These are five concrete actions that you can take to help your companies survive the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Start them now and get a faster recovery from the crisis that is coming.
6 min read
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
In 2009, the news of the H1N1 pandemic , known as the swine flu, shocked the world and had a strong impact, especially in Mexico, where the first cases were recorded and activities stopped completely for 10 days.
At that time I participated with a group of advisers who helped raise the pig industry, which was the most affected and was detained for a period of two months. For this reason, it seems important to me to share five steps that we created in those years to face this type of pandemic or critical economic situation. Apply them to cope with the Covid-19 coronavirus emergency.
1. Know the cycles of your business
If you already know that there is a pandemic or that it is coming, you should be prepared for it. It is inevitable and it is better to prevent and for that you must be very clear about your business cycles, time, supplies, demands, and price drops (to withstand the blow, in time and money).
For example, pigs have a breeding cycle that goes from birth and growth until they reach their maximum growth point and are ready for sale.
Producers have to be constantly evaluating the ratio of kilo of feed vs kilo (weight) of gain in the cryo. At the beginning the gain is higher because the animal weighs more than they eat, but as they grow, the ratio becomes one to one. There the decline, up to 1 kilo of food against no weight gain. It is just at that moment when the producer begins to lose.
At the time of the H1N1 virus crisis the problem was that they had a certain number of pigs that they could not move because the demand had fallen. Pigs eat daily, if they no longer gain weight, they only cost you. If you slaughter them and carve them, they only have a certain number of days for the meat to be fresh, if you freeze them they have a refrigeration cost. We had to assess to lose as little as possible.
2. Plan your positioning
Once the emergency is over, it is like starting over, because, even if the crisis no longer exists, orders must be raised and the cycle carried out again. That is why it is important that you plan a positioning and recognition of your company.
Remember that the client needs trust, certainty and guarantee. That's what the three elements of the sale are for: company product and seller or person they trust.
I suggest that you make an acknowledgment of what you are working on in your company against the pandemic, what you are working for the well-being of your clients and their family and in addition to what you care about as a social responsibility.
If you market any product, make sure that it is free of any contaminant, disease or coronavirus. It will be better if you have some verification, certification or endorsement.
In addition, start working on what is the new model or the added value that you are going to give to your product so that it can transcend. Remember that the problem is not during the pandemic or during the crisis or emergency, the problem comes later because you have to start recovering the credibility of the customer and start moving the product and that is like starting an industry from scratch.
3. Start at home
Always remember to show that you are a socially responsible company and that you start at home. Show that your employed workers or the family that belongs to your company is free of this virus and also that your salespeople are prepared for any contingency and prepared to handle the product against this type of pandemic. Always try to give security to your customer, both as a company, with your products and with people.
4. Add value
Now it's about the coronavirus pandemic, but remember that value delivery must always be constantly evolving. How are you going to add value in this situation? For example, add protocols or verifications that ensure that your business is virus free. If you are a restaurant, you could seek to comply with Food Certification H, which implies that your business has cleaning and food handling safety protocols. In short, it is about highlighting your strengths and the measures that will give certainty about your service to your customers.
5. Use a flag
I mean, take up a banner: how to help people or some social or responsibility struggle that you support and that improve the quality of life. This will help you improve your image through your product or service. For example, if you are a person who brings products from China and you want to demonstrate that your product is not contaminated, then your flag will be “My product comes 100% clean guaranteed”.
The H1N1 experience
We applied these points to the pork industry 11 years ago. We started with improving their internal operation and then certified that the pigs were H1N-free.
Hence what we did was to start working in a better way with the delivery of value making the product fresher, delivering it in less time; We delivered the carcass much faster (from eight days we lowered it to three) so that it was a much fresher product, free of diseases and with all the certifications we obtained to improve the product.
In addition, we began to deliver value with different cuts and to generate much more value; we did a television show with different chefs who made different recipes from the pork; We were generating demand, we created an alliance with a chain of restaurants, which made its gastronomy month based on pork.
Take these steps. With them you can go preparing for this pandemic.