It may be hard maintain a sense of normalcy in this non-sensical moment of time. COVID-19 has hit so quickly and so hard that many small businesses are struggling. Because of this, we’d like to share some ideas on what we’ve seen and also recommend services that may be helpful.
1. Be Found!
As more and more people are in quarantine or self-isolation due to COVID-19, searches for specific products and services will increase.
Although we recommend it, you don’t need a website to claim your Google My Business listing. Your listing will display all the critical information customers need to access your services. Be sure that your contact information is accurate and hours are updated as things change. You can also post promotions and special offers.
If you have a website, make sure that search engine optimization (SEO) is implemented. With SEO, search engines like Google can find your website and the services you offer more easily.
2. Investigate Tools or Plugins
There are several affordable software applications that can increase your team’s responsiveness or add a new function to your online business. For example, adding a chat to your website can help reduce the volume of phone calls. We currently use one and have installed it on several of our client’s websites.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you manage existing and potential customer relationships. This software keeps track of all interactions so it’s easier to get your team up to speed on your client profiles.
If you need to sell something online there may be some simple plugins that you can add to your WordPress website. There are also various off the shelf eCommerce options available depending on your situation.
If you’re interested in any of these tools, we can help you get started.
3. Get on Social Media (if you haven’t already)
Social media is a great platform for small businesses. Here, you can easily build business while also retaining your existing customers/clients. Over the past few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown I’ve seen various types of businesses take advantage of the LIVE functions on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can too! Be creative and stay true to your brand. Brainstorm ways that will work for your business. Here are a few examples:
If you already are on social media and running ads, be sure they are still relevant. For instance, if you’re running ads to bring in customers and your city is in lockdown you may want to put those on hold.
4. Adjust your Messaging
Be sensitive and aware of what is going on. Adjust your messaging to HELP your customers rather than harm them. Don’t spread negativity. It not only reflects poorly on your brand but frankly – we don’t need more of it. Talk about what you’re doing to make things better and be ready to inform your customers as opposed to selling your product or service.
5. Reach Out
You’re not the only small business out there. Reach out to others to help cross-promote their services and products! If another business has a larger audience on social media, ask them for help sharing your website, services or products.
Contact the local newspaper as they may be compiling a small business directory on their website. You can also dust off that emailing list. Use emails to send updates to your clients/customers about specials, and how they can order your products or services.
I’ve seen several businesses adjust to COVID-19 effects by diversifying themselves. Restaurants are selling perishable inventory and paper goods. Craft retailers are gathering kits for anyone to take home and sew masks. Automakers are exploring ways to build ventilators. Distilleries are retooling to manufacture and sell hand sanitizer. Clothing designers are sewing masks for medical and first responders. There’s also bakeries selling cooking kits for online classes. Is there something you can do to contribute or diversify your business?
Although we don’t know how long the effects of COVID-19 will last, the best thing we can do is work together. Do you have any ideas how other small businesses can stay afloat during this time? Share them below!
We’ve all started working from home, but we’re still available to help! Give us a call at (915) 351-8440 or fill out our contact form. Hang tight friends, we will get through this together.
I’ll add more links as they become available.
Naomi Dhillon is a Marketing Technologist at Stanton Street, a web design and development company in El Paso, TX.
Naomi attended New Mexico State University graduating with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in English. She also has an A.S. in graphic design.