Lockdown To Recession: Is This The Right Time To Expand?
Sadly, many businesses are having to drastically slow down their workloads, just to keep going, while others are literally having to go out of business. The lucky few will have enough financial firepower and networking connections, to not just survive but to expand during this recession. And there’s the rub, we need to acknowledge that we’re in a recession and not just a lockdown. But the fundamentals are fine, so what does that mean for those who do possess the extra strength to grow? It means that sooner or later, things will get back to normal. We’ll see a boom in the next 6 months and past that, we’ll begin to see normalcy fully returned. So, use this time wisely, and ask yourself, should you expand now or wait for the economy to be a little more stable?
Original content and organic growth are the best measuring sticks to see if you are getting more than normal traffic. Well, this all lends itself back to effective marketing. Being able to write product descriptions with the best keywords on the market is just the first step. Angle your products to fit the new trends and even plug the niche gaps in the market. The other things you need to focus on are content writing. This is a type of content that is fit for a blog and usually, is angled at people who already know exactly what they want and for industry experts wanting to know what kind of advancements you have made.
The other types are general blogging. Believe it or not, the average consumer would love to know what you get up to inside your business. The daily challenges of procuring material, exporting, people management, mental health support and other qualities that make a business truly human in the eyes of the average Joe should be written about. Stick to a routine, make sure that you’re uploading every day at a certain time. Just as online readers are subscribed to a number of newspaper and magazine outlets, business blog subscriptions are also increasing.
Offices are empty, but not for long
Office spaces in major cities are increasing in number because of the sheer availability, left in the wake of the lockdown. Most businesses are hoping that they can shift most of their workers to remote working, i.e. working from home. However, this pandemic will pass. It may take several months, it may take a couple of years but it will.
The clearest issue now is, do you bet your growth on the future that will be more home-working, or will you bet on a future that will be a mixture of both? The latter means that you should start to expand your office space while hiring people to solely work at home. You should rent a serviced office for the day shift workers, allowing for more team collaboration, a more fluid communication of ideas, and faster project management. You’ll have printers, photocopiers, desks, filing cabinets, executive chairs and boardroom meeting rooms, etc. However, your at-home workers can take over at night, and try to complete any projects that haven’t been done, or perform the menial tasks that you don’t have time for during the day, such as payroll, holiday leave for employees, maternity cover, invoices, etc.
Online buying is not just king…
Did you know that economic experts have predicted a 200% and higher rise in online purchasing? The planet has changed, almost to the point that one could declare a silent revolution taking place. The majority of consumers say they would like to go shopping once more, which means they like to walk around, in retail stores. However, for sheer convenience and health reasons, they see themselves, only sticking to online purchasing for the foreseeable future.
So not only is online buying king, it’s now emperor. This is because, this cultural shift in buying, is happening across the world at the same time. It may seem so obvious due to the lockdown circumstances, but even a reduction of the measures hasn’t changed people’s minds.
Therefore, you must heavily invest in marketing, improve your website design, speed up ecommerce processes such as card payments, loyalty programs, discounts, etc. work directly with your production partner and your warehouse teams to expand your storage capacity. If you have a retail store, you will need to shift the inventory that would normally go to it, to the warehouse.
The best reason why you should be expanding during this recession is that you can’t always rely on individuals to have the infrastructure in their homes to work online effectively. They can use your machines, your hardware and software to utilize their talents to produce the best work they can do.
In fact, having group meetings is just something that other businesses won’t have the luxury of conducting for a long time. You can bet your bottom dollar, that technical issues, and limited features of conference call software, will limit the level of collaboration and communication that teams will have with each other. Thus the face-to-face meetings that bolster teamwork, are essential. As you can guess, this can only occur, if you have the office space to host such meetings.
Do you have the firepower?
If you have had a good few years of business, you’ll have enough saved up to expand anyway. Now that office space is cheaper, utility companies are begging for those spaces to be filled again, and so many charming discounts and sales opportunities in logistics, storage and delivery, why not? Just make sure that you don’t become complacent and take what you are given. Always try to negotiate for a cheaper price to whatever it is you’re considering as an expenditure or expense.
Is it the right time to expand? All arrows are pointing to yes. You should try to rent as much office space as you need, while prices are cheap. You should be investing in marketing campaigns and expanding your production demands and warehouse storage capacity.
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