The COVID-19 pandemic has taken us to what many pundits have called the “new normal.” For companies that conduct B2B transactions, the coronavirus pandemic has unleased several changes that define the “new normal” for every company engaged in B2B commerce.
Let’s take a look at how your B2B company should navigate the many changes introduced by COVID-19.
Rapid Change Means Constant Focus
If you thought business changes took place at a fast pace pre-pandemic, business changes now unfold a warp speed. You need to stay on top of the latest business news, as well as the economic trends that shape your company’s future.
For example, Newtrals recently ran with a story that discussed the implications of the Federal Reserve lowering the federal funds rate to zero. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell made the announcement when the negative economic impact of the Coronavirus had reached its apex. Responding to dire economic news such as a dramatic decline in GDP, the Fed has signaled to B2B companies that borrowing costs should remain at its lowest possible level until the American economy begins to rebound.
Know the Restrictions that Affect Your Clients’ Industries
Responding to the pandemic is not a one size fits all strategy. For examples, many restaurants have removed dining room tables to accommodate social distancing guidelines. Some restaurants have kept dining rooms and instead, they have continued to follow the business model of focusing on takeout and delivery sales. Manufacturing plants have implemented innovative scheduling techniques that limit the number of employees that work certain shifts. Hair salons have adopted the policy of not allowing clients to wait inside for an appointment to begin. Clients remain outside until a stylist is ready to start an appointment. A large number of companies that transitioned to remote work models have continued the remote work policy after the pandemic reached its fiercest point.
Your B2B company must understand how clients have responded to the restrictions established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Great Time to Expand Online Presence
Although many businesses have implemented steps to address lower sales volumes, the time is now for B2B companies to expand their presence online. Start by upgrading the design of your B2B website. The trend in web design is minimalism rules the day. Streamlined graphics and an emphasis on presenting helpful content should be the mantra for B2B businesses. With mobile devices taking over the electronic gadget world, your B2B website must be easy to upload for any mobile electronic device.
The time is also now for your B2B company develop a Google My Business page that increases your presence on a wide variety of websites that include Google Search and Mobile Search. Yes, you probably have a Google My Business listing, but is the information accurate and have you optimized the sections that describe your company in more detail? Google my Business is a free tool offered to small businesses that help them compete with larger companies.
Speaking of Competing with Larger Companies
COVID-19 has prompted many B2B companies to reduce spending on a wide variety of projects and business interactions. Streamlining marketing programs makes fiscal sense, as long as you spend more time developing a powerful digital marketing campaign. Digital marketing tactics like running an email marketing program and reaching customers on Facebook help your B2B company compete with large corporations. The key is to target your most likely customers, and then promote your company by digitizing marketing tactics.
Giveaways Build Customer Loyalty
The economic devastation unleashed by the Coronavirus pandemic might make it seem like now is not the best time to hand out free stuff. However, you do not have to spend a fortune to build the type of loyalty that leads to gaining more regular customers for your B2B company. Giving away promotional items such as the mugs, flash drives, and customized t-shirts handed out by GoPromotional goes a long way towards attracting new customers. One study showed around half of all consumers that received a promotional gift used the item every day. Even more impressive is the statistic that demonstrated nearly 85 percent of consumers conduct business with a company that handed out a free promotional gift.
Do the Employee Shuffle
Yes, COVID-19 has caused a lot of havoc in the labor market, as many companies that include B2B enterprises downsize payroll. Now is a good time to assess your company’s employment roster to determine which jobs are redundant. Job redundancy refers to jobs that are no longer required for a company to prosper. You can let go redundant employees or assign them to other positions that are open within your company.
Here are a few of the reasons why your B2B company might have redundant jobs:
• Advanced technology makes positions obsolete
• Company bought by another company
• Cut labor costs
• Job no longer exists
• Company closing or relocating
Getting a firm handle of the changes during COVID-19 should determine how your B2B company emerges after the pandemic has subsided. In other words, take control of your company’s future by defining its “new normal.”