There is no doubt that we are in the middle of a crisis. Regardless of your feelings on COVID-19, and the country’s reaction to it, one thing is for sure—many businesses of all sizes are getting hammered.
A lot of small businesses with limited budgets have found themselves in a precarious position. Some will not recover when this is all over through no fault of their own. Others will be able to adapt to our changing online-based environment to continue to bring in revenue and set themselves up for future crises that may force Americans to stay home for extended periods of time.
As a business owner, it's important to know what your options are so you can adapt to the changing business environment. Read on for ideas and tips to help small businesses reach and serve customers online throughout the current crisis and beyond.
Tips to Help Small Businesses Stay Operational During the COVID-19 Crisis
Make sure your website is functioning properly.This may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes websites require plugin or other updates that go unnoticed until parts of the website stop functioning properly. In our daily hustle and bustle, it’s easy to overlook these things. Many small business owners don’t even check their websites on a regular basis.
Take a look at your site and ensure the following:
- Your business days/hours are up-to-date.
- Your contact information is still accurate.
- Your contact and other website forms are working, and the right person is receiving notifications whenever someone submits a form (*especially important if you have had to lay off or furlough a worker who may have handled your online leads).
- Consider adding a coronavirus-related message to your home page letting people know that you are still open for business and how you are serving customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are closed, provide that message.
With these simple checks, you can ensure that prospective and current customers who are trying to reach you don’t fall through the cracks.
Update your Google Business page weekly.
If your business is temporarily closed, be sure to update your Google Business page to reflect the change. If you are still open, update your business days/times as needed. Also, add a weekly post to let people know that you are still open and ready to help. If you have a physical store that is closed but are selling online, relay that message, along with a link to your website, in your posts.
Stay active on your social media channels.
Even those who aren’t typically into social media are visiting sites like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other sites given the increase in downtime that many are experiencing. This presents an opportunity for you to reach potential customers that you couldn’t before. If you are providing an important service or have products to sell online, continue to let everyone know with helpful, informative posts.
If you are confident that you can carry out business functions as usual and are able to invest some marketing dollars, think about running some Facebook or other social media ads targeting your key demographic.
Offer online services.
Many small businesses are coming up with creative ways to connect with customers during this coronavirus stay-at-home period. Restaurants are turning to online ordering to accommodate customers interested in take-out or delivery. Businesses selling products are implementing online shopping on their websites to continue to generate revenue in the absence of visitors to their brick-and-mortar stores. Doctors, consultants, and other service providers are also turning to online consultations to deliver services and collect payments online. For many small businesses, there are solutions that will allow customers to buy products or obtain services online.
If you are able to invest in your online efforts, contact your website developer to brainstorm options that may help you accomplish this.
Use this extra time to work on your business marketing.
If you do have extra time on your hands, it’s worth taking a hard look at your business practices to determine the best ways to hit the ground running when this pandemic is over. Here are some marketing tips we recommend.
If you haven’t been active on social media, now is the time to get started! Have you been meaning to start a blog to generate website traffic? Start writing! No email marketing system in place? Check out MailChimp, Benchmark Email, and other email marketing platforms and sign up for the one you like best. Leverage this time to up your marketing game.
OpenVine Offers Personalized Web Solutions to Meet Your Needs
Hopefully these tips give you ideas to generate income, reach more people, and strengthen your overall marketing strategy. If you need help with online solutions to help you better serve your customers or clients, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our internet professionals can help you set up online ordering, ecommerce, and other creative online solutions so you can continue to grow your business both now and in the future. Give us a call at 781-850-2525 to learn how we can assist you.