Why your business needs a social conscience now more than ever
Before you look at your products and services to work out what you can sell, first take stock of what your evolved business could be. This important time of reflection and planning will help you navigate these times with renewed confidence and it may just save your business.
We all find ourselves in this whirlwind of circumstance and our heightened senses encourage us to react to one bit of news and then react again to another. But deep down, we know we’ve been taught that in order to be successful we must first take stock and plan. So, go back to basics and reflect before you plan.
There are a few exercises to help you at the end of this article but first grab a cup of your favourite drink and have a thoughtful read.
Why plan in a socially conscious way?
Faced with social distancing and stay safe and stay home, our generation’s desire to support each other has grown stronger than ever before. The sense of community, the need to belong and the displays of support are everywhere. Our nation has a level of social conscience to be truly proud of. But what is your business’s social conscience currently saying about you?
What will your new Covid-world Mission & Values be?
Doing the right thing, not profiteering, will improve both your chance of survival now and help to build a new grateful and loyal customer base for your future.
A recent Edelman Survey showed that:
? 71% agree they will lose trust in a brand forever if they perceive it is putting profit over people
? 33% have already convinced others to stop using a brand that was not acting appropriately
? 77% said they want brands only to speak about products in ways that show awareness of the crisis and its impact on our lives
Right now, our isolated customers are making more emotional decisions than they usually would. Having a clear purpose and strong moral compass will help you lead them through these emotive times.
So, how should you respond?
We’ve created a couple of short exercises to help you to think through your response, to help you tap into the socially conscious side of your brand and to help you find your communities.
Exercise 1: Who are your new communities and what are their needs?
How has your usual customer base changed? Do they miss great coffee, an indulgent meal, or a varied Monday to Friday menu made by someone else? Has their budget changed? Has the daily latte become a weekly treat – and that’s only if they could get to you? And where might you be finding new customers in our new covid-affected world?
- First, write down 3-5 new types of communities or groups of people that surround and interact with your new world. Write them down, describe them.
- Next, against each of those groups think about what they miss most in their new world. These could be physical, like a coffee, or emotional, like a daily chat and a smile from the barista. Aim for around 10 ideas and then filter it down to the top 3 - 5. Choose the ones that really hit the heartstrings. Write them down.
This exercise will help take you out of your business-focussed mindset and into the minds and hearts of your new communities.
How would your business be viewed if you could offer a remedy to even one of their needs?
Exercise 2: Remember you’re already an amazing asset.
You know customers love you, your approach, your mannerisms - all the best bits of your brand and all of the things that differentiate your business, give it personality and make it successful.
- So, what are the best bits? What is it about you as a business owner, about your business, your team and your products or services that everyone loves?
- How do your customers feel before and after they transact with you?
Write down 8-10 answers. Think hard, be honest. Write them down.
Final exercise: Build a Mission to bridge the gap.
Your mission drives your being, your culture and your objectives. It’s who you are today, what you do and it must serve a purpose.
On one side of the metaphorical bridge are your communities and their needs, and on the other side are all your amazing assets and defined attributes. Building a mission statement with these two sides in mind will help you ensure you are answering a real need using real capability.
- What repeatable actions could put you at the centre of the community? This becomes Your Mission
- Which community needs would really be addressed by your actions? This validates Your Mission.
What can your business do that adds real value to these new communities?
You should now start to have a clear line of sight of what you can put into action, and how it will reward everyone. You, your business, your suppliers and your community.
The next stage is the action plan to put it into place. There are so many good steps you can take, and reflecting before you plan will help you prioritise.
You may well need to move to online ordering and deliveries. Use a courier, a neighbour or even your bike. You could offer support to a community through their food banks, preparing food boxes or even lending your premise. You could create a community group so that like minded businesses can pool resources.
Whatever you do, establishing yourself at the centre of your community will help you retain that community long term, but to succeed you must reflect before you plan.
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The article was written for you by Jo and Andy, the founders of Keeto Life. A company who, like others, lost its B2B revenue and access to key manufacturers and suppliers. Still on a mission to provide industry-ready, wholesome Low Carb food for all occasions, Keeto Life switched its business to the online B2C stay home community. Using their contacts with bakeries and millers they now provide a growing range of healthy and fun food experiences. Ordered online, delivered locally and recipe-guided with their new home cookery channel, Keeto Kitchen with the Kids.
If you’d like to know more about how their journey has unfolded and what else they have learnt moving their business to the new world, then please come back here soon or feel free to ask a question directly. They’d love an excuse to pause for a coffee.
Jo.firstname.lastname@example.org 07784 967205
Within 6 months of Keeto Life launching their Seriously Low Carb Loaf they have been endorsed by Thrive Diabetes, a clinic reversing type 2 Diabetes. They are a finalist in the Food Innovation Category at the Food Entrepreneur Show 2020. And following their Sugarwise certification have been invited to the House of Lords to discuss the changes in the food industry.