Due to the global outbreak of coronavirus, 2020 was an unprecedented year for businesses. It suddenly changed the economic landscape dramatically. Micro, small, medium, and large corporations, all suffered from the impacts of COVID-19. Many businesses even failed. According to a report, 140,104 businesses in the U.S. went out of business during the pandemic (Source: Fortune).
Source: Market Watch
Now, after two years, some are still struggling to recover and maintain a healthy cash flow. So, how do these businesses climb back up?
Today, we will talk about a business recovery plan to survive any crisis and keep a steady cash flow.
What Is A Business Recovery Plan?
A business recovery plan is a process of creating a prevention and recovery system to mitigate the impacts of a threat or disaster to the company. The plan ensures the protection of employees, assets, inventory, and other resources necessary for the business to function correctly. It is also called a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and a Business Disaster Plan (BDP).
Why Do You Need A Business Recovery Plan?
Businesses are prone to multiple risks and disasters of varying degrees – all the way from minor to catastrophic. Yet, according to stats, 75% of businesses have no business recovery plan.
Business recovery planning is meant to keep a business operating under challenging circumstances. You can take several fundamental actions to prepare for a return to stability. This planning will help position your business and employees on a path to quicker recovery. A business recovery plan can help your company:
- Implement processes to maintain the cash flow
- Restructure and stabilize the balance sheet
- Reshape the business models, cost structures, and revenue sources under a crisis
- Plan and prepare for exit options and bankruptcy-related issues
- Facilitate finance by implementing technology enhancements, refining strategies, and assessing enterprise risk
- Manage and communicate with employees effectively
How To Create A Business Recovery Plan?
There are several things a business needs to consider to create a business recovery plan. These include:
- Business Impact Analysis: You have to identify the time-sensitive functions and resources.
- Recovery: Identify and implement the steps necessary to recover critical operations and functions.
- Organization: Establishing a continuity team to devise a recovery plan to manage the crisis/disruption.
- Training: The staff must be trained and tested to handle the new operations included in the plan and strategies.
- Consider The Risks: Understand the risk and how it will affect your business. Figure out how you can mitigate those risks.
- Identifying Critical Suppliers: Identify the providers, suppliers, shippers, and all such resources that keep the business operating. Find backup vendors and distributors.
- Crisis Communications Plan: Create a plan to communicate with your employees, customers, and suppliers. Create an emergency contact list and store it in a safe location.
- Back up: Have paper and electronic copies of all your business’s essential data and documents. These include legal papers, insurance policies, credit agreements, billing, payroll databases, and customer lists.
- Review Insurance Coverage: Ensure your business is insured and has coverage for physical losses, disasters, and business interruption. Understand the policy, what it covers and what it does not.
- Developing Strategies for Cashflow: Here are three main strategies of a Business Recovery Plan with comes to cash flow:
- Reduce Cash Outflow The easiest way to maintain a healthy cash flow is by reducing cash outflow. Carefully think of how and where to cut the spending budget. Delay unnecessary projects or capital expenditures, negotiate partial or credit payments to your creditors, eliminate some financial obligations, reduce overhead costs and inventory if the demand is low.
- Maintain Cash Inflow Ensure your customers pay in full and on time. Evaluate your accounts now so you can be ready to propose a reduced or partial payment plan that lets you maintain cash flow.
Strategies For Business Recovery in 2022
Now that we have discussed what a business recovery plan is and how to create one, here are the essential elements you need to include in your business recovery plan 2022. These components will help your business get back on track, increase brand recognition, generate more leads, and boost sales!
Strategy #1: Lead Generation
Source: First Page Sage
What is Lead Generation? Lead generation is one of the most critical factors for business growth. Lead generation means creating, nurturing, and managing a lead. In simple terms, a lead is a potential buyer – anyone interested in your product/service. 61% of marketers rank lead generation as their number one challenge, and 53% spend a minimum of half of the marketing budget on lead generation.
Lead generation improves conversion rates, increases brand recognition, spreads awareness, boosts sales, increases ROI, and grows business.
How To Generate Leads?
- Lead Funnel
To generate leads, you have to create a lead funnel. Leads funnel represents the journey a prospect experiences in becoming a lead – and later a customer. The leads funnel analyzes the target audience, sets up the best communication channels, identifies any ineffective strategies, streamlines your marketing efforts, and eventually converts leads into paying customers.
Source: TREW Marketing
So, how does a lead funnel work? Businesses advertise products/services to people, but some turn into a lead. Out of those, only a fraction becomes customers. According to stats, only 10-15% of all leads convert into sales (Source: Belkins). In the lead funnel, you funnel down the prospects. The vast audience pool is at the top of the funnel, and at the bottom are the few committed leads.
A leads funnel has 4 primary steps:
- Interest/lead capture
- Lead Magnet
50% of marketers who start using lead magnets report higher conversion rates (Source: wpforms).
A lead magnet offers the prospects in exchange for personal information like name, email address, and phone number. A lead magnet acquires online customers, increases lead generation and builds an effective communication channel with prospects. Lead Magnet should be valuable enough to make the prospects share their email addresses or other personal info to receive it. Moreover: Lead magnets should immediately grab the attention of your buyers.
Source: Elegant Themes
Here are a few characteristics of a good lead magnet:
- High Value – A good lead magnet offers a valuable return to the audience. Depending on your market type and audience preferences, you should create a magnet that your audience cannot resist.
- Instant Gratification: A good lead magnet offers quick and actionable solutions to the audience’s problems to generate a real response.
- Unique Selling Point: A lead magnet should convince the audience to buy from you instead of your competitors.
Source: Gill Andrews
How to Create a Lead Magnet?
Lead magnets require proper thought and effort to be designed to target anyone with a need and desire for your product/service. Follow these simple steps to create an effective lead magnet.
- Choose Your Buyer Persona – A lead magnet should not attract as many people as possible, but it should target your audience. It should be ultra-specific to the people who will buy your product/service. 24% of companies gained more leads using personas, and 36% have achieved shorter sales cycles using personas.
- Identify Value Proposition – After determining your target audience, decide what to offer them. Give them a compelling reason to act. The best value proposition suits the buyer persona and satisfies their wants.
- Name Your Lead Magnet –The title of your lead magnet will make a drastic change in your conversion rates. It should be compelling, unique and clearly stated.
- Choose the Type of Lead Magnet You Offer – This is where you decide what type of lead magnet you want to offer. If you have more than one option, determine which one will most effectively deliver your value proposition. Types of lead magnets include CTAs, e-books, articles, links, blog posts, discounts, vouchers, coupons, etc.
Source: Marketing Charts
Strategy # 2: Online Marketing
Digital marketing is the biggest asset at your disposal for business recovery. When you’ve experienced a dramatic drop in business, digital marketing will help you to grow your business back, enable you to identify growth opportunities, and get more sales.
Online marketing strategy helps you reach your audience quicker and faster, even when your business can’t provide its core function. Therefore, the global online shopping market reached 4 trillion in 2020.
Here are a few digital marketing strategies to adopt in your recovery plan:
- Email Marketing
Email marketing continues to be one of the best ways to engage with your audience. It has the potential for the highest return on investment of any digital marketing channel. Thus, 89% of marketers use email as the primary channel for generating leads.
Your email marketing list is one of the most valuable assets to your business. It is a list of everyone who has shown that they are interested in what your business does, so they’re already warmed to the prospect of converting. 99% of email users check their inbox every day, with some checking 20 times a day. Of those people, 58% of consumers check their email first thing in the morning (Source: HubSpot).
Some of the ways that you could grow your list is by:
- Offering a download on your website in exchange for an email address
- Do giveaways around your product or service encourage email recipients to share and forward your content
- Host online events
- Add a sign-up to your email marketing list in your email signature for standard emails that you send.
- Add a pop up to your website visitors to quickly join your list
- Geo-Targeted Ads
Now that people are moving around and traveling less, you want to be focusing on reaching your audience where they are. Running focused geo-targeted Google ads campaigns will enable you to reach your audience where they are and maximize your budget. Using location data makes marketing campaigns 80% more effective.
Source: Thunder Tech
To ensure that you are targeting the right people in the right place, there are two ways to use geo-targeting to your advantage:
You can target people in a location – Showing your ads to people in a location is more of a capture-all blanket approach that targets anyone in a given location.
You can target behavior or interests – Targeting by interest allows you to show your ads to people who show interest in a particular location.
- Engaging With Influencers
Influences are more important now than they ever have been. 49% of consumers rely on influencer recommendations. With people being stuck in their homes off and on over the past two years, unable to go out, they’ve been looking for new distractions and sources of entertainment online, finding new creators that they enjoy following and interacting with. Therefore, the influencer marketing industry will hit $13.8 billion by 2022.
Source: Koo Marketing
Finding the right influencer to work alongside your business is challenging. However, once you find the right person to work with, they will transform your business. It needs to be someone with an online following that matches your business’s core values and principles. You need to understand who your audience follows, admires, and is influenced by. Working with an influencer will help put your business in front of your audience and establish trust.
- Social Media Marketing
More than 3.96 billion people use social media worldwide. This means billions of people around the globe can access your business. Social media has been a game-changing digital marketing and SEO tool to boost brand awareness, grow sales and increase revenue. 73% of consumers have been impacted by a brand’s social media presence when making a purchase decision.
Source: Smart Image Insights
Huda Kattan, aka Huda Beauty, a famous beauty blogger, and influencer, set up a billion-dollar beauty empire in just 2-3 years through the power of social media. She introduced the core brand hashtag, #hudabeauty, in 2016, and in just over a year, Instagram had 1 million posts associated with that hashtag. Today, she is one of the most influential people in the beauty industry, with more than 48.8 million Instagram followers. According to Forbes, her net worth is more than $600 million!
Huda is just one of the many successful entrepreneurs who have created and established mega million-dollar businesses through the influence of social media. Moreover, such online businesses did not suffer during the lockdown as they have a solid online establishment. Therefore, they actually faced increased online sales as people could not access the physical stores.
So how does social media help a business set up and recover?
- Best Digital Marketing Tool – social media serves as a great digital marketing tool. Opens doors for multiple marketing strategies such as influencer marketing, PPC, and video marketing.
- Brand Awareness – social media gives you access to millions of people to reach and connect with.
- Loyal Customer Base – social media offers access to customers around the globe. You can learn your customer behavior and give them exactly what they want; this creates a loyal customer base.
- Low Start-up and Marketing Cost – social media platforms are free to use. You can promote your products and services on social media platforms for a small price.
- Online Tools – Facebook and Instagram have introduced advanced algorithms to help the business grow and monetize.
- Digital Presence – social media marketing helps you improve overall digital presence and SERPs ranking.
- Engagement – social media is engaging and interactive and allows you to engage with customers directly. It offers direct and impactful communication through strong visual elements.
- Competitor Analysis – you can observe, learn and adapt your competitor’s tactics. Thus, you can offer better promotions, solutions, and content endearment than your competitors.
Strategy # 3: Focus on Content
2020 is the year that changed everyone’s behavior – your audience included. Now is the right time to return to your personas and understand how your audience has changed and where the best place to reach them might be. 67% of consumers say their online purchasing increased since the start of the pandemic and 27% say their online shopping has increased a lot (Source: McKinsey).
You need to ensure that you adopt today’s consumer habits and mindset. So, you need to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes rather than allowing yourself to get blinded by how great you think your products and services are. The mentality you need to adopt is to help people rather than cold sell them.
When you help people solve problems through free and valuable content relevant to your business, you reach larger audiences and build trust. Moreover, when you speak to your audience, you need to be sympathetic to the fact that your audience is different and know that your approach needs to match their changing attitudes
Here are a few consumer behavior stats to keep in mind:
- 59% of buyers have a higher expectation of customer service than they did a year ago.
- Consumers prefer user-generated content (UGC) compared to brand-created content and are 5.9x more likely to say it’s the more authentic.
73% of consumers have a high level of comfort buying from a new brand online, 75 percent of which say they’re likely to continue purchasing from those new brands in the future.
With a business recovery plan, you can ensure that your business survives any unexpected crisis. With the help of the three strategies mentioned above, create a strong business recovery plan to boost your business in 2022.