Are you Working ON your Business?
Explore Options for Future Growth 6/25/2020 | Danette Gossett, From Good to Great
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During the pandemic of COVID19 I have spent countless hours working on my business. It has been a refreshing change from my normal routine of spending most of my time working in my business.

Normally I am reacting to the needs of our clients and my account managers. Helping them with quotes, ideas, and presentations. 

Explore Options for Future Growth

However, lately, I have found myself thinking about the long-term continued success of the business. What can we do differently in the future to further insolate us from the volatility of the economy and the constant changing market conditions. Obviously, nothing could have foreseen COVID19 and its impact on our supply chain and our clients. 

Yet, what can we change to minimize these types of disruptions to our business in the future? First, I am happy to say, one thing we did right years ago was to establish a VPN (virtual private network) for the business. Because we live in a hurricane-prone area, it was necessary so we could work from anywhere if need be. And we have needed it now more than ever. Other than myself, everyone is working remotely. And I am happy to say, we haven’t missed a beat because everyone has access to all our files via the VPN.

But other than that, I can’t say we were prepared for all the disruptions.

Pivot Opportunities

More of our clients than I would have ever expected were dramatically impacted by the pandemic. We’ve already talked about pivoting like many others to offering PPE’s. It helped dramatically not only in securing some new customers but helping our existing clients open back up safely and keeping our business out of the red.

So, what more can we do to help secure our future? 

Register to Work with the Government

First, we have used this time to become registered and/or certified to work with a wide variety of municipalities, school districts and government entities. I have to say, getting documents notarized at the bank drive-through was a new experience! 

Working with the government is different than our usual. Most of the opportunities we have had so far have come in the form of RFP’s. And I must say it is disappointing to see how some companies are basically giving it away just to have some revenue. I understand on some level, but it is not sustainable.

Expand Product Offerings

Secondly, we have been researching and learning about new complementary product offerings that we can add to our business offerings. We have watched countless webinars and had long discussions with vendors. We also looked beyond our core promotional products. We looked at expanding printing, direct mail, forms, incentive and loyalty options, and more. 

We, as a team, discussed what made sense and have added two-line extensions to our offerings. Our website is being updated to reflect that as well as new presentation materials to introduce them to our clients and prospects.

Connection is Still Key

All of this has forced me to rethink how we present ourselves. I have always thought of us as a promotional marketing company. I always thought most people would understand what that means. However, I’ve learned that it means different things to different people. So, all our presentations are going to include a reminder about our core business.

We have always provided comprehensive in-person presentations and regular check in meetings with our clients. And now, not being able to have the in-person meetings has proven difficult for all of us. We love the personal interaction. The ability to connect with people on multiple levels. Not sure a zoom meeting achieves the same level of connection. Although, we are trying. Showing new products and discussing how we can help with a wide variety of programs. 

Think Outside the Norm to Reach People

We are also trying different techniques to reach people. We have produced a few videos, a few podcasts and developed some PowerPoint presentations to help our clients and prospects see more of us and our more ideas. 

I admit, we are still reactionary on some levels, but we are working hard to move more and more to leading the action instead.

PPE’s Here to Stay

Of course, we are still getting daily inquiries about the PPE’s. The one advantage now is there are more available in the United States instead of trying to figure when/if supplies will arrive from China. I know more than I ever wanted to know about the certification and authorized respirators available (so many are not on the CDC list, even though they have certifications). We also recognize that PPE’s are going to be a part of our landscape for the foreseeable future.

I have also realized who some of our true supplier vendor partners are. Those that have come forward with suggestions, self-promos, spec samples and Zoom meetings for new products and ideas. Some I expected, others surprised me and even more surprised me by their silence. 

Vendor Relationships Remain Vital

I am reaching out to our partners more and more to help us stand out with our clients and prospects. We stayed open and busy throughout the quarantine time frame. We are now helping more and more of our clients get ready to welcome their employees back to the office.

And we are also working hard to come up with ways to help our clients keep their employees motivated and engaged while continuing to work at home. That too looks to be a long-term situation for many.

We all know that big events are probably not going to happen much this year. So, how can we help our clients replace those events? How can we make sure that we are still providing them with the materials needed to keep their brand top of mind? 

Branding is more important than ever. It is a challenge we are looking forward to. Are you up to the challenge?

Danette Gossett is the founder of Gossett Marketing, co-founder of Promotions Rescource LLC and co-author of the best-selling book “Transform” with Brian Tracy. Danette utilizes her more than 30 years of advertising agency and corporate marketing experience to develop effective promotional campaigns and products for her clients. Visit GossettMktg.com or SalesPromo.org and follow us on twitter @MarketngTidbits. 

 

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