What should a business do when there are no customers?

Due to the recent pandemic, the global economy has hit the brakes hard, sending all its passengers scrambling to find something to hang on to. For some, work is continuing albeit with numerous changes. But what about those businesses and industries that had to slow down or effectively close their customer-facing aspects? What do you do when there are no customers buying your products or services? The simple answer is – do all the tasks every business should do, but bypasses because they are too busy.

There is an enormous number of things every business should be doing regularly in the pursuit of optimization, functionality, and creating new opportunities. The simple fact is, there just isn’t enough time and these things keep falling down the priorities list. It looks like it is time to dust off that list and start knocking a few things out.

Not only does it provide people with something to do (shockingly people get tired of binge-watching Netflix and staying inside when other options are removed), but it also can help with creating a more efficient business. For many of us, it is going to be rough sailing for the next few quarters. Rather than just worrying about the money we aren’t making now, take time to control the things you can and actively plan for the future.

Things to Do During Downtime

  • Step Process Review – Every business that operates online has some variation of step-processes in place. This can be a simple newsletter sign-up to more complex e-commerce shopping. Whatever the case may be, step-processes should be regularly reviewed to look for anything that is causing you to lose customers at this point. From copy to the number of steps, to location of buttons, and more there are small adjustments that can be made which will streamline the process for the user. Easier and faster equals more conversions.
  • Website Maintenance – A website is like a car; it needs regular maintenance to run effectively. A site should be audited for better speed and performance as well as ensuring all front-end and back-end functionality is running smoothly. Speed is important for customer satisfaction, conversion rate, and SEO. In some cases, a site can become bloated due to the continual addition of content and features. An audit can help find redundancies, remove waste, and help find and fix broken links or pages.
  • Test New Software – There are a ton of great apps and fantastic software available, but who has the time to try them out to see how they could improve your business? For those that don’t already offer a free trial, ask. Plenty of B2B businesses will be happy for a potential lead. Look for software and apps that can improve productivity, increase efficiency, and improve customer interactions.
  • Brainstorm Content Ideas – Plenty of us create content on the fly without a plan. Of course, this is simply not as effective as having a content calendar and planning ideas and campaigns. One reason a business doesn’t always do that is a lack of ideas. It takes time and energy to brainstorm content ideas. Give your teams some suggestions to get them started and make a game out of it. Start tossing the idea ball back and forth and develop a strong list of content ideas for when the economy gets stabilized.
  • Content Audit – Content is like a tree. Over time it grows bigger and bigger, but to stay healthy you need to regularly prune it remove dead leaves and broken branches. This is important for two reasons: SEO and site speed. Take the time to remove outdated content, redundant content and content that doesn’t still provide value. This can also be an appropriate time to review that content for repurposing or generating updated content based on that topic.
  • Analyze Past Marketing Campaigns – Ideally, this is a regular step when designing new campaigns. But if you have the time take a long look at campaigns for the past five years or more. Look for what seemed to work and analyze why or why not one was more effective than another. Sometimes a long view can provide excellent insights.
  • Create Graphics – Update graphics, logos, and pictures used for your website or social media accounts. They don’t have to be implemented right now but can provide a fresh look in the coming months.
  • Interact on Social Media – Consumers are sitting at home. Some are bored and some are worried and stressed out. While a business might not be in a position to sell anything to their customers, they can still work on fostering stronger relationships by reaching out and interacting. Provide useful information or look to entertain customers.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that we all need to do our best in these challenging times. Looking for opportunities and staying engaged is better than worrying and doing nothing. What should a business do when there are no customers buying products or services? Plan for the future and do all of the little things that get skipped because there isn’t enough time!


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