Updated: Apr 14, 2020
So if you own a fashion, beauty or lifestyle brand you might have hit the panic button already watching years of hard work disappear or at least threaten to disappear. The fact the the pandemic is global means people all over the world are suffering from the devastating effects this is having on their livelihood. There are some categories that are seeing a surge...sanitizing products, liquor, groceries, comfort bras and comfort clothes to name a few. However, if you are not in one of those categories, you are probably wondering what's ahead and how to plan for the future when you don't know what the future holds.
The first thing to do as a business owner or even department head of a business is to see what government programs exist and any other grants you can apply for during this time. Take a real hard look at the numbers and see what you need to do to survive until September with an income stream of $0.
After you have made that assessment it is time to take proactive steps toward building a foundation for the future once commerce is once again open in full force or at least in a larger way than it is currently. You need to take a critical look at your business and see how much it relies on purchases from lower-income, middle and upper middle class consumers. The wealthy will take a hit from this, but not large enough to effect their lifestyle and purchasing habits, but those in the lower half of the "1%" bracket, middle class and lower-income consumers are likely to have a lot less disposable income for at least a few financial quarters coming out of this. Here are a few questions to ask yourself as you plan for a post COVID-19 world.
1. Can you offer lower price point alternatives to products or services you are currently selling?
2. Does it make sense for you to expand your product category and offerings to include some more financially accessible options?
3. Can you pivot any part of your business to cater to consumers of your product or service that is more affordable and also helps them to feel that you are in the climb back up to success with them?
4. Are there any aspects of marketing your product or service that you can manage in-house?
Here are a few active steps you can take to prepare your business for this after the global pause passes.
1. Survey your client base to see what they are thinking and feeling as it relates to the crisis and the need for your product and service.
2. Clean up your mailing lists, databases and contact lists.
3. Create Google alerts for news on relevant aspects of your business from updates on supply chains and factory news to news specific to your industry.
4. Plan out sales projections assuming a slow climb out of this around August or September without a full recovery until 2021.
5. Find webinars and Zoom sessions that you can join or attend that will be relevant to your business to learn about what others are doing and get ideas remembering no-one knows the future so take negative projections with a grain of salt.