I’ve learned a lot from working with small businesses over the span of 2+ decades. I have so much admiration for business owners who pour their heart & soul into their ventures and somehow create something big from seed resources. The following tips are for you, the resilient entrepreneur.
Turbulent world events have many of us concerned for our community and global health and safety. Political unrest, government policy and climate change have had a major impact on our economic landscape. Entrepreneurs have been especially hard-hit by soaring inflation, supply chain issues, shut downs, travel restrictions and labour market challenges within a very short time span.
With less resources and cash reserves, freelancers, gig workers, and small business owners have special concerns for how their revenues are affected and the ultimate survival of their businesses. As a resilient entrepreneur, you have learned to work with restrictions and tight budgets, hone creative problem solving abilities, and respond quickly to changing circumstances. Let’s look at more ways we can innovate and diversify to meet the current market conditions.
The resilient entrepreneur will continually ask, “Where is my market and how do I reach them?” Multitudes of workers worldwide have been working remotely. Social event & travel industries have strengthened their online presence to more easily manage bookings. Education and business facilitators continue to move their platforms like meetings and courses to the digital space. 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 have seen increases in traffic and resulting sales. This is because the trend to working remote continues and people continue to use Internet solutions and online work tools to meet their business and needs. The demand for online shopping, social media & gaming for personal, social and entertainment needs has grown exponentially. Most notably, these trends are here to stay!
Your 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 click further into the site, request more information, or even carry on to 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? If you need help, check out our seo copywriting page for more tips.
It is an excellent time to strengthen communication and customer service with your market. Be sure your contact methods throughout your website are frequent and friendly! A live chat can add a personal touch. Consider adding an enews service or blog to keep your clients & prospects up to date on new services, products, or changes to your business.
If you are satisfied that your website flows and information is readily available, next question: With the public temporarily avoiding in-person contact, is there is a “contactless” service you can add? For example:
- Consider creating a new store if you have products you can ship.
- Add additional products or services to your existing store.
- Are there services your customers can sign up for online?
- Try adding an online payment method for prepayment or point of sale, in lieu of cash or debit machines.
- Offer digital products such as e-books, e-brochures, music, audio or video files.
- Consider offering consulting or classes delivered via video or audio presentations.
- Communicate or offer consulting via telephone, skype, zoom or online chat.
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 look for low cost local delivery services. Entertainment & hospitality businesses can amp up their offerings for locals whose travel plans have been cancelled. 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:
- Offering gift certificate sales that can be enjoyed at a later date.
- Offering a special package offer or gentle discount coupon with an extended cash-in date.
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 Social Media Platforms
Now is also a good time to tweak your social media presence and begin advertising campaigns. It is better to have few social media platforms that are well attended, than several that are inactive. Choose the platforms that are most effective for your business and make sure they are instantly recognizable with up-to-date branding. I’ve seen many a resilient entrepreneur use creative advertising and take advantage of the free social media posts. Remember that your audience will not see every post in a timely manner, so be consistent with posting and deliver timely responses. Running a paid social media campaign is another option to increase your exposure online. Facebook and Google offer budget friendly campaigns that set dollar limits and help you zero in on your target market, so you won’t end up spending more than you can afford. 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.
Solopreneurs, Freelancers, Contractors & Gig Workers
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.
While world events and their impact on social and economic landscapes will ebb & flow, and some will eventually end, many times the changes in behaviors and economic markets will remain. Look for the positives such as the value you can add to clients via convenience like home delivery, or the new markets you can tap into such as online learners and workers. As a resilient entrepreneur, you have the ability take the sour stuff and turn it into something people want!
So go pour yourself a glass of sweet, refreshing, (and Vitamin C packed) lemonade. Our services can be delivered online, via email, phone or chat.