As the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading rapidly, small businesses especially have been facing difficulties. Companies that follow the B2C model and rely on face-to-face interaction with clients are finding themselves in unknown territory as they face immediate challenges.
But, don’t panic! An unexpected event like this means that businesses can temporarily adopt various strategies to stay afloat amidst the coronavirus.
Here are our top recommended tips that small business owners can take to protect employees, serve customers, and minimize risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s have a look!
Tips to Grow Your Small Business During the Coronavirus Outbreak
1. Establish a Remote Work Option
To minimize exposure to the virus, businesses must use technology to help them through this. Ask yourself the following questions: Can your business include technology to reduce in-person contact? Can you offer possibilities to work remotely?
Remote work is more popular than ever. Companies like Twitter have already allowed their employees to permanently work from home. There are many free online tools like Zoom, Loom, and Slack that make it easier to manage remote employees, communicate with colleagues and customers remotely.
You can implement a remote work policy that covers what deliverable each team member is responsible for and you can establish when you expect your team to be online. As the country moves towards total lockdown, remember to please be flexible with your employee’s time.
Some may have children, while some may even suffer from anxiety and stress. Try to be as understanding as possible and have a contingency plan in case of being short-staffed. You must speak to your investors, partners, local officials, and suppliers on a daily basis to learn how they can help you stay above the red line.
2. Shift Your Sales Strategy to Online
With a large portion of the population staying at home, everyone is constantly checking and refreshing their social media feeds for entertaining and/or news.
With stores closing, small businesses must take advantage of this moment to shift their attention to online digital platforms. Whether it’s through online tutorials or Instagram live, you can try to offer your services online to reach new leads and engage with your target audience virtually.
For example, instead of hosting onsite painting or cooking classes, teach the same course online. Or, if you run a café, offer ‘freezer-friendly’ meals such as casseroles that families can store for a later date. It’s essential that you let your target audience know that you’re still open and going strong.
Additionally, you can launch your own YouTube channel to educate and entertain people as well as make money.
Once you’ve hit the minimum number of subscribers and view time, you can monetize your undertaking by allowing YouTube to include ads in your videos. Income varies from industry, but you can earn between $1-$5 per 1000 views. Use your creativity to stay relevant!
3. Adapt Your Delivery Tactics
Flexible marketing is crucial to help you stay ahead of the competition. Many delivery and restaurant services are utilizing a ‘touchless’ strategy to deliver orders safely to customers. By asking your customers where they would like their request to be placed, you’re helping them feel safe while enabling them to support local businesses.
To keep your business rolling, you can offer pickup options and offer reduced or free delivery options to encourage online orders. Let them know that your business is still available to support them with special weekly or monthly discounts and other incentives.
4. Consider Business Interruption Insurance
If you’re suffering from significant business losses due to the pandemic, you must consider business interruption insurance. Speak to your insurance broker and check what qualifies for coverage. Even if it doesn’t cover this emergency, at least you’ll be better prepared for the next time your business suffers from a similar economic loss (hopefully there won’t be a similar situation!).
No one knows for sure how long it will take for things to get back to normal. It may be within a few weeks, or this worldwide recession may even last a year. The most important thing is to stay focused, determined, and strong.
It is important to communicate with your customers transparently and describe to them the steps you’re taking to mitigate risks to help the community. As long you communicate correctly, customers will definitely empathize with businesses and brands facing a crisis.