March 15, 2020
Turbulent times worldwide have many of us concerned for our community and global health and safety. While Governments take critical steps in preventing a more aggressive spread of the coronavirus, the subsequent lockdowns, cancellations, shutdowns, and travel restrictions have added more worries about the economic downturn. Small business owners with less cash reserves have special concerns for how their revenues will be affected and the ultimate survival of their businesses. As entrepreneurs, we look to adapt to changing circumstances in order to stabilize revenues or continue growing our businesses. Let's look at ways we can innovate and diversify to meet the current market conditions.
Entrepreneurs continually ask, "Where is my market? ... and how do I reach them?" Multitudes of workers worldwide are being sent home to work remotely. Social events that gather large groups like concerts & sports have been canceled, and educational institutions are moving students and teachers to their online platforms in the interim. The majority of the consumer market is more than ever - online. Large companies such as Facebook, Google, Amazon, Shopify, Microsoft, Blizzard Entertainment and Tencent Holdings are expected to see increases in traffic and resulting sales. This is because people working at home will look to Internet solutions and online work tools to meet their business needs and those isolated at home will look to online shopping, social media & gaming to meet their personal, social and entertainment needs.Your Online Presence - Website & Business Model
With online traffic increasing, this is the perfect time to look at your online presence, starting with your website. A visitor should know who you are and what you offer within seconds of viewing your homepage. Review your website through the eyes of the customer - was it easy to find the information you were looking for? Did it hold your interest? Were you inspired to make contact, fill out a quote form or make a purchase?
Next, look at the content on your webpages; are your images eye catching and videos exciting? Does your writing accurately describe your products & services and contain relevant keywords that your potential market will be searching? What is your customer service quota? Be sure your contact methods throughout your website are frequent and friendly! A short customized form adds convenience and a live chat adds a personal touch.If any of the above comes up short, a skilled SEO copywriter and website developer can help. If you are satisfied that your website flows and information is readily available, move to the next question: With the public temporarily avoiding in-person contact, is there is a "contactless" service you can add? For example:
If your main roster of products or services require your clients to arrive at your bricks & mortar, or in large groups, try viewing your offerings from all angles and innovate. Can you offer home delivery of some of your products? Or can you reduce exposure to your clients by offering one-to-one or mobile services? Businesses in food & drink services, beauty & salons, health therapies, and auto repair & detailing can deliver products & services to their clients' doorstep; use vehicles & equipment already available or add low cost local delivery services. Entertainment & hospitality businesses can amp up their offerings for locals whose travel plans have been canceled. These businesses can consider creating new personalized packages designed for smaller groups, or offering more frequent events and extended hours while setting limits on the number in attendance. Retail businesses can also adapt by:
Showing sensitivity to clients health concerns by catering to their need for crowdless patronage will present a positive image for your business, now and going forward.Your Online Presence - Social Media
As a business owner, this is also a good time to tweak your social media presence and begin advertising campaigns. Social media promotions, tweaking your Instagram profile or running a Facebook campaign are some good options to increase your business exposure online. Facebook and Google advertising offer budget friendly campaigns that set dollar limits, so you won't end up spending more than you can afford. Both Google and Facebook allow you to zero in on your target market, increasing the number of potential clients reading that amazing special you just posted or maximizing the number of hot prospects clicking on your Ads. Your promotion strategy may include a giveaway contest or draw. If you offer a sweepstake, sites like Rafflecopter or Random.org help you to abide by the rules, ensure your draw is fair and the winner is by random selection.
Whether you are looking to generate sales or improve your brand, fine tuning your online presence now is an important task for future prospects. If you are a contractor for hire or a professional looking for new work, take the time to polish your resume or curriculum vitae for potential employers and head hunters. Consider hiring a professional copywriter to emphasize your strengths and tailor your presentation to industry professionals. Be sure to refresh your LinkedIn & social media accounts at the same time and search online services like Work BC and Upwork for opportunities. Business owners also need to polish their online presentations, bolster public relations and promote a positive company image. It is an excellent time to strengthen communication with your prospects and customers. Consider adding an enews service to stay in touch with your customers and keep them informed of how you are innovating to bring products & services to them. Adding a blog to your website is a great way to chat about your business, industry or larger global issues; let your customers know you care and remember to include links to the products & services you offer online.Wrap Up
Entrepreneurs and solopreneurs are some of the hardest working people on the planet! Be sure to take care of YOU while you navigate the new demands on your business. Stay well by following the guidelines set out by your government's health & travel authorities. Make sure your news is coming from reliable sources with factual data. While social media can be a source of entertainment and a great tool for business, it can also be misused unwittingly when panic and fear takes over. Choose posts wisely - we need positivity, encouragement and compassion during these tough times. As we take care of our physical, emotional & mental health, this too shall pass.
LANiMedia offers services in website design & maintenance, ecommerce setups, social media supports, advertising campaigns, copywriting, blogs & enews services, and much more. Our services can be delivered online, via email, phone or chat. We seek to accommodate the days & times that work best for you. Your questions are always welcome!