In light of recent events, we wanted to reach out to our fellow small business owners to offer our advice for coping in these troubling times. As a result of the pandemic, people’s daily lives have changed in an unprecedented way and many small businesses have been forced to figure out how to adapt.
Though it seems daunting at the moment, there are a number of things you can do to help your business survive and thrive. From tapping into your community to tailoring your digital marketing strategy, there are several actionable steps you can take to limit the negative effects of the virus on your business and support your customers in the process.
Here we’ve compiled our top tips for small businesses to help cope with the new normal.
Community spirit counts
As more people are opting for voluntary isolation, now is the best time to tap into your local community. Try to offer your customers a service that can make a real difference in their lives, whether that’s offering free delivery or discounts to individuals who are being forced to self-isolate.
These measures can help to boost your brand image by establishing a positive relationship with your customers. It can also help you to continue working and generating income, even if you have been forced to close. By appealing to your community, you can both help people in need and weather the storm by boosting your PR. We have already helped some of our customers move their retail products online and the response has been fantastic - this is a method that really works.
Love your local
As well as appealing to your community, you can also do your bit to support fellow small business owners by shopping closer to home. You can make a big difference to someone’s day by bringing your business to them, instead of to a larger chain. As well as helping small business owners, you can also benefit from the swap by getting your hands on small-scale, artisanal and local products. Many communities are reporting that whilst their supermarket shelves are empty, their local greengrocers are full to the brim - even more reason to think smart and buy local!
Publicise your precautions
By now it’s likely that you have taken measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in your business, but your customers don’t necessarily know what you’re doing. Help inform and reassure them by publicising the precautions you are taking on social media, via email and on your website. Whether that’s disinfecting all surfaces regularly or working from home, you can help your customers to understand what they can expect from you during this uncertain time.
Reaching out to your customer base and demonstrating that they can trust you is really crucial for maintaining a positive brand image, regardless of what industry you’re in. People buy from people so keep your customers informed and appeal to them as people, now more than ever.
Create a contingency plan
Finally, it’s crucial that you have a contingency plan in place to prepare for events that we all hope will not come to pass. In order to keep your business running as smoothly as possible, it’s a good idea to make a solid plan that covers the worst case scenario for your business. By establishing your contingency plans now, you can continue to focus on getting your business through this time. It will also help your staff to understand what is expected of them and know that it’s ok if they need to take time off as there is a system in place to cover their workload.
Keep calm and carry on
If you feel your stress levels rising, try to remind yourself that this will not last forever. Focus on actionable steps that you can take to help your business immediately and work on the things that you can control, even though there are many you can’t. For many of us, this will mean being more flexible over the coming months and adapting to changes as they come. We can’t predict what will happen, but we can do our best to be prepared, keep positive and carry on.