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 with 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, your 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 and grow your small business.
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 and grow your small business. 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 its 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 the 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 grow your small business, 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; curious about what services we can help with, check out our services page. 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.