The coronavirus pandemic devastated the majority of small businesses across the country. Restaurants, including bars, suffered the greatest negative impact. Retail and shopping businesses and the beauty industry were also hit hard. Many needed to cut down on their workforce. Others had to close, hoping that it was only temporary. They intended to reopen later. Unfortunately, a large number closed for good. People worry that more small businesses might follow suit.
This does not have to happen to your small business, though. Turn your attention to businesses that are surviving the pandemic. Some are even thriving. Many of these businesses were already online before the pandemic hit. Some were offline but agile enough to shift online. It is time for you to consider doing so.
People Are Online
The online market is now the place to be. People are avoiding face-to-face interaction. They are looking for solutions to their needs online.
Mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers are the front lines for businesses. For instance, consumers can now do voice searches while driving, using their mobile phones connected to their car audio. They can do this to choose among the nearest restaurants for curbside pick-ups of food. At home, they can also go online to shop for anything or avail of services such as banking. It has become the new normal way of life.
Maximize Your Business Website
Not all businesses had websites before the pandemic. Those that had sometimes did not use their websites to sell their goods or services. The online site was only a means to establish a brand presence. Today, small businesses realize that websites must replace their brick-and-mortar stores and offices.
Hire professional consultants to build a website that is a functional shop. Enable instant processing of purchases with several online payment options. Ensure that the website has seamless coordination with your delivery system for goods. For services, ensure that someone can engage with a potential client at any time.
Outsource SEO services to drive traffic to your website. It is best if this is part of the package from your website building and maintenance consultants.
Make your website more attractive by providing customer reviews. This will make your brand more credible and build confidence on the part of new visitors. Of course, you need to work hard to earn those great reviews.
Because consumers and clients are online, marketing must also be online. Do this on social media sites.
People are on social media sites all the time. They use these platforms to express themselves, communicate with others, and find information. Word-of-mouth reach is now called viral reach. This does not refer to the virus but spreads even faster.
Familiarize yourself with social media sites and their respective demographic markets. You will be spreading yourself too thin if you attempt to saturate them all. Find which ones correspond with your target market.
Videos are popular marketing tools on social media. They must be short because people have short attention spans online. They must also be either especially useful or very entertaining to gain traction. Humor is popular. Videos that uplift the mood are helpful in this time of crisis. Be creative in using this to promote your business.
Think of this as a cost-effective way of creating commercials. You air this for free to a vast audience online. You might even be able to create these videos yourself or with the help of a tech-savvy family member.
Engagement and Influencers
Do not limit your social media presence to one-way messages from your business. Establish a direct connection with your market through interaction. Engage with them through conversations. Answer any queries immediately. Address complaints with respect and take appropriate action.
You can partner with social media influencers and make them your brand ambassadors. This expands your engagement with your market. These individuals can make a single post go viral in a flash. They can talk to their fans about your business. Do your research, though, to ensure that the individual you choose fits your market. If you don’t, the results can be disastrous.
You do not need to limit the use of social media sites to marketing. Businesses now sell goods and services on these sites. Make sure that you do not neglect this aspect of these platforms.
Pivot to Adapt
Yes, your small business can survive the pandemic even if you had some losses. Being small is an advantage these days because it also means that you can be more agile. There is no choice now but to pivot and adapt to the current situation.
Some businesses found that moving online even increased their earnings. For others, going online triggered the development of ideas and ways to grow. Take your business online and find out what this can do for you.