There’s an old maxim, “Make hay while the sun shines.” In other words, make the most of an opportunity while you have the chance.
This saying originated in medieval times when a hay harvest could be spoiled by wet weather. Farmers seized the opportunity of dry weather for hay-making tasks such as cutting, drying, and gathering.
Farmers learned to act now so you don’t regret later. When you don’t have a weather app or forecasts, next week is uncertain.
As we look into the fall, the make hay maxim is equally important. We cannot predict what will happen:
- Will there be a second wave?
- Will we face new rounds of lockdowns?
- Will things get better or worse?
Like medieval farmers, you cannot predict the future, but you can prepare.
If you knew for certain there would be a second wave in 2020 with another lockdown, how would you proceed? What steps would you take right now?
You don’t have to theorize or guess the impact of a lockdown on your business. It’s seared in your memory. The past four months provided very clear knowledge and data for how to plan for a second wave:
- What did you learn from the first four months of the pandemic?
- Where did you thrive?
- What could you do better?
- What would you do differently next time?
Even if the entire country is not pushed into lockdowns, it’s reasonable to expect there will be regional surges of the virus and rolling lockdowns through the remainder of the year. If you can make hay right now, make it!
All of Sticky Branding’s clients are stepping on the gas to increase sales activity before summer end. We are not waiting to see what will happen. We’re increasing the volume and activity of sales and marketing, and contingency planning for potential closures.
Here are a few tactics you can start right away:
- Launch a summer marketing campaign. Don’t assume your clients are away on holidays for August. Get selling now. Launch a proactive sales and marketing campaign to engage executive decision makers.
- Secure funding. The Canadian government announced it is extending CEWS (the wage subsidy for employers) until December 1st with much more flexible terms. There are also programs with the banks and other lenders. Get your house in order by building up your access to capital before you need it.
- Increase short term production. If you have to work with a skeleton crew in the fall, what do you need to produce now to get ahead of the closures and disruptions? Be proactive and productive with every man hour available.
As you work internally, don’t forget to look externally. Your competitor’s weaknesses can be your opportunity, especially in a second wave.
In my free ebook, Crisis Marketing, I shared how Fruitland Manufacturing is capturing market share due to several of its competitors having supply chain issues. The competitors can’t get their products to market!
Fruitland is a global leader of mobile vacuum pumps, and a Sticky Branding client. CEO Chris White said, “All of our products — from pumps to components to parts — are made in North America with North American steel and aluminum. This is one of our core advantages.”
This core strength is an ideal marketing message to make hay now and into the fall. Fruitland Manufacturing boldly advertises its products are in stock and available now. The company is serving a clear need, and they are not holding back.
Some companies cut marketing in a downturn, but Fruitland is increasing its marketing activity levels and budget. The belief is clear: You can’t wait for things to get better. You have to act now.
You don’t know what’s going to happen in the fall or even in 2021, but you do have enough data to build your contingency plans and get ahead of the situation. The actions and steps you take today will shape your business for months, if not years to come.
Slingshot Your Business Out of the Crisis
Sticky Branding works with you to recover the customers and revenue taken by Covid-19, and to develop the strategy to come out of the crisis stronger than ever. If you’re interested, call me (Jeremy Miller) directly at 416.479.4403, or check out our Crisis Marketing services.