How To Protect Your Small Business From Coronavirus Disruption
The world is rightfully freaking out about the Coronavirus and what it might do to their business. So, I put together a handy guide on what small businesses should do during these trying times and what they should definitely avoid.
- Businesses can still serve their customers through digital channels and staying connected as best they can.
- Service-based businesses like restaurants, bars, and salons should offer online sales of gift cards, blog frequently and increase their social media presence to stay afloat through the Covid-19 epidemic.
- Sharing truthful, reliable information with employees, customers and the general public is a great marketing strategy for small businesses during times of crisis.
- Brands should recognize that consumers and customers will need reliable, useful information about the Coronavirus and crave entertainment while quarantined at home.
Look, no one is going to blame you for panicking right now but you should still try and avoid it as best you can. As projects are put on hold, many small businesses, freelancers and agencies, are scrambling to shore up existing clients and keep their teams employed.
As we all come to terms with the new norm – social distancing, remote working, shelter in place – you have to keep your head and think clearly, if not for you, then for the employees and customers who rely on you.
Even if health and safety concerns force you to close your business, there are ways to serve your customers and keep your team on the job during the coronavirus outbreak.
DO: Use Your Blog to Share Useful Information
The best thing you can do to slow the spread of Coronavirus and get the world back on track is to Wash Your Hands, Avoid Touching Your Face, Stay Indoors, and Practice Social Distancing. Unfortunately, those tips won’t do much to keep your business afloat while your customers are quarantined inside. That’s where your business blog comes in.
As your employees and customers are forced to work from home and shelter in place, they will need truthful, reliable information about the Coronavirus, the current state of affairs and how they can maintain access to their favorite goods and services.
DON’T: Forget That Covid-19 Has Ravaged Outlets For Creative Expression
Theatres are closed, concerts are canceled and everyone is forced inside to consume media on their at-home devices. Never have so many of your customers been in the same situation all at once.
This is the first time in history when we, as small business owners, know exactly when and where our customers are going to be. That’s why now is the time to use your blog, social media and other digital platforms to reach them on their phones, computers and tablets.
The longer the quarantine lasts, the more entertainment they’ll crave. Content is going to get old, fast and when it does, your business should be the one to pick up the creative torch and entertain your customers.
There is absolutely no reason why a restaurant, bar or salon can’t keep their customers smiling through the quarantine with hilarious, creative content created just for them. The more your customers read and enjoy your content on their device, the more likely they will be to frequent your business when the epidemic is over.
DO: Serve Your Customers Through Digital Channels
If your business already has an eCommerce component, now is the time to remind your customers that they can still buy their favorite items. If people can’t go out and see your ads, then you need to use your blog and social media to reach them on their devices at home.
- Stream or Video Chat Your Services
- Increase Your Social Media Presence
- Hold Online Events
- Offer Online Deals
- Utilize Your Blog to Spread the Word About Your Online Services
DON’T: Slash Your Marketing Budget
Now is definitely not the time to slash your marketing budget. As consumers are forced to shelter in place, there will be more people at home and online than ever before. Every brand with an online presence will be vying for consumer attention.
Now is the time to shore up your content marketing budget and churn out content that not only provides useful information during a time of crisis but also provides a creative outlet for readers to escape their dreary, quarantined existence at home.
DO: Offer Gift Cards and Promotions
If you operate a service-based business like a cafe or a salon, you should utilize your blog, social media and other digital channels to encourage customers to buy gift certificates. This will help you maintain sales and give your customers something fun and exciting to look forward to when the crisis is over.
They also provide an immediate infusion of cash; ensure that a customer will return to your business at a later date and help you stay afloat until the crisis passes. To reduce the risk of human contact, you can offer an e-gift card program or work with a third-party delivery partner like GrubHub, Caviar or UberEats to accept their gift cards at your location.
DON’T: Fire Your Employees
For the love of God, don’t fire your employees and make the situation worse by causing a depression. People need to work just like your business needs customers to survive. So, adapt to the new situation and establish a remote workforce. Then implement all the DOs and DON’TS I just provided above.
DO: Be Safe and Look After Eachother
The most important thing you can do to make it through the Coronavirus epidemic is to look out for each other, stay indoors and stay connected. Your customers and your employees are going to need a leader – a source of truthful, useful information that helps them weather these trying times.
All good leaders have a voice. Your blog can be yours. Use it to provide your customers with the leadership, information and the content they crave. Contact me today to get started.