I hate to jump on the bandwagon here, but my clients, students, friends and referral partners are all anxious about what this “Corona lockdown” means for us.
The good news is that there are things you can do to continue business growth if you keep calm and play your cards right.
Tips for local businesses to weather the Covid-19 storm and come out on the other side:
1. If your local business is a crowded retail location or busy space, have reservation or appointment only options. This will help those who are serious buyers still come with confidence.
2. Be willing to do delivery, in-home consults, or virtual consultations. Remind your prospects that it’s crowds and very close personal contact, not human interaction of all kind, that should be limited.
3. During the Coronavirus outbreak, local businesses should take any possible product sales online for the time being. If you need help with this, let me know. You may have more options than you think.
4. Grow you email list, Nurture your current lists and take the time to develop content and engage with your audience as a group or individually.
5. If you’re hosting in-person events, switch to webinars. We’re doing this with clients of mine for the time being.
6. Showcase product options on social media and give people the opportunity to buy through messages.
7. Send out messages or emails confirming the cleanliness precautions your business is taking and letting them know that it is, in fact, safe to shop/consult/work. It has been repeatedly stated that we do not have to limit human interaction, but groups are discouraged, and social distancing in smaller groups should be observed. If you’re coming into someone’s home, offer to wear gloves and a mask if it makes them feel more comfortable and still allows you to do your job.
8. Create brand awareness by doing community outreach such as donating to food banks for those affected by not being able to work (if you can). Promote the content and build goodwill in your local area. You may get picked up by TV or News outlets and get even more free PR for doing a good deed. Win/Win.
9. Cut out wasted spending. That doesn't mean sales, marketing, customer service or your people. It means cable in the office, Starbucks, stocked fridge full of snacks, high-end services you never use, etc. If you have UNUSED subscriptions, cancel them. Double down on the things to help you gain more clients and increase revenue. If you wouldn't want a client to cancel their services with you due to these outside circumstances, don't cancel on your current commitments. It all comes full circle.
10. Sell gift cards online for full or discounted price. Put together birthday, Christmas or anniversary packages to be used during the year that will be purchased regardless, but collect the cash NOW.
11. Invest your time in educating yourself in how to emergency proof your business long term if anything like this happens again. You CAN have a local business / online hybrid model or have an online marketing system that can sustain you through any tough time you may have. If you can generate an ROI whenever you need to essentially, it's worth it.
12. Don't panic. You will survive this. The more we panic, the less we spend. The less we spend, the worse the economy becomes. Don't contribute to the problem. Stay safe, but support other local business owners who need you as much as you need them. Come together as the entrepreneur community to support each other in a time of uncertainty!
I hope these tips help. Feel free to reach out if you need someone to explain how to take parts of your business online. I'm happy to help.
If you want to schedule a call to learn how we can help you ensure you're put in this position moving forward, and that your online marketing is as effective as possible when this is all over, visit alliebloydmedia.com/local-call
All the best,