• Truus Yperman

THE ONE THING YOU SHOULD REALISE NOW, IF YOU WANT TO STAY IN BUSINESS AFTER CORONA

Are you the owner or manager of a brand or business in today’s locked down world? Have you been wondering what’s next for your brand or business after the smoke clears?

Hear me out! As a business coach, this is my advice on what you should be doing right now.


Brands and businesses across the planet are trying to come to terms with the corona-shock. Like a mega-earthquake, its effects are rippling across the business landscape one aftershock at a time. The tremors are uprooting every certainty we had and putting into question the world as we know it.

Let’s not fool ourselves. This worldwide business breakdown is going to affect all of us in ways currently beyond our imagination, and for many years, even decades to come. 2020 will be a pivot point in history books. There will be a world Before Corona and a world After Corona.

With consumer values changing as we speak, ‘normal’ business strategies are going down the drain. I am not old enough to have experienced anything of this magnitude before, but rest assured, this is nothing less than a freaking business ‘ground zero’!

If you are hoping to get back on your feet after all of this, keeping your fingers crossed is not going to cut it. You need to act, and you need to act now! Things will not miraculously go back to normal. There will be winners and there will be losers. Which category your brand or business will end up in, will depend on what is your course of action now.

WHAT?


So, what should you be doing now to stand a chance of ending up in the winning category?

Well, I’ve got one word for you: ENGAGEMENT! I have been on this for a while, but it has never been as relevant as today. Actually, it’s not just relevant, it’s urgent.

If you are to survive, recover, and thrive after this crisis, you need to do two things:

Firstly, think ‘engaged teams will have your back’. You need to engage your employees in re-thinking your relevance, re-defining your values, and devising success strategies that will stand the test of post-corona times. You are up against a colossal challenge, so you are going to need your people fully on board, every step of the way. Show them that you care, tell them that you need them, bring in their ideas, value their input, give them your trust, and make them part of this challenge.

Nothing motivates people more than a common sense of purpose.

Secondly, think ‘engaged costumers are customers for life’. You need to engage your customers in your recovery story. Don’t just imagine what they need. Ask them, bring them in, listen to them, exchange ideas, and build an authentic, human connection. Customers will be looking for new meaning in the ways they consume. They don’t crave more things, they crave more connection, inspiration, positivity, and authenticity.

Don’t just create a story for your customers, create it with them!

HOW?


I know what you’re thinking though. You’re thinking ‘That all sounds perfectly nice and plausible, but how do I do that?’. Well, this is not something you can outsource. That’s the whole point. It is something you do together with your team and your customers. It won’t work unless you own it.


But there are people who can help you. And guess what? That’s what I do for a living.


I am an engagement coach for brands and businesses in the fashion and design industry. I design and facilitate meaningful moments with employees or customers to encourage reflection, collective thinking, brainstorming, shared inspiration, and a lasting sense of we-are-in-this-together. Together we take stock of the situation, define values, devise strategies, and think about how to carry it through.


When this lock-down will finally be over, your teams will be coming back to the office, and your customers will be heading back to the stores. They will not be the same people from before the outbreak. They will be different. Will you expect them to go back to business as usual, or will you take this unseen crisis as an opportunity to re-think and come out stronger? That is the choice you are up against.


When the corona-dust settles, employee and customer engagement will make the difference between making it or breaking it. The brands and businesses that realize this today, will be the success stories of tomorrow.

This is the ultimate momentum for brands and businesses with a heart and soul, carried by people who stand behind them with passion and conviction, driven by consumers who demand a slower pace, more meaning, a softer consumption, more transparency, and more humanity.


Do you want to be one of those brands or businesses? Better start engaging now!


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