If you’re the owner of a B2B business, you may have been hit really hard by the restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of you have been forced to close or are struggling with the question of adapting your B2B business to COVID-19.
We asked owners of B2B businesses all around the world what they are doing to adapt their business in a world suffering from the Coronavirus. This is what they had to say:
Business Startup Accelerator
My name is Brian MacMahon and I am the CEO and founder of ExpertDOJO, the biggest international startup accelerator in Southern California.
Before the Covid-19 Crisis, most of my business operations were in person. My team, myself and our international startup cohort would meet every day at our Santa Monica location. We would have meetings with VCs, investors and workshops with industry experts – all done in person. Only a few meetings would occur virtually – especially with international cohort members.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, my team, startup cohort and myself are all working from home. All of our meetings are held through ZoomRoom. We also update each other via emails, Google Excel sheets, Google Calendar, our Slack group and phone calls. I start every morning with a zoom room meeting with my startup cohort and team. We update each other on our operations, schedule deadlines, exchange advice and cheer each other up. The rest of the day is dedicated to cohort virtual meetings with VCs, investors and workshops with leading industry experts.
The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing everybody (businesses and individuals alike) to realize that they have to be online. People will have to learn how to incorporate web, computer-based technologies and software to make sure that they can still work and operate their businesses from home when needed.
The internet and high-tech give us the opportunity to automate processes in order for us to increase our reach and income in faster and smarter ways. That is the beauty of the internet and technology – they are democratizing almost every aspect of our lives and we have to be smart now and take advantage of it!
In my experience, working remotely has helped me improve my communication with my startup cohort members that live in other parts of the US and abroad. My team and my startup cohort all agree that we listen more carefully to each other and to the investors and industry experts that we speak to during our virtual meetings. Basically, our level of engagement and efficiency has increased since we became 100% virtual as the lockdown started.
Brian Mac Mahon, Expert DOJO
Digital Marketing Agency
As a digital marketing agency, we’ve largely kept everything the same from our outreach approach to our services. The major difference is we’ve creatively switched our payment terms to help businesses weather the storm. For example, normally we’d charge 50% upfront and 50% at projection completion.
Last week we came to an agreement with a physician to break down their website payment into 24 months. This gives the client maximum flexibility in running their business and solving for the unknown. We’ve also entered into more guarantees for social media results and SEO rankings. In times like these, customers want to know they’re paying for a result and not speculation. Using creative financing and strong offers, we’ve been able to do well during COVID-19.
Brian Robben, Robben Media
Digital Marketing Agency
My name is Susan Gonzales and I’m the founder / owner of Node Marketing, a digital marketing company based out of Houston, TX.
One of the things I’ve done to adapt during this unusual time period is to find an opportunity to be truly helpful to people in meaningful ways while also simultaneously showcasing my company’s abilities to existing and potential new clients.
Most people are at home and will be for some time which means that more than ever before, there is a sharp increase in demand and flexibility to connect with people online. My company has been offering free classes and assistance to businesses who are trying to improve their digital presence online. We don’t try to sell them on any services whatsoever.
Our goal is to truly help businesses find their footing, especially when so many are hurting financially during this time. In the process of providing meaningful assistance, our relationships with existing and potential new clients have solidified even more. When things return back to normal, existing clients will be happier and others may become clients because they’ve had the opportunity to see our expertise in action. And many may not be in a position to afford outside marketing services, but they will always remember my firm in a positive light. All of these end results are worth the investment for any business.
Susan Gonzales, Node Marketing
We have a team chat app that is used by teams in a variety of different industries. Ever since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, we’ve been putting more focus on remote companies. With so many businesses switching to remote work during the pandemic, we thought it would be a great idea to offer them an app that they can use to communicate and collaborate with each other.
We made a major push through email, social media and paid ads, focusing just on these companies and even offering a 50% discount until the end of the month for all new remote teams. So far, we’ve seen good results from this campaign.
Jane Kovalkova, Chanty
At Verb, we offer a blended leadership development solution. For about 6 months leading up to this March, we were spending a ton of time building out a robust product offering of in-person workshops as a premium offering. This included an overhaul of the company strategy and a brand and messaging refresh. We had current clients already rolling it out, and we were using it to sell to prospects, who were very interested.
As you can imagine, once COVID became a serious reality, all of those plans were completely scrapped. We knew we had to come up with something that people needed NOW, and to do it quick. So we developed our COVID-19 Leadership Response Pack. We created 20 hours of content over only 2 weeks that applies specifically to challenges leaders are facing right now. We have pivoted from a high-touch, highly relational sales approach to a transactional sales approach with a fast-launch rollout to new clients (1 week turnaround) and a highly discounted price.
This required a great rallying from ALL teams- content, engineering, marketing and sales. And we did it all within our first two weeks of working remotely- already a HUGE adjustment. But we are already receiving great interest from prospects who are struggling to manage and lead during this difficult time.
Leah Bury, Verb
Frayt is a Cincinnati-based startup serving 13 US markets with on-demand shipping through a simple and easy-to-use delivery app. They have the largest commercial fleet in North America that uses contracted drivers.
Frayt was primarily focusing on serving businesses – helping them deliver either to their customers or to other locations with our fleet of several hundred cargo vans. Once C19 hit, we started getting a TON of interest from consumers – looking to deliver goods from stores, or from their home to other homes, which we are now accommodating. Home improvement and landscaping products are very popular right now.
We also immediately rolled out requirements for all our drivers to be contact-less, and changed our delivery process to not require signatures live and in person for safety and health reasons. We’ve seen 250% growth of signups through C19, and hope we can save small businesses who need to switch to same-hour delivery overnight. All they have to do is tell their customers to use the Frayt app – and we can start delivering immediately.
As an outdoor advertising company, our business is solely driven on the premise of people being exposed to ads outside of their home. Considering the necessary shelter in place order that is in effect, almost nationwide, we have had a full pause on business. Nonetheless, we are shifting our business toward using billboards to reinforce social distancing messaging.
By donating space to businesses like Red Cross and the AdCouncil, in partnership with the CDC, we are doing our part with what we can. We have also had to become flexible with our cancellation policy and postponing campaigns for our clients.
We have certainly taken a hit in revenue but hope through that we have gained trust with our clients. Although we are not able to bring in sales revenue at the time, we are concentrating on marketing efforts. We are using our marketing as tool engage with our clients.
It has been incredibly important to make sure we are keeping the tone and the content of our communications to one that is sensitive to the state we are in. We have swapped sales pitches with education content. We have swapped funny memos, with empathetic letters to our clients. What is important to us right now is remaining transparent. We are a small business who is navigating this time of uncertainty alongside our clients.
We are making sure that our communication is functioning as a resource for tools in our industry. We are communicating how our cancellation policies have been adjusted and what safety measures we are taking to care for our employees. As a small business, we are doing all that we can to keep our staff employed and ensure we will be here to celebrate when this ends.
Candice Simons, Brooklyn Outdoor
If you’ve got a B2B business, we’d love to hear about what you’re doing to adapt to Coronavirus. Leave a comment below!