It’s fair to say that the recent, unprecedented outbreak of COVID-19 has changed the game for everyone. This global pandemic is both tragic and eye-opening. While we learn to cope with this new reality as individuals we are also forced to consider the economic repercussions to come and small business owners must search for creative ways to not only provide value to their existing customers but also to continue generating new ones.
While there are of course no catch-all solutions that will work for all business types and inevitably some businesses will suffer during this time there are some best practices which can be applied to many.
Take Advantage of Livestreaming
Livestreaming on social is not only a great way to remain present in your customers lives and provide value but also a great marketing tool for prospective customers. The boredom wrought by self-quarantine is real and businesses have seldom had such a captive audience. If you work in any sort of consulting (i.e. Real Estate or Mortgage Brokers, Gym Owners or Personal Trainers etc) you have a great opportunity to connect with your existing clientele as well as to build credibility for prospective customers. Open the doors to your business and let the world have a peek at what other people pay you for. Schedule live classes or workshops via Facebook Live, Instagram Live or even Google Hangouts which are all free tools that are available to you. Take this opportunity to advertise the fact that you’re hosting live seminars or classes. Giving away a bit of your expertise in the short term can create loyal customers in the long term.
Take Advantage of Delivery
Delivery is not just for restaurants. If you are a company that relies on providing products to your customer base now may be the time to start delivering to your customers homes. If you are unable to deliver goods yourself, apps like GOLO are effectively an UberEats for all types of retail businesses like Flower Shops, Breweries and Pharmacies. Where possible take this opportunity to extend an olive branch to your customers and offer delivery for free. Again this is an opportunity to get in front of some new eyeballs and create lasting customers.
Find Creative Ways to Be Kind.
This crisis is presenting us with more opportunities than usual to do good for others. As business owners this can take many forms. In the case of local craft breweries it can mean pivoting to manufacture hand sanitizer. If you are someone who charges a monthly fee for your services it may mean offering to defer payments for at-risk customers. If you are a marketing consultant like myself it means reaching out to your clients individually to offer creative, individual solutions to help their businesses weather the storm. In short, Do Good. Be Good.
On a personal note, it is my profound hope that one of the by-products of the entire world suffering through the same crisis at the same time is that we come out of this with a realization that we are all one people, one human race fighting the same fight and that we are brought closer together.