The Covid-19 pandemic has had an all-pervasive impact on our lives – on the personal and professional front. And in some ways, it has interlinked the two dramatically. In this piece today, successful business owners share with us how they are dealing with the pandemic and the impact that it has had on their business.
1. Robert Abela – Founder @ WP-WhiteSecurity
Since we are and have been a remote-only company since the very beginning, we are lucky to not have been affected by the changes in our daily working routines.
However, for many people, it is a new experience when you start working from home, and it takes some time to find out what works for you and get into the rhythm. Over time, businesses and individuals will then realise that it’s actually not as difficult as they may think, and it looked like the pandemic has forced many to consider the option of working from home, which we applaud.
The general foundations of making remote working run smoothly for everyone are trust and communication. Without communication, you can’t get anything done and it’s impossible to build trust and positive rapport with each. This will require all businesses to find and use the right tools and technology, and then incorporate them into your daily routines when working together.
In our own case, this is how we ensure that communication is open and effective:
- We have daily calls with all team members. This can be to discuss projects but also to have casual conversations and build relationships with each other. Not everything is about work when we talk together.
- We encourage everyone to post short updates on a Slack channel of what they have worked on every day to keep each other informed and to be accountable.
- When necessary, we organize group calls, especially when there are a lot of questions, to stop issues from escalating or getting out of hand. This can happen in any company, however, all can still be resolved remotely.
It doesn’t matter if it’s remote working or in the office; you will always find some people who might slack off and do as little as possible. Granted, it might be easier to do that remotely, but if you create the right online culture using communication as the foundation, the majority of people will do their work and be productive without you needing to micro-manage them.
At the same time, it is important to give your employees some breathing space and leeway to help them get used to this new way of working, especially if they have never done it before.
Overall, the best way we have found to make sure that a remote working lifestyle works smoothly is to use the right tools and most importantly, ensure open and honest communication across the team.
2. David Attard, Founder @ CollectiveRay
In these times, we have seen that the best way to go about our marketing is through mutually beneficial collaborations. Most companies right now are struggling to stay afloat, so it’s the best time to go out there and renew old partnerships or strike new ones. Traditionally, we’d be venturing out to companies who do not compete with us, but in these drastic times, we’re taking a different approach.
We are actually speaking to our competitors too and STILL finding a way to help each other. After all, there are still areas where competitors can help each other. You can find ways to partner in areas where you are not competing directly.
This type of mutually beneficial relationships can help bring in some revenue to all the parties involved, so they are much more likely to succeed.
And in the spirit of the times, it is also great to renew old partnerships, and find new ways to work together.
Sticking up for each other is a much better way to prosper than fighting alone to survive.
3. Vova Feldman – CEO & Founder @ Freemius
We already have seen verticals get hit by the COVID-19 situation. Well, more than others, plugins & themes targeting events and hospitality. There has been a ~10% decrease in sales volume in Feb-March. Regardless it seems like plugin and theme sales are growing steadily.
During the Pandemic, we need to emphasise the importance of transitioning into a subscriptions based business. Just like a SaaS Product business.
COVID-19 has an unprecedented global economic impact. So it is something that is impossible to ignore. And we saw how smaller-scale changes, like updates in Google algorithms, can “kill” companies.
Put effort to create the subscriptions economy and build sustainable & resilient businesses.
4. James Cantoni – Co-Founder, WP Compress
During these adverse times while dealing with unforeseen challenges we try to search for the positives that help move us forward. Time has moved differently over the past 6+ months. On one hand, it seems that with limited options in the outside world – the time is abundant. But somehow, it also feels as if the pandemic started just a few weeks ago – where has the time gone?
When running an online business, our team at WP Compress aimed to make the most of every day to push the product forward. On top of additional time to reflect and improve our offerings, we’ve taken more of an altruistic approach to the future of the software. By drastically increasing our free plan to an unprecedented 1GB per month of real-time optimization per website until at least 2021, we aim to help out the thousands of small and struggling businesses grow faster than ever before. We’ve heard countless stories of our clients having to close up shop, not knowing where they’re going to get their next paycheck or how they can rebound from something they’ve never expected.
What we’ve really learned is that we’re all in this together, to help our clients, small businesses, nonprofits and agencies grow their businesses as we band together through these tough times and come out stronger than ever. It’s the power of teams that keeps us from feeling alone and the strength of communities that brings us together.
5. Andrian Valeanu – [email protected] Designmodo
In any crisis, it is important to maintain tranquility and don’t act without thinking and analyzing it in detail. Now it’s time to adjust the spending and save money you will need in the future, in case the crisis we’ll down deeply. The team should search for new ways for promotion and new products, maybe, because the crisis is the perfect time for new ways to promote the business or start a new business.
6. John – CEO @IgniteVisibility
My advice is to up your marketing budget and invest in performance based marketing. If possible, go as low final as you can so you can reduce cost and maximise your dollars. Cut back on TV and radio And focus on paid media, email marketing and SEO. You’re going to want to make sure you maximise the sales you can get out of your current audiences that you own.
If you can approach them with a special offer and do your best to cross sell them into other products and services. It’s really all about focusing on your current database because that’s gonna be your lowest cost per acquisition. If you have saturated those audiences it’s time to start building upper funnel with the money you’ve accrued. Use your learnings from analytics to make sure you’re targeting the people with the highest propensity to convert.
Also make sure you’re constantly reviewing your analytics and put in place a testing program so you can consistently convert your traffic for less. I am sure you will find these insights useful. You can apply these to your own organization as well.
7. Gal Dubinski, Co-founder @ Premio
This isn’t the time to maximize your profits.
Be patient to your clients’ needs, it’s definitely not the time to maximize your ARPU. Whenever clients ask for a break, be there for them. The value you provide today will come back to you in the future.
8. Dave Chesson – Business Head @ Gun University
The best thing a business can do is to look at the ‘new’ needs of their customers and see how they can adapt to it. Currently, in our sector, weapon sales have increased 10x for new buyers. Therefore, we took a deep look at what new buyers would need to be more sufficient and started a new to buyers guide, and even a free course on firearms basics. These have really helped to serve our new customers and built strong brand recognition in the sector. I’d advise any business to do the same. Where there is a challenge, there is an opportunity to serve.
9. WP Life
Focusing On Social Media Marketing
As people are forced to stay at home and practice social distancing, this has resulted in many people flocking more to social media websites. Coronavirus is affecting almost all businesses in this world and has changed just about everything, but you still need to connect to your customers. Social media is filling the void created between business and customer due to Covid19. Social sites are noticing a huge change in visitor traffic these days. There is a big increase in users and engagement on almost all social websites.
Marketers can notice huge spikes in ad impression and engagement graphs, social media is really getting a lot of attention right now. This is a right time to create content that users are looking for and want to share with their social network. Focusing on social media will definitely increase your brand awareness and broaden your customer reach. Concentrating on your social media advertising is undoubtedly a wise move right now.
A sincere thanks to all these entrepreneurs for sharing their valuable advice on business strategies for surviving through the pandemic.