The pandemic has had an impact on everyone. The majority of us have been staying home and social distancing for over a year. Businesses who rely on customers coming to their retail spaces are definitely struggling. The entire economy is in a jam despite many efforts to keep small businesses going. Even with vaccines being rolled out, we still have a few months to endure before the market starts recovering.
That said, hope is on the horizon if you are a business owner. There is no better time to restart your business than right now. You can use the few months that the market needs to recover as a runway for relaunching your businesses and recovering successfully. To do that, here are some of the things you need to prepare.
Understanding the Landscape
Before you start planning for a relaunch and creating new business strategies, it is a good idea to gain a better understanding of the market first. A lot has changed, including your competitors and your customers, so you want to spend some time understanding these two elements carefully.
There are tools that you can use to get started. You can begin gathering information about what the competitors are doing using web scraping. Web scraping has gotten much more effective with new tools and the best proxy providers making their services available.
You can rely on a reputable proxy provider such as the one found here to mask the IP address of your scraping tool. This way, you can gather more data from public websites like social media platforms without having to jump through hoops.
The data can then be fed to data processing tools like Google Big Query or something simple like Microsoft Excel (with CSV output from the scraping tool). That data can be turned into insights that will help you stay informed about trends and what your competitors are doing.
Using Insights to Your Advantage
With a steady stream of data and insights established, you now have the ability to plan your next steps. You can start by identifying several key points that will help you understand how you need to realign your business for the relaunch.
The first point to understand is the changes made by competitors. See how competitors in your landscape are already doing things to adapt to market changes. What you can do is learn from their mistakes, so you don’t have to make costly mistakes of your own.
The same is true with how competitors communicate and how customers are being engaged. Social media data and conversations happening on other platforms like review sites allow you to identify key strengths that you can adopt to separate your business from the competitors.
Lastly, understand what customers are struggling with the most. For example, restaurants are nearly impossible to visit these days and delivery services don’t always reach the customers. To have a unique USP, you can offer ready-to-cook food packages that can be heated up quickly.
Plan for Change
As mentioned before, insights from web scraping are very powerful since they come from the market directly. At this point, you should be able to plan the changes that you need to make in order to adapt to new market challenges.
Sticking with the ready-to-cook meal as an example, you can begin plotting how you can redirect resources towards making that product a possible option. As a restaurant business owner, you already have a capable kitchen and a proven menu.
The next thing to tackle is the packaging. Making sure that every ready-to-cook meal is kept fresh and packaged properly is critical. This is where changes need to happen. You can add new machinery to the kitchen, implement better hygiene policies, and more.
Lastly, you can return to web scraping to do deeper competitor analysis. Now that you have ready-to-cook meals planned, you can check if other competitors are doing the same thing. Rather than a general market overview, you search for data related to ready-to-cook meals from competitors.
Staying Ahead of the Market
This process needs to be seen as a cycle rather than a one-time event. Adapting to market changes is not easy, but with refinement and a continuous process, you can overcome the challenges. Besides, you already have data on your side.
Add the fact that setting up a web scraping operation is very easy with reliable proxy providers just a couple of clicks away, and you are all set. You can do more than just find information about competitors. You can leverage data to stay ahead of the market.
Are you ready to make the necessary changes and restart your business after the pandemic? With the steps and tips covered in this article, the answer to that question is a big YES. Start today, gain a better understanding of the changes that you need to make, and get your business off the ground in no time.