How can early to mid-stage companies utilise this time when business is not as usual

It is all over the news that these are unprecedented times, how economic downturn is effecting various sectors and it is real. What we all are sure of is that the focus for a lot of startups will shift from growth hacks to staying afloat. The way it’s said, “It might be stormy now but rain doesn’t last forever”. And the businesses that are able to survive this storm are going to stay for long for sure. Here is our take on what early to mid-stage businesses can do to make the best use of this time when business is not as usual.

1. Brand Guidelines: Most of the early stage brands miss working on their brand guidelines while they are setting up their shop and rightly so in some cases where the focus was to churn the revenue. But this time when the business is slow, it’s a good time to get the basics in place. 

2. Organisational Values: It’s surprising that most of the companies today are not aware of the values they operate their business with. It is time for founders & management teams to put these values on paper, debate and come up with a set of values which will be their guiding principles. There are no good or bad values but just having them in place helps you in multiple ways. Hiring the right talent, selecting vendors, collaborating with other companies etc becomes structure driven and informed.

3. Websites: It is a good time to relook at your websites even if it is just a placeholder and not a transactional platform. It is the first point of validation for anyone you meet. Be it your prospective client, vendor, a new hire or anyone else. A decent website with both tech & UI in place builds confidence for your brand in more ways than we can think.

4. Social Media Platforms: It is one thing to have social media pages and another to drive value from them. If you are using it for Diwali & New Year greetings, you should use this time to put your content strategy in place and have a consistent story for your brand and ensure you take maximum value out of the social media platforms which are aligned to your goals. It will be worth it to build communities on social platforms and engage with them at different levels.

5. User Journey: It is time to re-look at the user journey/ user on-boarding journey and see if there are efficiencies that can be bought in the systems to ensure better conversion once this phase is over and you are back in business. Getting users to visit you once or capturing a lead is one part. But how efficiently you can convert that customer and retain them is where your business model works.

6. Alternate sources of revenue: To recover for this set back better, think differently and use this time to identify business opportunities and build alternate streams of revenue. At one point AIRBNB also got down to selling cereal to help them do what they do. I am not saying get down to figure out how you can get into the cereal business but think out of the box. Something which is closer to what your business is. It is not a bad idea to take help from consultants in this space to brainstorm with you and work on a recovery plan.

Closing remarks: This too shall pass! Come out of the gloomy phase, reduce your everyday news consumption. It drains us mentally into a zone which is not very productive. See if any of the above-mentioned areas need improvement for your business or even if there is something else that you can focus on, Once you identify what you can do in this phase, get on to it!

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