Finding commercial finance opportunities during COVID-19
While ongoing government funding and eased social restrictions in most states have helped some businesses get back on their feet, many are still struggling. Others are holding the line but are cautious to invest or make sizeable purchases because they’re unsure what lies are the corner.
Businesses in certain industries, however, are thriving. The change in circumstances for Australians has led to increased demand for their products or services. In other industries, innovative businesses have worked out how to “pivot” their business purpose and are focusing on growth areas with the largest demand.
So which industries are doing well, and what does this mean for commercial finance brokers? Here’s what you need to know about identifying potential clients and transforming them into new business during COVID-19 and beyond.
7 industries that are thriving
- Construction. Governments have pledged support to the building industry, both at a federal and state level – with cash grants for home renovations and stimulus packages, such as Victoria’s Building Works, which aim to get thousands of construction projects off the ground.
- Manufacturing. Innovative manufacturers are adapting their production lines to the current demand for things like masks, ventilators, hand sanitiser and personal protective equipment.
- Healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Healthcare will always be considered an essential service, with an increase in hospital patients and the massive worldwide effort to develop a COVID-19 vaccine driving demand for medical equipment, IT technology and treatment drugs.
- Online education. The increase in remote learning for schools, colleges and universities has made technology and equipment indispensable. This includes education software, digital platforms and laptops.
- Food and beverages. Online grocery sales have soared – with revenue forecast to increase by 56% this year. Spending figures also show a massive rise in the purchase of alcohol. This has led some producers to expand their operations, product lines and distribution.
- Agriculture. With Australia’s borders closed for the time being, there is increased demand on local farmers to grow and supply crops for supermarkets and retail channels. Even though consumption at restaurants has fallen, home consumption has risen.
- Delivery and logistics. The growth in online retail has been felt right across the supply chain, from warehouse and logistics to couriers and parcel delivery.
Turning opportunities into leads
Even though you probably can’t attend or host networking events for the foreseeable future, there are unlimited opportunities to generate leads online. The good news is, you don’t have to be a digital expert – you just need to understand your target audience and connect with them, using everyday tools such as social media and Google.
The key is to develop relevant and engaging content that will help potential clients find you online – and advertising is just one of a wide range of tools you have at your fingertips. Here are some tips to help you.
- Blogs can position you as a specialist in your field. Optimise your SEO by thinking of specific terms that potential clients are likely to search for, then try to tailor your content around these keywords. Make sure they always link to your website or a contact form so interested readers can get in touch.
- Consider offering a lead magnet, such as a toolkit, report or fact sheet. Potential clients will be more likely to provide their contact information if they are receiving something of value in return. It’s also important to establish trust through proof points. You can use elements such as awards, client testimonials and online reviews to vouch for your services.
- Instead of client seminars, you might consider running a webinar to educate business owners around their financing options. You can end by asking attendees to “like” your Facebook page or subscribe to your newsletter – to help turn these touchpoints into ongoing relationships. And, when it comes to your social media, you want to create content that stands out and is shareable – such as informative videos that draw people in.
- You should also be looking at your website and LinkedIn profile and giving them a refresh, if necessary, to make sure they clearly introduce potential clients not only to your expertise but also the value and services you can offer them.
- Finally, don’t forget to ask your existing clients for referrals, as word-of-mouth remains one of the simplest and most effective strategies for growing your business’ reputation across an industry.
How Connective can help
- Register for our Melbourne Business School module ‘Marketing during COVID-19' to learn about how to market your business during an economic downturn.
- Search our Business Growth Webinars that specifically focus on marketing your business.
- Check out our award-winning learning and development program to find a digital event to help you thrive during this time of uncertainty.