Businesses are starting to reopen, and many small to medium size businesses are concerned they cannot survive if their clientele has to be at a minimum to enter their facilities. Not all businesses can work remotely, and those who can, should also consider how to reinvent themselves to respond to the new way consumers will be purchasing their products and services.

We are witnessing how several major companies have reinvented their business. From automotive manufacturers to the apparel industry they are converting their factories to produce essential wearable’s providing products that protect first responders and consumers. Retailers and service businesses need to understand they too can reinvent themselves and realize there are different avenues available to survive in this new changing economy.

Think Outside The Box

Examples of businesses adapting are gyms and physical trainers. Several have created online programs for people to stay in shape. Exercise programs, some free, are being offered online. This helps current members know they are benefiting from their membership. Several doctors and wellness centers are doing telemedicine for non-emergency patients. Many traditional brick ‘n mortar stores are now getting aggressive by selling products online. Curbside service is only a small step for retailers to hopefully remain open. You need to think outside the typical box and be creative. Remember, every business today is experiencing similar problems, so team up with other companies to expand your opportunities.

Reinventing Does Work

A critical industry hit very hard are restaurants. My suggestion for this industry is to have online celebrations for anniversaries, birthdays, and office parties. Restaurants can deliver specially prepared meals and have an online video party for those celebrating that special time. An alternative idea could be for smaller restaurants to contact businesses in their area, like real estate agencies and sell prepared “congratulation meals” for the new homeowners when they move in. Bakeries and pastry shops should collaborate with restaurants to offer desserts with the meals. This can be especially effective when someone is having a celebration making it a very memorable occasion.

Expand Your Opportunities

Retailers who sell auto parts, home furnishing, appliances, clothing, jewelry, window coverings and even boutique shops could do tie-in programs with organizations or related businesses in their community. Offering discounts should not be your primary

marketing strategy. These are short-lived programs. Instead, work with other non-competitive businesses, which is a stronger and more powerful way to gain attention and establish customer loyalty. It becomes a win-win-win for everyone.

Keep Your Brand Visible

One of the most productive and cost efficient ways to re-build a business is by keeping your name in front of current and potential customers. Using social media is an excellent way to communicate. Be active on all platforms—Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn. Do postings to let customers know what you are doing, such as; how you are making the environment safer for them, special promotions you are offering, tie-in promotions with other businesses, new services offered, community events, and more. Another good idea is to post articles about how your products/services can improve or help customers add more value to their lives. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, and ask yourself “what would you want to know about that business?”

Be open-minded. Be creative. Think forward, not backward and you will discover how productive it can be when you reinvent your business.

So why do we make predictions when we cannot even predict the weather correctly, and we try to do that using very sophisticated equipment?  That being said, as a public relations expert, I will challenge technology using only my brain and tell you what I see happening for 2015.

It's going to be a great year, I think!

It’s going to be a great year, I think!

And in 2015 . . . .

Business and the Economy

Yes, things are looking brighter, but where is the growth coming from next year to continue this bright outlook?  I predict far more “franchise” businesses will be started because it is an easy way to enter the business sector without the old fear beset trial and error methods.

The second area I see growing is on-line businesses. This is the least costly way for entrepreneurs to try their hand at starting a business. I see a 30 to 40% increase in new online businesses.

Overall Economy

People will be spending about the same amount of money next year, but the fact some things are less costly (such as fuel for cars and basic food stuff) people will spend the same amount of money, just in more places.

Software

This industry has been growing steadily for the past four years and will continue. What I see now are new areas of technology on how we will continue to interact using our smart phones and other devices like smart glasses and other wearable items. The “cloud” is opening up new areas on how we store our data and will become a way we can store our conversations so we do not exceed email and texting limits on our devices.

Trust me.  At least 50% of those of my predictions this year will be 50% right. Are there any other pubic relations agencies or other professionals in the public relations industry willing to take this challenge and make their predictions?