Direct Mail Results Have Been “Insane”!
Return To What You Know Or Start Over From The Beginning?
More and more business owners and managers are discovering that their activities for restarting their business, or scaling back up post-shutdown, are looking more like a start-up plan than just turning the lights back on. They’ve adopted a “start-up mentality” – being highly passionate about your entrepreneurial vision and energizing employees to believe in the business’s mission as well as being ready to take risks, change and adapt on the fly.
In a typical economic slowdown, when things got better, businesses simply returned to what they had always done before. Now, the current challenge is forcing executives to completely reevaluate almost every aspect of their companies including product & services offerings, safety measures, staffing, marketing channels and the messaging they’re putting out to the market. Along with the likelihood of budget constraints and increased competition its feeling a lot like a return to the founding stage of the business.
But, the start-up mentality is more than just passion. It’s about staying competitive and being able (and willing) to take additional business risks. It’s about trial and error, making changes and adapting to the changing business climate. It’s about sharing your passion with your colleagues and employees so that they take up the charge and embrace change together.
So, how does an established business adopt a “start-up mentality”? Here are a few tried and true ways that businesses have thought like a start-up and reinvigorated their business with passion and excitement:
Clarify Your Business’s Mission & Vision
Over time, and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, your mission and vision for your business have likely taken a hit. You’re probably not approaching each day with the same passion and conquering attitude that you had before the coronavirus changed your business’s day to day operations. That’s understandable. It’s time now, though, to take a look at your mission and vision and remind yourself – your employees – of why you’re in business.
Clarifying your business’s mission and vision should be focused on helping to reinvigorate yourself and your employees with the concepts behind them so they can positively impact your customers and others around them. You know what your business stands for, why it provides what it does for customers and how it delivers products and services, so it should be no big surprise to anyone in your organization when it comes to clearly understanding the purpose of your business. In a post COVID-19 world, it’s most likely that while your mission and vision haven’t changed, how you fulfill them has.
Re-Energize Your Employees
Keeping your employees dedicated to your business’s mission is challenging even without a pandemic. When operating in a start-up, mentality though, keeping your employees engaged with your business’s mission and vision is easier, especially if they know they are making a difference. Instead of watching the clock, waiting for the end of the workday, they’ll focus less on the clock and more on your business’s purpose because they believe in the vision of the business.
It’s important to rekindle that passion among your staff. One way to re-energize your employees is to reward creativity or increase recognition for unique solutions and include them in the implementation. For instance, if you’re looking for ways to make your business more inviting for customers to return after the coronavirus pandemic, solicit your employees input into how they feel changes could best be made and reward solutions that get implemented. It’s always important to acknowledge the work that’s being done and the effort behind it, perhaps now more than ever.
Look At Your Business Through Your Client’s Eyes
With your focus on your mission/vision and your employees bring passionate about making a difference, it’s time to look at your business as your customers would. Your customers are your business’s lifeblood. The things about your business that are not necessarily important to you could be to them. Using a start-up mentality, every customer is priority number one. You can’t afford to not look at your business like your customer would and make the necessary changes.
This includes accommodating their health and safety concerns, product and service needs and meeting their consumer expectations. It’s the type of thing that start-ups, even in their infancy, strive for. It’s about paying attention to every customer as though they are your first and your last. For instance, will your customers see your business the same post-COVID-19? What changes will you have to make to accommodate their needs, concerns and expectations? Remember, it’s not about your perception of health risks, its about theirs.
Seeing through the eyes of your customers can help reveal truths about your business that you’ve been casting a blind eye to – that new customers would see immediately. For instance, if you’re not putting up signage that advocates social distancing or other precautions, that might be a deterrent for some of your customers. Be upfront about your efforts and the expectations of your customers when they enter your establishment. Make sure you’re critically looking at your business and fixing problem areas.
Stretch Your Marketing Budget
It is always important to maximize or “stretch” your marketing budget and get the most out of your marketing dollars – that’s just good business planning. But how do you make your existing marketing budget go further? Some common strategies that our customers have used include starting with your existing customers, further segmenting lists, cleaning up poor data and excluding addresses outside of your immediate market when creating marketing outreaches.
By starting with your existing customers, you’re already working with people who have purchased from you before – and likely will again, post-coronavirus. By segmenting the lists, you can change up your message so that it is more relevant for your audience. For example, if it’s been 6 months or more since they’ve purchased from you, the message might be different from someone making a purchase last week. Data within your customer transaction history can also be applied to additional tactics on prioritizing those you reach out to. For retailers and other categories that may still have a state mandated level of operation, segmenting your customers by past spending levels and creating special invitation events for those VIPs can help maximize the level of customers your business is allowed to serve at a given time.
These strategies help get your business back up to speed as fast as possible and are largely focused on existing customers, then as the business returns additional resources can be allocated towards acquisition campaigns and increasing customer count. When combined with strategies like Spectrum Mail Plus, the power of omnichannel marketing maximizes your marketing budget even more!
Need help developing a “start-up mentality” marketing strategy? Spectrum can help!