Life after Covid19: what does it look like for your business? Here are tips for how you can future-proof your direct sales business to thrive whatever may come.
As we approach the 1-year anniversary of being on pandemic lockdown, I started thinking about how this is all going to end. Will it end? How will it end? Let's talk about how to Future Proof Your Business: Life After Covid-19.
One year ago, life came to a screeching halt as we all pivoted online. And at that time, I predicted that the direct sales industry would go through three major phases:
Direct sales would take an immediate hit and volumes would drop as everyone figured out how to replace their in-person business through new online social selling methods. This happened quickly. March/April 2020 were a whole lot of “what do we do next?”
Companies, leaders, and teams would work quickly to find new online selling options. Training was quickly implemented for online parties. New tools were introduced for doing live shows and live sales. By June/July 2020, some companies were starting to stabilize and ride the wave of this new online-only world. Concurrently, as the overall economy struggled, direct sales offered alternatives to both connecting with new communities and creating personal income opportunity.
The industry would forge out a new-normal. As direct sales recovered and the industry found this new normal, it preceded recovery of the economy as a whole through online sales and business opportunities that helped replace job losses. Companies that were able to pivot quickly and leverage that recovery period through social innovation are now thriving.
Here's the reality.
One year ago, our business toolbox was fairly static. We knew how to do in-person business, and the occasional online party, live sale, or vendor event. But if necessity is the mother of invention, 2020 grew our toolboxes exponentially.
We now have new tools, strategies, tactics, and methods to create online community, engagement, and value through our offerings. Why? Because we were forced to. One year later, our business toolbox is busting with new apps, tricks, and techniques.
So what does this mean as we begin to see the end of the Covid tunnel?
Eventually life will return to ‘normal.' But nothing will ever quite be the same again. We are wiser, smarter, and more socially savvy. Our communities have been trained to live on their phones for over a year. We are all more attuned to authentic connection and value and quickly dispense of things that don't serve value or personal connection.
Here are some ideas for how you can Future-Proof Your Direct Sales Business after Covid.
- As people begin to return to normal in-person life, we may see a slight drop in online engagement. This isn't indicative of anything negative, simply that people aren't online as much as they used to be when we were home all the time. Watch your analytics and insights to keep a pulse on your engagement trends.
- If engagement starts to drop, it will be all the more critical to focus on your social content. When people come back online (and they will), you'll want to continue serving high value. This may include shifts in your conversational and community questions. When people have more limited time online, they will be seeking even higher value connection.
- The silver lining of opportunity will be to leverage your community expanding in-person once again to accelerate the your own social community. Add in “Bring a Friend” days to invite your social audience to invite a friend to your community and implement more shareable posts into your content mix.
- As you personally expand back into in-person business, don't abandon your online presence. Leverage the in-person connections to grow online by including social funnel calls to action in every party or event. This can be as easy as a personal invitation to connect online at the point of checkout.
- Keep up with your online activities. Keep doing your online parties, online vendor events, online live sales, and social engagement. Our new normal includes a stronger focus in our online communities. While life returns to pre-Covid, we are living in a new post-Covid world. This means our new communities are even more vital to feeling connected.
You can easily future-proof your direct sales business now by thinking about what your life will look like post Covid-19. Consider all the new skills and tools you were forced to learn this past year because of Covid.