world is too uncertain now to advertise."
Sounds like "fear" talking to me.
It's up to us to remove their fear and help them to realize that the fastest way to recovery is to invite people in. We suggest sitting with each client (in person or virtually) and doing a "mini-CNA". We need to know how each business was doing in each of the previous segments of time.
Here are some of the questions you should be asking:
How has how you will serve your customers changed due to COVID?
How did you advertise during the past 10 months?
Do you now have a virtual storefront as well as a bricks and mortar storefront?
What is different about your business today that the public needs to know?
What do you think your business will look like in 30 days? 60 days? 90 days? By the end of 2021?
What do you hope to achieve with your organization in the next 6 months?
Have you set your revenue goal for 2021?
Has your average sale changed after COVID?
How does your closing ratio compare before and after COVID?
Do you have less competition after COVID?
How has your business changed in the past 10 months due to COVID? Were there substantial changes before COVID?
Have your profit centers shifted to online versus storefront? To you anticipate that to continue?
When do you expect store traffic to return to normal? (Find out store traffic during each of the four 2020 segments)
What challenges are you facing today, other than those created by COVID, that you didn't face two years ago?
What is the biggest challenge you are facing today because of COVID?
What do customers need to know today about your business?
Is there something your company does now that it didn't do 10 months ago?
What are the universal truths associated with your business that HAVEN'T changed?
Understanding the impact the pandemic has had on our clients will serve as a roadmap to thriving in change. We CAN make a difference in our clients' futures.