Throughout the course of this virus, we have witnessed the small business community band together unlike ever before. The outpouring of support for locally owned companies is outstanding, and we are so grateful to be a part of this movement as small business advocates and resources. We know these times can be worrisome, so we are here to stand with you in solidarity at Succeeding Small! To help our small business neighbors and answer many of the questions we have received over the past two weeks, we have compiled 5 ways that you can continue to do business ONLINE and keep your business thriving.
𝟏. 𝐌𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐀𝐧𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭
Follow suit of the many companies during this time and make a formal announcement describing 1) how you are responding to the virus, 2) how you are serving people, and 3) how customers can still support you. This announcement can be distributed on social media, written in a newsletter, posted on your website, and more. By making a formal announcement, you can remind your clients that you are still open and ready to serve them, while easing their minds and providing them instructions on how to do business with you.
𝟐. 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫 𝐞𝐆𝐢𝐟𝐭 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬
There is a massive social media movement occurring, encouraging people to buy gift cards from small businesses. Make sure your company can participate! Check with your current merchant processing company to see if they can get you gift cards, or look into companies like Square or Giftfly to set up your unique online gift card. Once you have a link where people can purchase gift cards, start dispersing the message on social media, your website, current client list, etc.
𝐶𝑜𝑠𝑡: Merchant Percentages (usually 2-3%)
𝟑. 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐚𝐧 𝐄𝐦𝐚𝐢𝐥 𝐋𝐢𝐬𝐭
If you don’t already use an email marketing platform, start with a free account from MailChimp. Mailchimp allows you to collect email addresses and send out newsletters to your clients. This is a great time to build up your email list, that way you can still remain in contact with your current customer base. You will always own your email list, while you do not own your social followers. With so many unknowns during this time, you want to make sure that you have a way to reach your clientele.
𝟒. 𝐑𝐮𝐧 𝐚 𝐆𝐨𝐨𝐠𝐥𝐞 𝐀𝐝
If the demand exists, people will search! Running an online ad on Google is a quick, effective way to show up where people are looking. You only get charged if someone clicks on your ad, so this can be a strategic use of your marketing budget. Beware of setting up the account–however. I do NOT recommend using Google Ads Express, or using any of the default settings that Google provides. As valuable of a resource as they are, Google is still a for-profit business, and they have designed their platform to take advantage of unfamiliar users.
𝐶𝑜𝑠𝑡: Google’s Cost-Per-Click (CPC)
𝟓. 𝐈𝐧𝐯𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐃𝐢𝐠𝐢𝐭𝐚𝐥
Finally, take this time to invest in your digital presence. If you have the time, write that blog post you’ve been thinking about; get around to building out your home page of your website; start signing up for those social media accounts; ask your customers for reviews. ANYTHING you do during this time to build up your digital presence will benefit you, once things return to normal.
Need a Small Business Resource During COVID-19?
If you have questions on how to do any of this, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Succeeding Small. We are offering free 30 minute consultation calls for all of our clients and small business friends during this time. It is our #1 goal to be a RESOURCE for small businesses. This is not a sales pitch or the start of a funnel–this is just our way of giving back to all the incredible entrepreneurs and small business owners that make our nation strong.