In this cautious time of working remotely, temporary shutdowns, and social distancing, it’s important to remember to be calm, creative, and to think of ways to still connect.
Everyone, especially small businesses, is facing lots of challenges right now. A goal as a business owner is to guide your company through this period in the best way possible. It’s time to think about your business in a new and unique way and take this time to prepare for what may come next. How every market reacts within this global crisis for the next few weeks will determine how quickly we all can resume normal operations and be as successful as before. How can you impact your actions going forward? Just remember, you don’t have to act right now. There will come a time when the public is ready for it. Here are a few steps you can take today.
Step 1. Adapt Your Business If You Can
It is understood that not every small business can adapt in a short timeframe. Simply focus on the adjustments you can make. This is a time when your outreach and connection matters. Offer to help in different ways if sales become a challenge. Most of all, even a small change can make a difference, so don’t be afraid to be creative. Adapt your services to the needs of your client. I am noticing that a lot of the local gyms are now offering online workouts as well as using daily emails to send out exercises you can do at home. Restaurants are offering delivery or curbside pick-up. Now is not the time to make a great sales pitch to buy, buy, buy, but it’s a time to find simple ways to keep your business going and come from a place of giving and gratitude.
Step 2. Deepen Existing Relationships
Now that we are all forced to take it a bit easy, it’s the time to reach out and connect with those that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Take care of those you are close with and remind them that we are all in this together. Even with the ability to text and email, picking up the phone just to hear someone else’s voice to see how their experience is going may add a bit of joy to their day, and yours. Email newsletters or blog posts, like this one, will help to communicate what may be happening while working from home. The use of tools as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts are making meetings happen. If you’re planning to continue to use social media, use it to communicate about your daily operations, about the precautions you and your team are taking to assure public safety. Let’s just keep it positive and be good to one another.
Step 3. Prepare Your Online Presence / Website
Now might be an excellent time to take care of the things you have not had time for in the last few years. If your website is more than five years old and you have been considering an update, this would be the time to do it. When the fears pass, you will be ready to enter the market with a valuable asset. If you were considering adding new services, processes, or functionality, this might be the time. What about creating an editorial calendar for your social media or setting up an automated digital campaign, do it now. You will not be able to utilize it immediately and create new prospects within hours, but it’s a long-term investment that can change and improve your business in the future.
Step 4. Pause, Reflect, and Focus on You
Think about ways you can make your business better for the future. Take the online class you have been interested in but never seem to have the time. Read those books or articles that you have bookmarked. Improve a skill you have been dying to improve upon. Think about the strategy for your future email campaigns. Improve your client tracking. Find the practical task that will keep you focused, positive, and looking forward. Don’t let any fear into your business. Stay positive for you, your employees, and your clients.
Step 5. Focus on The Future
A small number of businesses and brands will handle this situation the right way. Become that business. People will remember how you handled your marketing at this time. So instead of pushing your message today, focus on how it looks in the future. When things calm down, make sure you have a good marketing strategy in place. This means planning your kick-off to your email campaign, maybe sending out promotional postcards, and updating your website. If you plan for it right now, you will be ready, and your transition will be a lot easier. Most of all, stay strong and know, we will all get through. And of course, I am here to help if you need it.
About the Author: Jillfrances Gray
I am a creative director and designer with 20+ years of experience helping clients innovate and execute their marketing initiatives. Services include brand strategy, brand identity, website design, graphic design, social media marketing, and email marketing. I am obsessively detailed oriented and have a passion for solid, stunning aesthetics. Plus, I’ve been told I am a lot of fun to work with.