Small businesses across the country are continuing to face a lot of challenges at this time. The insecurity and fear (of the unknown) across all industries is palpable. Your goal as a business owner is to guide your company and employees through this challenging time. It’s time to think about your business in a new way and take this time to navigate and prepare for the future. How your business deals with this global crisis in the next few weeks will determine how quickly you can resume your normal operations and be as successful as before. Here are a few steps you can take today:
OVERALL MARKETING RIGHT NOW
This is not the time to come up with a new marketing campaign to boost sales. Understand the situation and focus on the products, items and/or services that are most important to your customer base. Companies who used a college intern for their social media should rethink their strategy. This is a time when strong Public Relations really matters. Communicate with your agency to discuss their recommendations during this time in your market and industry. Stay up to date on closures and lockdowns, if you can’t deliver it, don’t offer it at this time. Most of all, you don’t have to advertise right now. But, if you do, find the right medium to ensure your message gets across in the most personal way possible. (ie, Emails, Direct Mail)
Do NOT try to make COVID-19 funny. Do not re-post messages about the lack of toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The worst thing to do is for your posts to be tone-deaf. If you’re planning to continue to use Social Media, use it to communicate with your customers about your operations, about the precautions you and your team are taking, and to share factual information. If you are adding a new service or sharing a new offer to help continue to serve your clients, be sure to talk about it in a positive way.
With all the Social Media feeds being flooded with fearful messages and statistics, focus only on facts and things that may help your clients. Understand your clients’ state of mind and their readiness to consume any brand advertising.
The US Chamber of Commerce put together this Tool Kit to help businesses understand how to navigate the coronavirus. The Tool Kit helps provide Small Businesses to properly share content in Social Media as well as with their colleagues and employees.
This might be a good time to take care of the things you haven’t had time for in the last few years. If your website is more than 5 years old and you’ve been considering a redesign or update, this would be a good time to work on it. If you were considering adding an online sales component, this is probably the perfect time. You will likely not be able to create an online sales engine within hours, but it’s a long-term investment that can completely change the outlook and the future of your business.
ADAPT YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU CAN
We understand that not every small business has the ability to adapt on the fly. However, it’s important to focus on the adjustments that you can make. If in-store sales become a challenge, consider offering free delivery. Adapt your services to the needs of the consumer. Even the smallest changes can make a difference.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
A small number of businesses and brands will handle this situation properly. Be one of those businesses. People will remember you and how you handled yourself, your business, your marketing and your messaging.
To all our Overnight Prints Clients & Partners – you’ve got this!