What advice do you have for other small businesses to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic?
What can small businesses do during the COVID-19 shutdown on such short notice? What are tips for keeping revenue coming in during a time when they may have to close brick-and-mortar retail locations?
1. If you can, sell your product or service online. If you don't already do so, now's a great time to get that website and e-commerce storefront setup!
2. Participate in the conversation online to build brand awareness and reputation while your doors are closed. For instance, there are hashtags about coronavirus every day on Twitter that you could participate in -- not with salesy messages, but instead with helpful, value-adding content. Establish your brand as a member of the global community coming together to fight this virus and when things start to return to normal, you might find that a lot of people remember you and pay you a visit!
3. Use the downtime to work on initiatives you've been meaning to get done for a while. For example, you could go through your website and find ways to improve it from an SEO perspective.
4. Write and publish blog posts, Youtube videos, podcasts, or other coronavirus-related content that are relevant to your business and provide value, help, or advice to your target audience. You'll see more traffic to your website as a result, and you'll help people who can use the advice right now.
In addition to the tactics other people suggested directly tied to sales, it's also important to communicate with your customers about what your business is doing in response to COVID-19 in order to maintain a sense of trust between you and your community.
You'll want to explain how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting operations and what that could mean for clients. Whether it's sending an email, putting out a press release or publishing a blog on your website, you should outline for your public exactly what your company has done to adjust to the current climate, prioritizing your points based on what you anticipate clients would be most concerned about first and going down from there.
Be clear. Be honest. Be transparent. At a time like this, everyone is on edge and showing your customers that you have everything under control will strengthen their confidence in your brand, resulting in continued revenue if you're still selling online or the chances of a surge once things get back to normal!
A bit of a different angle here, but I hope it helps!
Retail businesses are some of the hardest hit by coronavirus because their revenue depends on people in the stores, and all the recommendations around social distancing are telling people to avoid that. That said, we know people are still out buying groceries, so there is still an opportunity for business.
1. If you are still open, make sure to make that clear AND communicate what steps you’ve taken to keep things safe.
2. Consider a carry out or a drop off service. My vet is offering car-side appointments where a member of the staff will come to the parking lot to get your pet and bring them in for their exam. You’ll consult with the vet on the phone during the exam, and then they bring your animal back to you. We’ve also heard of a lot of restaurants offering carry out.
Think about whether you can take advantage of this type of arrangement. Rather than letting customers browse, you fill a bag and place it outside for a customer’s to pick up. Perhaps you might even consider packing orders and delivering them yourself.
3. Remember FOMO: The stories of people stocking up on sanitizer and toilet paper means there’s a lot of fear around the supply chain and what will continue to be available. While you don’t want to be all doom and gloom, you might be able to utilize a “get it while it lasts” strategy.
4. Take pre-orders. Perhaps some of your manufactures really are going to struggle with supply, and if that’s the case, you can allow people to place pre-orders so that they are first in line when things start flowing again.
5. If all else fails, look into the SBA’s resources: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources. They are offering some financial aid to keep businesses afloat in this crazy time.
Because of this global health crisis, almost everything goes online.
If possible, you may sell your products online. Now, many consumers would prefer online shopping. You may offer free shipping or flat rate for shipping and handling, if your customers place an order over certain amount.
Post updates on your company’s website/social media sites, and notify your customers via email, if you change the business hours for your stores. You don’t want your customers make a trip to your store and find out that the store is closed.
You may have video conferencing meetings with clients.
Still connect with your key audiences on social media sites.
Hope this helps.
I work for a company that text-enables business phone numbers and provides texting software (Zipwhip), and we're finding it's helping a lot during this crisis. A health practitioner who is still seeing patients, for example, said she's asking them to wait in their cars and then texting them when she's ready in order to keep the waiting room clear and assist in social distancing.
Businesses are sending so many emails right now that it's hard for consumers to find the information that's really important to them, so texting can help in that way too. I just wrote a blog post about some of the ways businesses can leverage texting right now. https://www.zipwhip.com/blog/covid-19-how-text-customers-important-updates/
If you or your business isn't already on social media, now is a great time to start! It's basically free branding and exposure to your store front. Display your products on your feed, use hashtags that relate to your niche.
If you offer services then showcase your services! Engagement is key, and with everyone self quarantining themselves people are turning to social media more than ever.
I have also seen many companies offering gift card promotions, for example: For every $50 you spend on giftcards, get $10 store or service credit or something like that. This allows people to continue supporting your business and gets them in the door at a later date as well!
Hope this is helpful for any small businesses out there!
My business is selling the marketing gift items to shipping and aviation industry. These two industries got the heavy hit and even struggle for surviving, let alone buying those marketing items for business. I have prepared for the worst hit on 2020 and put all my investment on hold. My company can still survive even without any buying orders for one year. Let's hope the coronavirus can be well contained this year, otherwise I am not sure if my company will survive if the corona is not contained on 2021.
It is a true human disaster, takes many people's life and most business are struggling to survive. The world should have a serious law to forbid human eat wild animal. We can not have this anymore.
Of course, it's not the best tme for small businesses, lots of companies will lose... Recently I've read a good article on how coronavirus affects businesses/industries containing the extensive data, real examples and statistics. Strongly advise you to check it out too, probabply, some tips will come in handy these days
Businesses are moving to newer ways of working, that would've seemed unviable earlier. Many companies have adapted to WFH, and even I have been working from home for the past two months. I work in IT in a retail company, btw.
But since several services require in-store visits, maintaining social distancing and hygiene has been the priority for store owners. Retail stores are opening and most have made it compulsory for customers to wear masks.
Stores are more frequently sanitized now. The staff is trained accordingly. I talked to a store manager the other day and got to know about the steps they've taken. I was amazed when they mentioned how customers still argue about wearing masks in the store. They still find it difficult to manage large crowds. Walk-ins in large numbers increase the risk of crowding and hence contamination.
I am still reconsidering whether I should visit the supermarket or not. Here is a good resource I found while searching for solutions to make stores safer. I feel it is uncertain when the situation will improve but I'd definitely recommend the store managers to take steps, or else, I'm definitely shopping online.
I believe that the new normal is to accept that we have to change!
I was not able to add hyperlink so posting it below.