A recent announcement was made stating that we need to stay home until the end of April! I hate to say I told you so, but I did post it two weeks ago that we needed to be on strict quarantine as soon as possible because the baby steps we were taking will hurt us in the end. The slow burn will hurt the businesses once we find out the quarantine will be extended. So here we are. Many businesses are suffering and having the cut down on work hours causing so many workers to lose wages. The stimulus package will help but not nearly enough to replace what is and will be lost.
So, let’s switch gears. We have to accept our reality now and try to make the best of it. After all, entrepreneurs have the innate talent of resilience. We will rise from this! What can be done to support our businesses during these tough times?
It’s hard to make generalizations so consider every point in this blog as an idea that you can build from. May this blog spark ideas for you!
- TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
It is one of the toughest times in history because we are up against an unpredictable virus, but your safety is the priority because no one will run your business if you are sick. Please prioritize your safety by practicing flawless hygiene, consume proper diet, and exercise to keep your sanity and health in tip top shape. Once this is over, we need you at 100%!
2. REVIEW THE US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE RESOURCES
The US Chamber of Commerce has a plethora of resources when it comes to financial aids for small business. Check this link: https://www.uschamber.com/co/start/strategy/small-business-resources-for-surviving-coronavirus.
Take the time to study and understand everything you qualify for and take advantage of it.
3. TRANSITION TO ONLINE
Now, more than ever, is the perfect time to work on your online store. If you’ve never updated your online shopping experience and have focused too much on your physical store or events, then this time may be a blessing in disguise.
Host Live videos of your inventory and allow your shoppers to buy from your live video. Meaning, showcase your products via live videos and if anyone is interested and comments, they want what you’re showing, then by all means jot it down or go back to your live video and contact those who want to buy! Host a live shopping party or name the event something creative and make it sound exciting.
4. MAXIMIZE SIGNAGE
If you have a store front, invest in proper signage. If you own a restaurant, a big sign that states you are open for pick up and/or delivery including your hours of operation is imperative for people driving by. If you’re a non-essential store, but have an online store, put up a sign that says “Open 24/7 online: wwwyourwebsiteheredotcom”.
Remember that if you are out of sight, you are out of mind. Don’t make your customers guess if you are open or close or how they can reach you to support your business. Make it easy for them and provide signage.
5. ENCOURAGE SHOPPERS TO SHOP ONLINE
Closed mouths don’t get fed so post and ask your friends online to support your business. Do not make it sound negative and desperate. Keep the spirits up and encourage them to support your business by purchasing items online. The USPS offices are open so you can mail the orders and packages out.
Encourage your online shoppers to share their purchases. If you do not ask outright, 80% of the time, your shoppers won’t do it on their own. A simple “please share this post to spread the word” can go a long way.
6. RECONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS ONLINE
If you’ve been doing business using square or PayPal or any other payment services, this means you have your customers email addresses and you can create an email list to reach out to them and connect. This connection can mean you keep them updated with your business or you rebuild the brand you once started but never followed up with the proper email strategy.
Time to enhance and upgrade your social media presence and find ways on how you can tell your story more effectively through your posts.
It’s the best time to do the online work that you never had time to do before.
7. OFFER GIFTS WITH PURCHASES
Incentivize your customers and offer a gift with purchase. If you sell gift cards, perhaps they can earn $10 for every $100 gift card they buy or FREE shipping for purchases made. Be creative and really offer something valuable to your audience.
8. REVIEW YOUR BUSINESS AND MARKETING PLAN
Did you know that most businesses do not have a written business or marketing plan? Perhaps it’s time to work on your outdated plans.
9. SCALE BACK ON UNNECESSARY EXPENSES
This might sound like common sense but really sit down and see where you’re paying for services you aren’t really using and may not use during quarantine time. Save your money!
10. IMPROVE CUSTOMER ONLINE EXPERIENCE
If you already have an online business, maybe it’s time to test out the entire process and see where you could insert more friendliness in your service. Do you have automated emails set up after they’ve made a purchase? Have you been asking for reviews from your customers after every purchase? Do you have a birthday program? What could you improve? Maybe you can ask friends or trusted loyal customers to provide you with constructive criticism.
11. CREATE NEW PACKAGES THAT IS MORE ENTICING TO CUSTOMERS
It is not a secret that our economy will take a hit because of COVID-19. Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your pricing and/or packages. Maybe it’s time to offer something new or something different? Maybe there are offers you haven’t thought of before or offers that your competitors are currently pushing that you can also do?
12. UPDATE YOUR HOURS OF OPERATION ON YOUR WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES
Most importantly, are all your pages updated with your new hours of operation? This is a great customer service feature that most businesses don’t even think of. The first thing that consumers do is google your business. Once they find you, are all your information correct? Are your hours of operation adjusted to reflect the changes?
I hope these 12 ideas on how to create productivity during quarantine has helped you or sparked some ideas. Please don’t hesitate to comment below or share with me how this blog has helped you.