By Abdulla Abu Wasel

When the entire world has been put on pause as we await the coronavirus pandemic to pass, it may be difficult to look towards the future, but as an entrepreneur, you must do exactly that. You must brace for the political and economic impact that lies in wait; however, this does not mean that you cannot align your businesses with the operations of a post-pandemic world. Here are a few areas of your business I suggest you put your focus on:

1. Virtualize your outreach With the majority of the world currently in lockdown, remote and online working have become a key factor in the stabilization of many businesses. The pandemic has shown people that remote work can be just as beneficial as working from the office. Meetings have taken shape in the form of Zoom and FaceTime sessions, and more people have found themselves dealing in the digital world. Make sure you are active in this digital world so that you remain visible to your clients. Utilize email newsletters, videos, social media, and even interactive webinars so that your business remains at the forefront of your clients’ minds. Ensure that you update your marketing messages so that they are oriented with this surge of digital work, whilst keeping the current climate in mind- simply ending a marketing message with a personal touch such as “stay home, and stay healthy” can make a big difference in the impact of that message.

2. Look out for the clients, both old and new We’ve reached a point where many businesses are simply struggling to maintain their normal operations, this could be a pivotal time to embellish your clientele network. Put effort into generating prospective clients and bringing in new leads- at a time when every other business is going through a crisis, your efforts in looking for new clients can exert the confidence that you have in your business. By using your marketing messages, you can make sure your current clients still know you are available and at their service, as maintaining current clients is easier than gaining new ones. This is the fabulous concept of loyalty. Your clients will be ultra-loyal to you during rocky financial times, and if you can get them through this crisis, then they shall be loyal to you for a long time after that. It is key to adjust your strategy and goals so that they are realistic and slightly above attainable; at the end of the day, you still want to succeed big.

3. Make sure you stay relevant Adjust your services so that they are not only useful during the pandemic, but useful after it as well. The climate will be out of place even after the threat to public health has passed, and as such, you must prepare solutions for a multitude of difficult scenarios. Preparation is the blueprint of success. Look for the emerging trends that will come out of this pandemic, and digest as much knowledge as you possibly can so that you become a Rubik’s cube of information. Analyze your strengths and nourish them, diversify your playing field so that you have a finger in different industries, and find the “it” factor that will make potential clients not think twice about joining you. The upcoming three quarters of the year will be rather difficult as businesses attempt to rally from the devasting effects of the first quarter. As such, constructing a strong foundation for your business and its persona will lead you to find less difficulties in these upcoming quarters, as clients will begin to lean on you for advice and support, both during times of hardship and times of prosperity.

4. Don’t be opportunistic, be altruistic As an entrepreneur, you will instinctively reach for every opportunity available, but keep in mind, there is a crucial difference between acknowledging the current climate and exploiting it. Raymond Kroc, the man behind the immense success of McDonald’s, coined the idea of “putting the customer first.” The pandemic has swept the globe into a state of confusion and worry, but it has also brought about the reestablishment of the sense of humanity that we had begun to lose in recent years via political disparities. At the essence of your business should be this everlasting feeling of humanity. A connection with your clients on an emotional basis that reaffirms the bond that is created. Utilize this time to reinforce that extrinsic emotional connection, and evaluate where your business fits in with the current reality of things, and how it could support your clients on a deeper degree than just the monetary level. Be genuine in helping your clients, and don’t expect an immediate result. With the whole world dealing with the uncertainty of the pandemic, be the certainty that your client needs; a healthy relationship is a successful relationship.

This article was originally posted in Entrepreneur.

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