Let’s face it: every business is going to be/has been impacted by COVID-19. What has been incredibly inspiring to me throughout this whole experience is watching how some of the hardest-hit businesses have gotten creative and replaced revenue streams impacted with new ones that work right now. These small businesses have done it quickly, resulting in them being able to keep staff that they otherwise would have had to let go. This will pass, but all you have is the time given to you right now. As a marketing agency, we are fortunate to work with a lot of these businesses and get an inside look as to how they are handling the crisis. Here are some things to consider as a business.
1. Think outside of the box.
I am so impressed with some businesses that have done this so well and so quickly. But then again, that is the heart of an entrepreneur: evaluate the need and serve! We’ve seen restaurants go beyond curbside pickup. They’ve added value. We’ve seen restaurants package up their signature cocktail mixes to go along with meals, bakeries offer DIY kits to keep kids and parents entertained, or liquor companies producing hand sanitizer. An important plug: do not fault small businesses for not donating products and services: most of them are not getting the support large corporations are getting, and they too have employees to pay and families to feed.
2. Adjust your business model.
If you currently serve an industry or demographic that has been heavily affected by COVID, make some adjustments. If the average price point of a product or service is higher than what the market can handle, get creative with what you can offer at a price point that can work. It doesn’t mean your business has to change forever, but you may find that it organically will. If 75% or your revenue comes from foot traffic, evaluate how you can serve that same demographic online, and adjust your model accordingly.
3. Be set up to take payments online.
The first two points probably don’t matter if you can’t process payments online. If you have been stalling on doing this, now is the time. Even when this is all over, by being able to process transactions remotely, you will probably be able to increase future sales by reaching those you couldn’t have reached before. Contact whoever your merchant account is through first, and make an appointment to help set this up. Also, be sure to pay attention to processing fees. This is a great time to do your research and find those who offer you the lowest fees, but also support you in the ways that you need. If you sell products online and you need to give consumers a place to shop online, you’ll want to start researching e-commerce (we can help you do this!).
4. Get virtual.
Zoom, GoToMeeting, Join.Me: if you aren’t comfortable with these, start to play around with them. This can take time, and many of us put off experimenting with technology. This is the time to get a webcam and do all of the free trials available so that when things start to pick up again, you can take advantage of these resources.
5. Take advantage of time.
It’s frustrating being quarantined, and it’s easy to start getting anxious if you are constantly checking the news. Turn the news off. Turn off your notifications. Take advantage of this time. As a business owner, there is a list of things that have been pushed to the back burner when you were busy. Revisit that list. Add to that list. Take advantage of this quiet time and don’t waste it. Bring value back into your business when everything shifts again.
We know this is an overwhelming time. We are here to help. We operate almost 100% virtually, so if it’s a new concept for you, let us help. We are offering free 30-minute strategy sessions to help you transition your business to become more virtual. Book with us today.