Following 2020, 2022 also threw a lot of surprises at the business. We took off the masks, but received impressive restrictions, put aside the antiseptic and picked up a notebook and a pen to develop an anti-crisis plan and understand how to survive in the new reality. Let’s talk about what lies ahead for us and whether there are prospects for business development.
1. Look for new niches
The restrictions imposed have reduced consumer choice. Some manufacturers have completely left the Russian market, some have suspended their activities, others have sold assets located in Russia to other companies, which means that the assortment in many categories of goods has drastically reduced and the consumer simply does not have the huge choice that was even in pandemic.
How to solve the problem: expand your range or look for new niches for work, suddenly you have been sitting in your market for a long time and dreaming of a new one. Maybe you will become the new Ikea or McDonald’s.
2. Attract buyers with a bargain price
You don’t have to be an economist to understand that the imposed restrictions will certainly lead to inflationary processes. As of the end of April 2022, the Central Bank announced that annual inflation in Russia in 2022 will be 18-23%. And this means that the prices of many goods have already increased significantly, but you probably noticed it yourself.
How to solve the problem: it will not be possible to keep prices down on your own, but you can try to play on the scale – leave the old prices for goods, thereby attracting more buyers. In addition, at the old prices, stale stock balances can be sold, and inflation will normalize over time.
3. Optimize frames
The withdrawal of foreign companies from the market hit the Russian labor market hard. Of course, almost all foreign companies that suspended their activities in the territory of the Russian Federation continued to pay wages to their employees, however, its level has significantly decreased.
In order to keep the business, such difficult decisions are made as the payment of wages in the amount of the minimum wage, payment for idle time (respectively, without bonuses, bonuses and in the amount of only ⅔ of regular salaries), etc.
In this regard, the income of the population has sharply decreased. Some enterprises completely curtailed work and their employees were unemployed.
How to solve the problem: if you have been thinking about expanding your business for a long time, here is your chance, the freed workforce will gladly accept your offer, during a crisis people are not so demanding on wages.
The state even offers support for those who hire yesterday’s students, young employees and more. Government Decree No. 362 of March 13, 2021 proposes payments in the amount of the minimum wage for each such employee during the first three months of his work.
4. Step up your marketing
Reducing incomes makes people think more and more about what they buy and why. Once again, consumers’ attention is focused on the quality of the product, its service life, reliability, durability, functional characteristics, etc. Less and less goods are purchased simply because they “wanted” or “came – saw and bought.”
How to solve the problem: activate marketing. We convince the buyer of the importance and necessity of your product, but without pressure. Native. For example, by telling how great it is to relieve the accumulated stress of jogging in the park, you can encourage the buyer to purchase quality running shoes.
You will have to develop new platforms for communication with your audience. For example, the popular network with video and photo content was replaced by VK. Many bloggers-influencers transferred communication to new messengers, for example, to Telegram.
5. Change suppliers
The disruption of supply chains has led to great difficulty in delivering goods from abroad and, as a result, higher prices for all foreign goods. Russian manufacturers, which are not associated with foreign components and do not need long supply chains, now have complete carte blanche to conquer the market, the main thing is that Russian goods are not inferior in quality to foreign ones.
How to solve the problem: the simplest thing is to find a replacement for a foreign supplier on the Russian market; supplies from China and, in principle, from Asian countries that are friendly to Russia are also gaining popularity. Consider options for parallel import, it is now officially allowed for many types of goods. Example: auto parts, furniture, electronics, paper, clothes, shoes and more. A complete list can be found in the Order of the Ministry of Industry and Trade No. 1532 dated 04/19/22.
6. Master the domestic market
Whatever area of activity you look into, everywhere we will see a reorientation to a domestic manufacturer. Italian wine is now being replaced by Crimean Krasnodar, Argentinean cheese – Belarusian. In the beauty sector, there are also severe interruptions in the supply of cosmetics and care products, so many craftsmen have dusted off grandmother’s “beauty recipes”, and cosmetics stores are actively including Russian brands in their assortment.
How to solve the problem: And again, marketing to help, let everyone talk about you everywhere and everyone. Prove that the domestic manufacturer is no worse than the foreign one. In promotion, you will be helped both by having ready-made trading platforms – marketplaces, and by promoting your own online store. Remote shopping is no longer even a trend, but a necessity.
7. Switch to Parallel Import
We have already talked about it above. To bring goods from abroad, you need to find a partner who would help bring goods to Russia. Parallel import is a term that refers to the importation into a country of goods bearing a trademark without the permission of the owner of that trademark (i.e. “parallel” to the official import of such goods through dealers authorized by the owner). Previously, such goods were classified as a “grey market”, now parallel imports are officially allowed, however, the prices for such goods will obviously be higher (including due to logistics).
How to solve the problem: It is better to look for direct channels, for example, contacting representatives and dealers directly. Information about them can be found on the websites of manufacturers and copyright holders. When buying from intermediaries, there are risks. Now many scammers will surely appear who are ready to cash in on the hype and the desire of businesses to continue selling foreign brands beloved by Russians ..
8. Change the currency of settlements
The beginning of spring was marked by a sharp jump in exchange rates, bans on the purchase of foreign currency, and after that, in general, difficulties with making payments in foreign currency, in particular in euros and US dollars. By the summer, the dollar had reached its all-time lows since 2020. Some banks are disconnected from SWIFT, which does not allow making payments in full. Of course, such fluctuations affect the processes of doing business in different ways.
How to solve the problem: At least try to switch to paying in another currency, the Chinese yuan is growing in popularity, and the Swiss franc is considered one of the most reliable currencies in the world. Try to discuss the possibility of settlements in rubles, many foreign countries and individual companies do not neglect contracts in Russian currency.