I don’t think any of us have had the year we thought we would have! Things are rapidly evolving with the COVID-19 situation and it is hitting small business hard. We’ve been providing free consultations to businesses about how to navigate through this time, so we thought it would be good to share some advice with our entire community.
These uncertain times means adaptation in business is key, smaller operators that have been affected by the situation need to think about how they can change their core offering to one that can still flourish. It’s also a time, if you have the means, to strategically plan for the future, you potentially have the space you’ve always needed to work ‘on’ the business for once.
There are three parts to consider as part of your ongoing approach:
The number one priority is to ensure your customers and the wider community know what is happening with your business right now. Letting them know what you are doing to follow Government guidelines for COVID-19 and how you are putting customer safety first.
- Reassurance is vital and asking for support is ok: Community sentiment for small business is sympathetic and people want to help so let them know how they can.
- Be honest when communicating: Tell your customers how you are feeling and don’t bombard them with official terms. You can be professional, but also warm in your tone.
- Keep it simple: It is COVID-19 overload right now and so keep your communication short and sweet.
We’re calling this ‘getting your house in order’ as when this is all over it is important that you have retained your engaged community.
- Database: This is one of your most important assets so make sure it is in good condition. Think of ways you can grow your list. Make sure you have a database sign up on your website, and invite your social media community to join.
- Social integration: Communicating on social is important as you can post as frequently as the situation is changing to keep everyone updated. So, make sure your website is referring people to your social channels, your emails are linking to social and even mentioning it in any conversations you are having with customers. Read our blog ‘Social Media: A Tool for Customer Care’ here.
- Website: This can become the place for longer form updates, and it is important that customers know what is happening with the business on every platform, so don’t forget to update your website as well.
Not all of your content at this time has to be about COVID-19 and you can provide some relief and distraction by pushing forward with your strategic content planning. Think about how this can continue to build your community at the same time.
- Pay it forward: Think about campaigns that support and help people, you may have a product you can give away on social to someone doing it tough or ask others to nominate a deserving person to win a prize.
- Support your peers: Be creative in how you can support others in your industry or other small businesses in your area. Provide shout outs and potentially even talk to each other about partnering on campaigns to support each other.
- Keep making content: Whatever you do keep communicating and pushing out content so you can retain or potentially grow brand awareness throughout this time.
We love hearing about the creative ways our clients are keeping business moving, comment below on what new things you are doing and remember to keep swimming!
If you want to adapt to change and not sure how, get in touch.