1. Do an audit of your company's services
As a founder, you may find yourself heads down and moving forward if things are working well. But during a crisis, it's essential to step back and see what you might've missed.
Natasha Murphy of Nicely Built saw an opportunity to expand her business during the recent COVID-19 pandemic. As her team continued to have a hard time closing deals, she did an audit of her revenue for her creative services agency. She quickly saw the value of their new digital marketing offering.
"We started offering digital marketing services about a year and a half ago after seeing a need from our clients, and they have served them well," Natasha says. "We're now actively expanding in that direction and offering digital marketing services, in addition to [our other services]."
2. Diversify your income sources
Once you've audited your services, explore how you can further diversify your company's income. During her career as a marketer, Robbin Block of Blockbeta has experienced several crises, including graduating during the 2008 recession.
"When a company wants to downsize, marketing is last in, first to go," she says. She diversified by acquiring clients in different industries while still maintaining her e-commerce marketing niche. That way, if one source of income goes, her business remains afloat.
Robbin created a new email automation package to offer to her existing clients and develop new services she can provide. "Package price your services so everyone knows what to expect, but it also makes billing easier."
For Natasha, it looked a little different. Her agency acquired bigger, long-term projects from companies, and when possible, they took on new projects at a lower rate than usual to close more deals.
3. Ask for feedback from your current customers
Robbin shares that it's essential to understand your target customers if you're going to do any marketing. But first, understand those you have already and ask for feedback, often.
"You have to understand how people behave so that you can respond to their needs. I'm always thinking about what my clients' needs are and coming up with ways to deliver services," she says. "It's always easier to keep a client than to find a new one."
The right environment for them to collaborate and communicate with your company can also make a difference in the feedback loop on how you can retain them, says Jonathan Morency of HaitiBrand.
"Never forget the central element of your business is the human being. Start with your staff—and then your customers, your audience. It helps keep contracts in place. That's key," he says.