Revive your business after the Covid crisis in 5 steps

Few companies benefited from the Covid crisis. The majority of companies suffered from the recession, supply difficulties or the contraction of demand. Today, how can we make the best of the situation and prepare for the recovery?

Identify the changes caused by the crisis

You can't find a solution to a poorly analyzed problem. It is above all a question of understanding what needs to be questioned in one's company to adapt to a new environment. The economic and social changes brought about by the coronavirus crisis are numerous, from the shortening of value chains to the development of telecommuting - all data to be taken into account to adapt one's strategy to the recovery. The company is becoming more and more "tele", with new needs that are less and less based on face-to-face meetings and more and more on abstract - and relative - pillars such as security, efficiency and autonomy. Internally, we can take into account the fact that the precautionary principle has also gained momentum with the crisis, hence the interest in reassuring the company's stakeholders. New trends are emerging today that will determine the future success of a company.

So here are some questions to ask yourself before looking to relaunch your business:

  • Has my clientele changed because of the crisis?
  • Have my employees been influenced by the crisis?
  • Does my production still make sense in this new context?
  • Is my brand image consistent with the company's new values?
  • Finally, is my offer always adapted to the demand?

This last question takes up the definition of "marketing": adapting supply to demand. This is why the expertise of a marketing professor will help to intelligently punctuate this article in order to make the method presented relevant and as modelable as possible.

Yves Evard, professor emeritus at HEC Paris in the Marketing department, specialist in cultural and creative industries, agreed to discuss the post-crisis world and the role of marketing in it.

Rethink your strategy

Society has changed, so must businesses. After answering the above questions in a more or less precise way, it is easier to list the weaknesses, new or not, of your business. For example, although it was already present during the crisis, the digitalization of our society has accelerated in the last few years and not having an ergonomic website is a real weak point. About digital marketing, Yves Evrard says "it's important in all sectors", and perhaps even more so in the cultural world, of which he is a specialist. Digital has turned many sectors upside down, it's the biggest disruption that confinement has caused. People who have to stay at home no longer have the same leisure activities or the same lifestyles as before. For example, the restaurant industry is being challenged by the sedentarization of employees, while the food distribution industry is on the rise, with the majority preferring to cook at home.


These inequalities between economic sectors justify the term " recovery in K " to designate the current economic recovery - some sectors of the economy are recovering (bar of /) while others continue to decline (bar of /). As an example, Yves Evrard evokes the growth of video games while the cultural world of theaters and museums struggles to regain its past form. Thus, it is important to understand the new environment that is available to one's company and to make it one's own. This can be done by establishing a benchmark in order to be inspired by the vision of the new world by other companies in the same sector. But above all, it is about understanding who the company's offer is aimed at.

Identify your target

To shoot well, you must first know where to aim. To understand the demand, it is crucial to conduct a market study. "There's not much new in that," says Yves Evrard. If the targets have evolved with the crisis, the way to correctly identify them is still the same, especially since the tools to do so are multiplying. At HEC Junior Conseil, we carry out nearly 50 market studies per year, helping our clients to adapt their offer intelligently to their potential clientele.

Read also:" 2 examples of market research conducted by HJC

A market study takes place in 4 steps and starts with the definition of the market concerned: it is necessary to identify it and study its evolution as well as the main actors who structure it. The next step is to analyze the demand(market sizing) by studying the behavior of the customer and the user, without forgetting to segment the demand in order to obtain more detailed conclusions on the strategy to adopt. An analysis of the offer is also necessary to understand what is already being done on this market and not to risk remaining in the shadow of a competitor already established. Finally, an analysis of the environment at different levels of the company is necessary.

HEC Junior Conseil can help you to carry out your market study and relaunch your business.

Schemes exist to carry out this last study, between the PESTEL method (political, economic, social, technological, ecological, legal) for the macro-environment and the SWOT method(strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) for the micro-environment, in order to carry out an exhaustive analysis of the stakes. But also, the famous Porter method, developed by the professor of business strategy Michael Porter, allows to remobilize its sales forces according to the environment of its company thanks to an effective and complete external strategic analysis. These tools are used in the market studies conducted by HEC Junior Conseil.

Aiming precisely at your target

The coronavirus crisis has certainly taught entrepreneurs the value of innovation. This has been the key word in recent years: it has been necessary to adapt to circumstances at every stage of the crisis, whether it be 3D printed masks or Decathlon diving masks that have become indispensable for breathing. So, to relaunch its business, it is necessary to rely on this value of innovation, by privileging a marketing of the offer to a traditional marketing (simply connecting an offer and a demand). Supply-side marketing consists in creating demand: Yves Evrard uses the example of Apple to illustrate how a company can create a need rather than simply meet it. Market research remains entirely relevant in this case, it is only a matter of interpreting the conclusions drawn to understand what the market needs without it being obvious.

But whether it is created or already identified, the target of a company must feel concerned by what the latter proposes. This is the time for marketing in its best known form: sales techniques. So, as previously mentioned, digital is the way to go.

0 %

of French internet users declare having created an account on a social network during the confinement

Today, to reach the market, you have to be connected. This can be done through advertisements on social networks, a well referenced website or an online sales page with tools like Facebook Marketplace. The website is more and more a must for your customers to find you.


This is a mission that Junior Enterprises are also specialists in, count on the students to provide you with a nice site in accordance with your brand image to make your customers want to share it and to give you free publicity!

Convince of future success

Once the problems have been identified, the solutions have been initiated and the strategy is well thought out, all that remains is the necessary funds to relaunch the company in the long term. In addition to his customers, it is necessary to convince his investors to support the project. For this, the classic and indispensable tool is the business plan. A few relevant and concise slides with a sober and catchy design will convince investors to confirm the relaunch of your business despite the impact of the crisis. Once again, the business plan is part of HEC Junior Conseil's core business and many of our clients have been able to seduce business angels, venture capital funds or banks to follow them in their project thanks to a few well thought-out slides by one of our student speakers.

The recipe for recovery is complex, but simple and effective tools are the key ingredients.

Yves Evard

Yves Evard is a professor emeritus at HEC Paris in the Marketing Department. He specializes in the field of cultural and creative industries and is the founder of the Media, Art and Creation major. He is the author, with Alain Busson, of The cultural and creative industries: economics and strategy (2013). Many thanks for his contribution to this article.

If you are now convinced that HEC Junior Conseil is the right Junior-Enterprise for you, we invite you to contact us directly!

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