Almost Immediately After COVID-19 Began, Instant Disruption Took On All Areas Of Life As We Knew It As It Permeated Our Global Economies, Forced Our Nation Into A Standstill, Restructuring All That We Knew To Be Normal.
An unforeseeable virus that changed the lives of so many, regardless of sector or size, status or age, without discrimination it took to any in its way. More specifically, nearly 42 million Americans whose jobs were lost overnight along with countless small businesses having dropped their shutters to weather the economic downpour. Despite many government-assisted programs like PPP and coronavirus stimulus paychecks, the country still finds it overwhelmingly hard to survive financially.
Nevertheless, the human spirit is strong and adaptable. As we all seek the next steps in what’s to come, we continue not only to fight to stay above water but to swim with the wave and not against the current. To do so, we need to start with some internal assessments.
As Healthcare and Retail, in particular, have taken on major direct hits, Mac Fadra, a healthcare and business entrepreneur of over 20 years specializing in Hair Restoration and Regenerative Medicine, highlights some useful tips on how he’s adjusted his companies to survive the crisis and how you can do the same to not fold like a business.
Here are 10 ways to survive the COVID crash and come out standing strong:
1) Assess financials and “Trim the Fat”:
Do a strategic assessment and develop a post-COVID plan by developing pro formats based on a 30 to 50% revenue decline. Plan cash flow accordingly, build up cash reserves by suspending distributions, and encourage conservative budgetary costs for only essentials including pay cuts and hires. These cash reserves along with streamlining operational costs to a bare minimum will allow you to easily identify any discretionary spending that otherwise was not being accounted for and therefore can trim that as an ongoing expense.
Applying for PPP loans and other financial incentives can give operations immediate liquidity, but one should be wary while availing credit since the financing cost would be much higher right now due to high uncertainty and risk associated.
Assess revenue opportunities in related businesses, such as niche grants, including the Alice grants. Keep your eyes open to demand-related opportunities in your sector or related sectors, by surveying your consumers to gauge future demand as to what that will look like, cut what is irrelevant, don’t act on impulse, and internally adjust what you can to each product value based on industry, consumer behavior, and market trends.
2) Pivot business model to permanent industry changes:
The pandemic is changing consumer behaviors and business models alike. Technology should be integrated with your business model to make your operations more robust and easier for customers to engage with and consume. Making your products available to consumers virtually will go a long way in helping to scale up your business along with improving customer retention.
“When this is over, entire sectors in some industries may not exist to ensure that yours isn’t one of them to start systemizing more at home work. For e.g., in Healthcare, there will be more virtual consultations and care. Rural areas will have better access as a result. Demand for commercial real estate will likely decline.
Find a way to implement this virtual access in your technology, branding, services, and automation tools to not only promote adequate care but to remain relevant as well.”
3) If you’re preparing to reopen, consider the role of timing and technology:
Reopening a business can be a great opportunity for businesses to rebrand themselves. Waiting for the right time to reopen according to your geographical location and implementing new measures to keep workers and consumers safe would be essential for frictionless operations. Providing a digital consultation or product offering will become an essential part of business models in a post COVID world where businesses and consumers alike will practice social distancing norms.
“In the medical services industry, you are bound by scheduling and health regulations. Creating a blueprint would include steps to ensure patients are being screened for symptoms upon arrival. Regulate time spent in a clinic by limiting the number of patients per hour or day, schedule services by one surgical procedure a day, have patients and staff wear gloves, provide essentials such as masks, build a complementary sanitation bar, and practice social distancing.”
4) Acquire essential tools for transformation:
It is essential to stress the importance of the integration of new technology in your business model. Better technological advancements can help save resources, time, and human effort while maintaining social distancing norms.
“The best method we can use during this time as a regenerative healthcare sector is virtual consultations, strengthening patient sentiment and consumer loyalty. As we provide services in hair restoration, in lieu of rolling out a new product line, we prioritized acquiring new technology to reduce the number of hair technicians required per procedure. Both methods have had impressive conversation rates for our business revenue and have also expedited the process during procedure times minimizing bleeding and discomfort along with time spent during the procedure, and resources spent.
An example that integrating even temporary tools can improve the output of products, services, experience, and conserve resources while addressing social and physical distancing issues without affecting the quality of results.”
5) Expand your market, broaden your clientele:
The times of crisis push business and people out of their comfort zone. To recuperate losses, businesses can take the help of technology to expand their product offerings into new geographical areas and capture new clientele. Creating a strong online presence can go a long way as it will funnel potential customers to your platform.
“This latest wave of digital convergence opens up possibilities for digitalization of the demographics of the business and expand to geographic markets beyond your primary or secondary target markets.
Relaunch services as a strategy to increase visibility such as offering regional discounts, perks, and related branding based incentive programs. Even if it’s just to get your name out there. Look to cities you would have never thought of and take it as an opportunity to connect to a new community.”
6) Diversify your market research:
Adapt your product value to different interest groups by positioning your company narrative in “shoulder niche” markets. Evolve your product offerings and value to different interest groups by positioning your company narrative in “shoulder niche” markets. Creating products to target a specific kind of audience will require studying different aspects of the market and diversifying your research pool.
7) Diversify your PR plan:
To reach different segments of the market, a new method of dispersing information and public relations news should be implemented. New avenues of spreading the news about your product and business should be evaluated. As a result, by positioning into different interest groups, you also bring awareness to unique elements your business has to offer. These elements will give you the independence to control your company’s marketing needs without committing to any long term contracts should you need to breach prematurely. Your communications plan (consumer, client, and public-facing) should not only give these new markets trust and credibility, it should be translated into their language of consumption.
Find vendors that work in tandem with budget restraints and therefore focus on those that can be outsourced on a retainer basis. Next, highlight services offered based on the following criteria:
- Can the vendor guarantee the immediate target goals?
- Are services offered a la carte?
- What is the background specialty – look for any opportunities where the nature of their specialties and strategies come from a place of conserving costs and requires no additional spending.
Prioritize vendors that are digitally fluent in Digital PR and can deliver on a short term basis.
Be readily available for any interviews, archive different sound bites, have on deck well-produced in-depth material, and sustain a base for all important content types needed for any marketing need.
We use, for example, LDM+MARUVA for the flexibility to negotiate contract specifics, background in Digital PR, even more specifically their specialty in Earned Media which has become another strategy for us to maintain a plan that is cutting costs on advertising efforts.
Thus, we can then put all our focus on what we are good at which is producing the scientific backing of our treatments, industry research, and B2B resources. Our science and technology have to be comprehended to different demographics without being overwhelming in medical jargon. Conducting case studies and in-depth articles such as our recent post “Can I have a Hair Transplant done during COVID?”
8) Humanize your product value:
Showcase your values as a company, not just the science of the product or the market value, try to connect with consumers by seeking to correct any misrepresentation your product or service may have, become your own brand ambassador. By being more vocal about removing myths and preconceived notions, in our case it would be about our treatments – we help to resolve skepticism and engage in tracking sentiment value. As a result, you become more readily available and generate a safe space for comfort, engagement, and real conversation.
9) Value more than ever, mental health:
Build out the mental health of your relationships with your employees and staff for they are the only true asset you have as an organization and for those essential workers who cannot be replaced with technology and automated tools, a time such as these become the very moments that strengthen your team efforts and therefore prioritizing mental health on an infrastructural level becomes a higher priority than it ever has in the past.
10) Validate your victories and the state of your company as it continues to survive!
It is an inevitable fact that we have been forced to not only live through such detrimental changes, but we have also been forced to witness a rare moment in history where we are provoked to become less passive and more active participants in being part of creating this “new normal”. Although we may not have been ready to welcome it, we are part of the fabric that has become now a precursor to a new era of life as we know it.
That being said, make sure that with each sweat pouring down your face, each decision having to be made, each compromise, pivot, and growing pain you take – validate your company and yourself for building the defense needed to protect the very company you created.
Take this time to reconnect with the reasons that brought you to your first stage in creating your business, no matter how established or new. Let this be a blessing in disguise that allows all of us to prioritize what really matters. See you on the other side – You got this!”
About Mac Fadra:
Mac Fadra is the Founder, CEO, and Director of a number of cosmetic medical-related verticals including MAXIM Hair Restoration, MAXIM ReGen, MAXiM Facial Aesthetics, MAXiM Cosmetic Surgery, MAXiM Breast Surgery, MAXIM BPO, MAXIM Men’s Health, Dry Eye Experts, and others. A successful health care entrepreneur and business professional with over 20 years of experience specializing in the Elective, Consumer, Medical Retail, and Cosmetic/Aesthetic Medical Services sectors.
Fadra started his career for Ross Perot’s flagship company Electronic Data Systems as a consultant and was a Consultant at HMC, the former Health Systems Division of Booz Allen & Hamilton. He was Director of Marketing, Planning, and Information Technology for an international eye hospital and developed LASIK centers in multiple countries. He has completed over 50 consulting projects in the medical aesthetics services sector and was Vice President of a chain of LASIK centers in the U.S. and a partner in a hair restoration company before founding MAXIM.
For more on Maxim Hair Restoration, visit: www.maximhairrestoration.com
Or call (718) 268 6060.
For more information on Maxim ReGen, visit: www.maximregen.com
Or call (802) 370-3227.