Top 5 Tips for Small Business during covid-19
Many small business owners will undoubtedly be faced with some downtime over the coming weeks and probably months.
Why not use this time productively and get on the front foot when we return to some kind of normality?
Here are my top 5 tips for small business during COVID-19.
Firstly, don’t panic. This emotional reaction is rarely good for making any kind of decisions let alone those that revolve around your business.
To help you remain calm seek opinions and advice from professionals in your network.
Yes, our family and friends all believe they are doing the right thing when they give us their opinion but often this is based on emotions rather than any factual evidence, education or experience.
Secondly, ensure your online profile and presence is up to scratch.
Never before has the reliance on your digital assets been so important.
Many industries and sectors will see a downturn in general enquiries so it is vital to attract your share of the diminishing overall market.
I highly recommend checking your business name, address (if applicable), phone numbers and email addresses are all updated on every profile and listing you have.
My tip is to Google your business name and work your way down the list!
There is no better time than to have someone run an audit of your website and give you recommendations on possible improvements to assist the possibility of ranking better, driving more visitors and especially, converting better.
If your website is underperforming, have a good chat with a few digital specialists particularly around your optimisation for search engine (SEO).
If you do not have already, create your Google My Business profile as well as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn as a minimum.
These profiles will help build trust with not only future clients but also the ever-important, search engines.
Creating or updating these profiles are a good start but you should be active on them too.
There really is no excuse for this.
Yes, everyone is busy.
Yes, there are more important things you think you need to do.
But, Google wants and expects you to be active on these profiles.
Your existing clients and future clients expect you to be active on these profiles and cementing your authority status in your industry.
As a minimum, I recommend posting on –
* Google My Business at least once per week
* Facebook and Instagram at least twice per week
* LinkedIn at least twice per week.
* Adding a decent blog to your website at least once per month and syndicating across social platforms as well
I also highly recommend listing your business on 20 to 30 good quality directories.
There are many out there and many of these are completely free.
Again, good quality links to your website will help build trust and there is no greater result when someone actually searches for your business and you own every listing on page 1.
Thirdly, look at how you can rely on digital and lessen your face to face contact as much as possible.
This pains me to say because although I work in the digital space and I much prefer to meet with people than chat on the phone, email and skype etc.
Perhaps look at various steps and processes for your marketing and also the day to day activities within your business?
Are you an active networker for education and personal mindset growth?
Perhaps look at webinars and other online gatherings for the foreseeable future?
Are you an active networker or engage in some cold calling activities for lead generation?
You could look at alternative lead generating campaigns such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads?
Do you rely on referrals and leads through word of mouth?
Maybe it is a good time to reach out to more of your network through email and text messaging?
There is huge value in your lists of contact emails and mobile numbers and I bet you do not utilise this anywhere near what you could or should as very few of us do.
The next best thing to meeting with a prospect face to face is a skype or zoom.
I would highly recommend this over a phone call as it is much more personable.
Maybe you like to meet with a prospect and run through their proposal but instead, you could email it through with a good quality video?
Showcase why your prospect should consider your company and you could add some testimonials from existing clients?
Good times and bad times, there is absolutely no reason why small businesses should not be using video in their businesses in 2020 and beyond.
Seek Professional Advice
Fourthly, it is imperative you chat with your accountant and perhaps a mentor or coach and if you do not at least have a half-decent accountant, now IS the time to find one. And FAST.
There really is no point of putting in the effort if you are blindfolded and have no direction.
Forget passion, drive, thirst for success for just a minute and get to know your numbers factually.
You need a plan.
You need a plan.
You absolutely need a plan.
Unfortunately, too many businesses fail due to lack of planning.
You want to discuss all scenarios and options truthfully and openly.
Discuss your numbers and get to know them thoroughly.
Look at ways to chase your creditors and perhaps look at payment options with debtors and the ATO.
Perhaps there are assistance packages or grants for your industry?
Discuss downsizing and weathering the storm with skeleton staff.
I agree letting even one valued employee go is always bloody hard, but it is much harder letting everyone go and closing the doors.
Highlight your Unique Selling Proposition!
Number 5 and last of all, think about your prospect and why they should consider doing business with you in this tough time when everyone wants and needs their custom?
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
No, a 10% off is not a USP.
Get creative. Think outside the box.
A great place to start with creating a USP is think about how much you would happily pay for a new customer?
If you were a dog groomer and understood a new client will be worth $60 every 4 to 6 weeks ongoing, would you be happy to buy that customer for say $50?
Now you could think how best to give that $50 to your new customer?
You could offer 2 weeks FREE coffee from the local café or partner with a pest controller and offer a FREE flea and tick treatment of the yard?
Get a little creative and this will help build your brand as well as increase conversions!
I do hope that the affects from Coronavirus are nowhere near as bad as many are thinking and it is over with in the not too distant future.
If there is anything I can do to help at all, please reach out anytime and I wish you all the best.
Digital Marketing Specialist.
Media Booth Australia