Small Businesses - Use This Time Wisely To Emerge Stronger Than Before.
Like me, you're a small business owner and concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ohio and Michigan mandated shelter in place. First and foremost keeping your family safe and healthy. Secondly, and almost as important, how to keep your business afloat during this time of uncertainty. We've all undoubtedly seen impacts already from less orders, store traffic, customers, leads and sales as everyone tries to figure out what's next for themselves, their business and the economy. Although sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, It's important to remember that this is a temporary situation. And while it is going to have serious impacts on your business going forward, if you use your time wisely during this slowdown, you’ll be able to rebound and grow faster when everything returns to normal.
1. Work ON your business, not IN your business.
How many times have you said to yourself “When I get some time I want to work on….Social media, updating my website, learning a new marketing skill or platform, etc. But you’re always busy putting out fires, ordering from vendors, helping customers, dealing with payroll. There is never any time to map out a plan. Use this down time to set goals, benchmarks, explore new product offerings, and anything else that might help you grow your business or improve efficiency down the line.
2. Website updates or rebuild.
Your website is your prospective customer's window into your business. Is also one of the most neglected marketing tools by small businesses. With limited budgets and limited time you don't always have the resources to keep it current. This is a great time to go through your website and make sure information is correct. It’s easy to change products, contact information, store hours etc. and forget to update your site. Maybe you’ve been thinking of hiring a company to redesign that old website or doing it yourself. You now have a little time to look around at competitors websites and build a new one for yourself.
3. Social Media Planning
Put together a social media plan and calendar. The best way to ensure that you are posting regularly is to plan and schedule your posts. This way you only need to worry about it weekly or monthly.
There are many free tools to help you with this. We like to use Hootsuite to plan and schedule posts for us and our clients. The free plan allows for three platforms, which is usually enough for small businesses.
4. Plan and build a new marketing campaign.
When this pandemic wanes and things begin to return to normal, what products do you want to push, who do you want to reach? What kind of specials will you offer to get people to purchase your goods and services. Where should you spend my budget. Digital? Print?, Television?
After being cooped up at home and not able to make purchases, consumers are going to be ready to buy the items they put off during the shutdown. This is a great time to reposition yourself as the leader in your industry. We at Lakestone Digital have actually increased our marketing budget during this time to improve brand awareness. When people are ready to move forward with marketing or website projects they’ll have already checked us out.
5. Support and Partner with other small businesses.
This might be the most important thing you can do during this time. Other small businesses and their employees are YOUR customers. They are struggling to get through just like you. If we can all do our part and help each other now, It will make all the difference for the future.
To do our part we are offering no fee digital advertising to any small business that want to advertise right now. We take care of all the creative work and account and campaign setup and management for free. Although we are not making any income from this, we feel it’s the right thing to do in this difficult time for small businesses in SE Michigan and Northwest Ohio. It will keep all of us strong for the future.
Contact us today to set up a free consultation about your video, graphic design, web design project or digital marketing plan.