If you are a small business owner or someone who works at a small business, you may be concerned about how coronavirus is going to impact your business in the coming weeks and months; Here are some of the things you can do to "keep the lights on".
1. Create ultra safe and healthy environment
Businesses are already regularly audited by the health and safety department. But these are dire times. "Ultra safety" is important both from health perspective and pure emotional perspective. Make sure to have your stores cleaned every night before closing. All high usage areas, desks, table tops, etc. must be sanitized. Provide masks to all employees. Have sanitizers easily accessible for all employees and customers. Restaurants - keep at least 4 feet gap between tables. That would mean low seating, but will encourage people to walk in to your restaurant. If your store has a capacity of over 50 and is generally packed during "peak hours", then try to find ways to limit those many people walking in at the same time by perhaps taking appointments.
2. Inform employees and customers
Let your employees know about the need for this "ultra safety". We all can fight this very easily if we all are aligned and understand our responsibility. Inform customers about the measures you are taking to help stop spreading coronavirus. There's a lot of fear in people right now that is stopping them to get out of their homes. While there are valid reasons for doing that, it shouldn't totally stop them from buying your products or services.
3. Reschedule, not cancel appointments
If you are an appointment based business like dentists, salons, etc., many people would be calling you to cancel their appointments. Make an effort to reschedule the appointments instead of canceling. This way you'll get an opportunity to bring them back as things stabilize.
4. Look out for Small Businesss Emergency Relief Programs
Many counties are putting together relief programs to help small businesses. These include from things like special low interest rate loans to many other kinds of aides. If your business is severely impacted by coronavirus, you may be elligible for such aides. Talk with your local chamber of commerce or city officials about it.
5. Have another look at your marketing plan
History has shown over and over again, businesses that continue marketing during recession become more successful. Of course that's true for business that have enough money in the bank to keep running their marketing. However, with little enginuity, many small businesses can keep their marketing on and continue to grow even in hard times. This is the time to focus on marketing that will encourage repeat businesses. As we all know, the cost of winning repeat business is 5-10 times lower than the cost of acquring a new client. Therefore, focus your marketing activities on getting repeat customers. Have another look at your offers and deals; may be some not so profitable offers and deals should be stopped for the time being. Make sure you are measuring results. It's time to make every marketing dollar work extra hard for you, and that will be only possible if you can measure your results. As your local marketing experts, we are here to help you fine tune your marketing plan and keep your lights on.
Tags: cover-story,coronavirus,local business