COVID-19 is quickly becoming the fastest growing threat to our economy as we know it, and is certainly causing masses of uncertainty and stress, especially on our small businesses. This is causing mass panic among many businesses and we’ve decided to put together a few small things you can do differently, to help protect your business in these uncertain times.
“I’ll just wait for it to all blow over”
Don’t just do nothing! Burying your head in the sand and allowing yourself to panic is not productive and is definitely not going to help business. Instead, we advise that you take this time to put together a marketing strategy for the next 3-6 months. Are you currently using haphazard marketing that has no end goal or purpose? Offering out spontaneous offers that get you one-off customers who will never return? Make a decision on what you want your marketing to achieve, who is your target audience, and what is a creative way to reach that audience. Did you know that it takes 7 points of contact to make a sale? DON’T just do the one piece of marketing – whether it be flyers, social media, email, and wait for the thousands of sales to come in. Because you’ll be waiting a good ‘ole while. Make a succession of interlinked posts that help share your story with your potential client – you want your business to be the forefront of their mind – but you also want them to be interested and resonate with what you do.
“We’ve never had to offer delivery before, so why should we now?”
If you have a business where you are able to offer delivery, please, please do! Times are changing quickly, and with new government enforcement of self isolation and working from home where possible, people will be looking to businesses that offer delivery for convenience/safety. Also offering online ordering via a website, Facebook or Email also helps for convenience, and may entice customers who would otherwise give you a miss. We would also advise for these orders that you definitely take a payment up front and over estimate delivery times in order to ensure your customer is satisfied.
3. “Just send us payment whenever you’re ready”
Things are uncertain. And for businesses with tight margins and cash flow already, we can’t stress enough how important it is to take payment up front if you aren’t already, especially when dealing with business to business. It makes things easier for both you and your client, and keeps things a lot less stressful on both parts, as you’re not chasing them for the money, and they’re not stuck with unwanted debts. We’re all stuck in the same boat after all, your clients will understand, and likely sympathise with your situation.
4. “Let’s just focus on getting through this month”
In situations like this now more than ever, we need to be focusing on long term goals, and not quick wins for our businesses. It’s easy to get stuck on the short sighted ideas and hike up prices, offer unrealistic, overzealous offers that leave you with next to no margin, and other marketing exploits done on a last minute whim. There’s no problem with offering something to your customers, or having to up prices due to the current climate, but doing these with the wrong timing, or in a haphazard way with no planning or implementation can seriously harm your business. After all, who’s going to take advantage of an offer for the next 24hours only, that they didn’t hear about until the day after you were hosting a sale? It just doesn’t work!
5. “That funding won’t apply to me and my business”
There’s an age old saying – if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I can’t think of anything more fitting for this one – I implore you definitely look into the funding that’s out there, because it’s there specifically to help you and your business, so why would you not take advantage of this? Our partner Nettl did an informative and helpful article on this, which you can read here >> https://www.nettl.com/uk/coronavirus-business-interruption-loan-scheme/
The show must go on.
Us small businesses need to stick together and work through these hard times, so we will be available for any advise you may seek and will try to help in any way we can. But we urge you not to give up! We need to keep on fighting and focus on the positives – taking advantage of the opportunities created by the Coronovirus outbreak and modernise and adapt our businesses best we can in the face of this pandemic.