Small business tips for the Coronavirus crisis
I have been trying to find the silver lining to the current situation. A lot of businesses are suddenly going to find themselves very quiet, possibly with a bit of time on their hands, and wondering how they can adapt or ride out the storm.
My friend Jane guest wrote this great article about what strategy businesses should be adopting during this time "SME tips for mitigating COVID-19 effects" and I thought I would follow it up with some specifics ideas.
Many of my clients are small businesses in a variety of sectors. Some retail, some service. Some a mixture of the two. I wanted to gather together some ideas of what you could be doing online to either improve your business during this quiet time so you can spring out of the starting blocks once everyone starts getting out and about again, or try to keep your business ticking over in the meantime...
Build your website - Many businesses know they should have a website but don't get around to it because they are normally busy serving customers. Take advantage of this quiet time to build your website. For those you recently came on my website workshop - you will now be equipped to build your own!
Update your website - If your website has been neglected, with the same old content for the last couple of years, why not give it a refresh? Add some fresh new photos, update the copy, add those new services you wanted to tell people about.
Turn your website into an e-commerce site - If you normally rely on people coming into your shop, why not try selling your goods online? Perhaps even offer a local delivery service!
Do virtual shop tours - If you can't add eCommerce to you website, create videos for social media where you show people the items in your shop and tell them they can order by phone or by e-mail.
Get blogging - Create a blog section in your website and start writing and stock-piling blog content that you can publish at a later date. Really useful for when your business gets busy again. Show your expertise, share useful tips, show people what they can expect when they come back to your shop. Have a bit of a brain storm. Think about what questions people ask you most often.
Sell gift vouchers - Ask regular clients to support you by buying themselves a gift voucher that they can redeem on your service once normal life resumes.
Update customers - Keep customers up to date with your plans to open or close, what your hygiene procedures are etc. Just keep communicating with them to keep that dialogue going so they remember you once we are all out and about again.
Consider live-streaming - If you offer educational, wellness or exercise classes you could live stream and allow people to participate from home. Some website platforms including Wix allow you to charge subscriptions etc for live streamed videos.
Update your website SEO - Take some time to look at your website stats, search data and maybe a tool like Google trends to refine your on and off-page copy on your website so you will appear higher in Google search results.
Create a Social media plan - Take some time to plan social media posts. Draft posts and source images - get some 'in the bank' for when things get busy again.