How did Pooja script the revival of her small business after the Covid-19 impact?

The impact of the spread of coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown had a sudden impact on most businesses. Lost deals, decline in sales, less or no customer footfalls, a shrinking pipeline, cash flow crisis were some of the challenges faced by many. This small business case study illustrates the success story of Pooja and her team.

Pooja is the owner of a small digital marketing company. She had a team of 4 employees who multi-task to manage sales, client servicing, content writing, designing and digital marketing. Before the Covid-19 struck, the company had 7 clients and each client paid a monthly retainer fee for the services of the company.

Services included content writing for blogs, managing PPC campaigns, creating email newsletters and social media management for clients.

Small Business Case Study | Problem Statement

The clients too were impacted by the sudden slowdown and reduction in demand of products and services. As a result:

  • 3 out of 7 clients cancelled the retainer agreement citing low sales
  • 1 client placed the engagement on hold. Activities were to be restarted when the situation would improve after the lockdown

Impact on the business cost and revenue

Monthly cost and revenue trend — Covid19 impact
  • Monthly revenue declined by almost 60% in 2 months
  • The reduction in cost was about 10% as employees started working remotely

Small Business Case Study | The Solution

How did Pooja get her business back on track? Let us look at some of the key actions implemented by the team:

  • Hired one experienced resource for creating better quality video content. Pooja knew the growing popularity and consumption of video content across all platforms
  • Sponsored online skill development courses for the current team. The certification status of employees was updated on the company website to win the trust of clients
  • Partnered with a third party vendor to provide chatbot as a service to existing and new clients
  • Offered complementary content to all 3 clients who had retained her company’s services. The bonus content was to help clients promote their company during the lockdown
  • Requested video testimonials from each of the clients. This was used to reach out to new clients
  • Asked for referrals
  • Offered the same deal as above to the remaining 4 clients
  • The client who had placed the engagement on hold was offered one month free service. The revised terms were accepted
  • 1 out of the 3 clients who had cancelled the agreement came back on board with a 25% discount
  • Sponsored online skill development courses
  • There were no salary deductions despite the loss in revenue
  • Communicated with the team everyday to update them about the revival plan, explain their role and set expectations
  • Reached out to all the old leads and referrals with the digital marketing service package and chatbot as a service plan
  • Offered a 30% discount to all clients if the annual retainer fee was paid at once

The Results

The results — small business case study
  • Almost 11% increase in monthly revenue compared to the pre-lockdown performance
  • 5% increase in net profit
  • 1 out of the existing 3 clients opted for the chatbot as a service plan resulting in a 12% increase in the retainer fee
  • 1 out of the 3 clients that cancelled the agreement came back on board
  • The one client who had placed the engagement on hold was active again
  • The company acquired 3 new clients for the digital marketing service in less than 2 months
  • The company acquired 1 new client for implementing a chatbot on their website
"There is an opportunity in every crisis."

Originally published at https://www.xserve.in on July 9, 2020.

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Nitesh Verma

Business Analyst, Blogger and Coach. I write about strategy, problem solving and people management.