Right now, the world is in the middle of a health crisis. New terms like “self-isolation” and “social distancing” have caught on. Gatherings and public events are canceled. Many businesses are shut down, others have employees working from home. For small business owners, it can be a scary overwhelming time for many of us. A lot of us, myself included, spent a lot of time wondering what the next move should be.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 things you can do -now- to help your business.
1 Don’t stop marketing!
Please keep your name out in front of your customers. I started my business only a couple of years after a recession, in 2011, and what I learned very quickly was the businesses that had survived the downturn were the ones who kept marketing during the recession. Remind your customers you are there to support them and tell them what you can do to help them now or for when things get better.
2 Contact past customers/clients to check in with them
It’s the season to be a human first and a business second. Go old school! Get on your phone (or email) and call your customers. Find out how they are doing, and ask if there is anything you can help them with now. You might be surprised by what they tell you. Even if there is nothing you can do to help them, they will remember you checked on them and were willing to do what it took to help them out.
3 Send out a Thank You or Hello Card
People are still getting their mail. If you have addresses for your customers, get some cute cards (or dig some out from the back of the closet) and send them a card. You can say you’re grateful for their past business or write a message to find out how they are doing. You can even add a small branded gift like brownies, clear lip balm, or hand lotion.
4 Work on your visuals for your business
If business suddenly became slow, it makes it a good time for you to sit down with your business plan and marketing plan. Look at what has historically worked and what might need to be changed. If your visuals like your business cards, brochures, flyers and more are little dated, get them professionally updated by a graphic designer or visual marketing specialist like myself.
5 Prep a new product to be launched in the summer
Slow times make a good time to plan and create new things. Create a new product or service that you can launch in the summer. Create all of the marketing and visuals for the launch too so it’s completely ready to go.
6 Create a fun diversion for your customers to do via Social Media
Host a fun challenge for your customers to participate in that ties in with your brand. Host a recipe challenge and the best recipe gets published or have them create or sing a jingle for your business and share on social media. The ideas are pretty much endless for fun, on-brand, challenges that you can host. You can offer a prize, bragging rights or use it as a community-building activity.
7 Create awesome freebies for your customers
What can you create that is on-brand that can help your customers right now and that you can give them? Maybe you can offer them ways to create content, or accounting tips, an activity for their suddenly off of school kids? The ideas are pretty much endless.
8 Go on virtual coffee outings with your customers
Okay, we cannot host in-person events right now, but we can do them online! Host a lecture via an online platform like Zoom, Go To Meeting, Microsoft Teams, Skype and more. You can even host a virtual “coffee” day. Choose an online platform, tell your customers through email or social media where you’ll be and what times and they can come online, have a virtual coffee and hang out session for a little while. Talk with people on the channel or ask you questions. It’s a great way to foster community.
9 Listen to fun music to get you pumped up
Getting yourself pumped up to work from home can sometimes be a challenge. I know, I’ve been working from home for the last 10 years. I have a few tricks to get myself going, but the number one trick I have is to listen to music to get myself pumped up. To that end, I’ve created a Spotify playlist chock full of music in every genre and decade I can think of for you to turn on and get yourself hyped for the day. I want you to “Go Be Amazing” (and check out my playlist)
10 Work on side projects that have been neglected
My last tip is to work on side projects that often end on the back burner. Clean your office, file the mountain of papers on your desk, organize your computer files, listen to that class or list of podcasts that you forgot about. Read business books. Getting organized and doing side projects gives you a sense of control and can help you relax and focus on what you can do to better your business. At the very least, you’ll be all caught up and organized when things start to return to normal.
Hopefully, these tips help you get started with ways to help your business. The bottom line right now is getting creative and to keep going. Go Be Amazing!
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