4 Ways to Find Opportunity in a Crisis

Nurturing your company culture, strengthening community ties, delivering what your customers need and putting your best foot forward on your website are sound strategies for weathering the storm.

learn more about Baruch Labunski

By Baruch Labunski

PM Images | Getty Images

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Times are uncertain, and for business owners, the public health emergency has made the marketplace a tricky and terrifying environment. Following guidelines for social distancing might be inconvenient, and many companies face short-term losses and a bleak outlook. Taking care of your business during a crisis is vital, though. Let's take a look at some practical and responsible strategies that can help sustain your business, even in this difficult time.

Focus on company culture

Whether you're a sole proprietor or employ dozens of people, your company has a culture. It's your ethos, your raison d'être, what sets you apart from your competitors. While some companies dismiss touchy-feely topics like company culture, they do so at their own peril. In fact, IBM did a study and discovered that employees who felt a strong connection to their company and their peers produced better financial outcomes for their employers.

Related: 3 Ways to Build a Customer-Centric Company Culture

That's right: A cohesive company culture leads better experiences for both your employees and your customers. So while business is slow right now, take a little time to reflect on the kind of business you want to run. Dedicate some energy to encouraging your staff to think of themselves as part of a vital community, even if you're all working remotely. Culture can be cultivated, even from a distance. A shared sense of purpose and a commitment to collective goals can establish your company as a great place to work and an organization dedicated to delivering excellent customer service.

Get closer to your community

Whether you own an accounting firm, a fabric store or a landscaping business, you're part of your community. Even online businesses are based somewhere, right? If business is slow for your company, or if you're running a business that's been deemed non-essential, use your downtime as an opportunity to create stronger ties to your neighbors. Look around your community and see what needs your company can meet. Can it provide meals for a busy local hospital? Can you organize your staff to deliver groceries to community members who can't shop for themselves? Is there an educational program you can offer for free to parents looking to entertain stir-crazy kids? If you're forced to slow down in this difficult time, do something productive with your resources. Forging stronger bonds with your community will position you for a quicker recovery when things start to open up again.

Focus on what your customers need

When frightened consumers emptied shelves of hand sanitizer, what did distilleries large and small do? They shifted their production from artisan spirits to mass quantities of hand sanitizer. Although your business might not distill alcohol, you could still be able to rethink the goods and services you sell to meet new consumer needs. Restaurants, forced to close their dining rooms, have re-imagined their businesses, offering paper goods and fresh meat for sale to customers who might not be able to procure items at grocery stores. A fabric store could put together kits for DIY face masks. An accountant might study up on strategies and changes in tax laws to help clients keep as much of their money as possible. When the market changes, businesses have to change too.

Related: Whiskey Producers Are Making Hand Sanitizer. Here's How They Organized.

Up your content game

If there's a silver lining to this situation, it's the opportunity to tend to tasks you know you should do but never find time for. Creating dynamic content for your website is one of those tasks. Even if you're not a natural writer, there are tons of underemployed freelancers all over the world who can take your ideas and generate content that will engage your customers and help promote your brand and your business.

Related: Everything You Need to Know About Hiring a Freelancer

Whether you start a company blog, create entertaining and informative videos or simply update information about your company's offerings, giving your company website a makeover makes sense, especially at a time with so many people sitting at home on their computers. Not convinced that fresh content and a strong SEO game matters? Check out some SEO statistics, like the fact that 72 percent of online marketers believe content marketing is the most effective SEO strategy. While sales for your business are slow, seize the opportunity to take care of chores you might otherwise neglect.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40 percent of businesses don't reopen after a disaster. That's a sobering statistic for sure, and although we can't anticipate or avoid every difficulty, what we can do is invest some time and energy into positioning our companies to emerge from this in the best possible position. Nurturing your company culture, strengthening community ties, delivering what your customers need and putting your best foot forward on your website are sound strategies for weathering the storm.

Baruch Labunski

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

CEO of Rank Secure

Baruch Labunski is an entrepreneur, internet marketing expert and author from Toronto. He currently serves as CEO of Rank Secure, an award-winning web design and internet marketing firm.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Everyone Wants to Get Close to Their Favorite Artist. Here's the Technology Making It a Reality — But Better.
The Highest-Paid, Highest-Profile People in Every Field Know This Communication Strategy
After Early Rejection From Publishers, This Author Self-Published Her Book and Sold More Than 500,000 Copies. Here's How She Did It.
Having Trouble Speaking Up in Meetings? Try This Strategy.
He Names Brands for Amazon, Meta and Forever 21, and Says This Is the Big Blank Space in the Naming Game
Business News

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

The Northeast and West Coast are the least affordable, while areas in the Mountain State region tend to be ideal for retirees on a budget.


Are You Being Too Soft as a Leader? You Might Need to Try a Different Approach

At the core of leadership, we must provide purpose, direction and motivation to our employees — but not everyone is using the right leadership style to offer these things. Here's why you might need to consider a more rigid approach.

Starting a Business

Shopify's President Breaks Down the Best Ways to Grow Your Ecommerce Business

Entrepreneur magazine Editor in Chief Jason Feifer and Shopify President Harley Finkelstein discuss the best strategies to grow an ecommerce business.

Business News

I Live on a Cruise Ship for Half of the Year. Look Inside My 336-Square-Foot Cabin with Wraparound Balcony.

I live on a cruise ship with my husband, who works on it, for six months out of the year. Life at "home" can be tight. Here's what it's really like living on a cruise ship.

Business News

American Airlines Sued After Teen Dies of Heart Attack Onboard Flight to Miami

Kevin Greenridge was traveling from Honduras to Miami on June 4, 2022, on AA Flight 614 when he went into cardiac arrest and became unconscious mid-flight.