Now that we’re heading into the third week of the government shutdown, businesses across the country are affected to varying degrees. Obviously those business owners with direct governmental ties, for example those with government contracts, are affected the most, but the longer the shutdown continues, the further down the effects trickle.
This means that for most businesses, a flexible marketing strategy is more important than ever. Ongoing events like a government shutdown can really test your ability to adapt to adverse situations and make the most of tough times. Not only do you need to be prepared to deal with any direct effects to your company, but also the indirect issues that will pop up as a result of the shutdown affecting your customers.
If you haven’t done so already, now is a good time to start communicating on social media, letting your audience know where things stand with you and and your company in the wake of the shutdown. If your products or services are continuing on as normal, that’s great news to be able to convey; likewise, if services will be affected, letting people know now is much better than letting them find out the hard way.
You also need to keep in mind that your customers may be affected on a personal level by the shutdown, which may in turn impact their ability to continue using your products and services. If you had any specials you were thinking about running in the near future, now would be an excellent time to get those rolling, to try to help things stay business-as-usual. Again, social media is a great way to communicate this, and doing so will also come across as a gesture of good will at the most appropriate time.
Obviously the shutdown will not last forever, but while it does, it’s a good opportunity for you to test out how readily you can shift to Plan B, and how well you can handle bumps in the road. That’s not to say that the shutdown is a positive thing; only that every changing situation gives you a chance to expand your skills as a marketer, and find out what works for you and what doesn’t when times get tough.
How has your business been handling the shutdown so far? What sorts of plans do you have in place to cope if it continues?