Did you know that some of the most successful businesses in the world were started during the great depression? A time where the economy was low and much like what the economy is seeming to turn into right now. Companies like Sony, McDonald's, Geico, Duracell Batteries, and Walt Disney STARTED in the worst economic climate of all of time. They persevered during that time which gave them extra mileage when things smoothed out.
And though now feels like the time to hold back, that is true for only some areas in your business. This is arguably the most important time not to hold, but rather to invest. For some this could be in the stock market or in your personal life, but as a business owner, you already know that this means investing in your business. If you had a “this is for a rainy day” pocket, today is the rainy day to use your umbrella.
How To Survive COVID-19 Outbreak as a Small Business Owner:
1. Online Ads
We cannot stress the importance and advantage of putting out online ads right now. Everyone is self-quarantining, and there’s only so many puzzles and family time one can enjoy before everyone wants their space. Where do people spend most of their time at home? If you guessed online, you’re a winner. Investing on Facebook and Instagram ads are easy, and depending on your audience, try posting them to Tik Tok too - don’t judge, they're addicting. You can make ads out of cross words, jokes, inspirational quotes, something to invoke a particular feeling that can then be associated with your brand. Hardly anyone is physically appearing anywhere for the next few weeks, but when it all blows over and they need your product or service they’ll think about your company. So your ads should be focused on branding, not selling. Unless you have an online store, which brings us to our next point.
2. Increase Online Sales
It’s 2020, if your business isn’t selling something online, you can thank COVID-19 for forcing innovation within your business. If you sell a product, this will be easier for you. You can quickly set up an online store with Shopify or any other product base selling app. If you sell a service, you’re thinking well this isn’t going to work for me. But this is where we can get our creative juices flowing. For example, if you’re a restaurant, sell recipes online - hec, start a damn cook book that you can sell online afterwards too. If you’re a mechanic, sell some DIY worksheet for everyday essentials that people come to you for. If you’re a Juice bar, sign up to SkipTheDishes or Uber Eats and sell juices that help fight COVID-19 symptoms. Nail salon? You can sell sets, nail polish colours, DIY design tips or even branded nail dryer devices. The point is, be creative and try to find something to sell online.
3. Talk to Your Suppliers
At this time everyone is feeling the impact, which is why we need to be empathetic towards everyone. Talk to your supplier to lower quantities for the next month, ask about monthly installments or talk about lowering interest rates. If you’re a supplier, allow monthly installments and flexibility. When all this is over it will pay to have created a healthy, trusted bond between both of you. Long lasting relationships are worth temporary adjustments.
4. Take The Time To Organize
You know that pile of documents you never get to? The 101 documents on your Google Drive titled “Untitled” or the office closet you’ve wanted to clean but always have something more important come up? Well here’s the universe giving you time for the tedious.
5. Put Out Helpful Content
It’s safe to say pretty much every business owner has a phone or camera accessible to them during quarantine time - quarantine as I like to call it. It takes 5 minutes to create a 30 second informational clip on your business, industry, or product/service. Video content that brings information and positivity is a great way to connect with your audience - especially when they’re online and sick of seeing updates on how many cases were found in their area thus far. Now’s the time to nourish connections with your online audience, so that after this all dies down they’ve created a curiosity in your business and will love to continue learning and receiving updates from you.
6. Promote Your Accolades Online
Again, everyone is online. It’s time to reinforce your brand through the third parties that recognize you as a leader in your industry. People will associate your brand with excellence. This is something that you should include in your online ads (point #1). If you’ve won the Top Choice Award this is the perfect and key time to be displaying your win. Which brings us to our next point.
7. Post in Top Choices Facebook Group
You can invite, post, comment and connect with people in your city who have joined the group or monitor it to find Top Choices in their city. Invite your contacts to the group and when you post in it, let all group members be notified that a new post was put there by you. Connect with them in meaningful ways and reach even more people in your city who don’t yet follow or know about you. This is exclusive to Top Choice winners.
8. Take Advantage of Government Help
You can see what the government of Canada has recently put in place to help small businesses here: Recent Breaking News (Mar 18)
We hope this will help direct your focus throughout this next period of time. If you’re in a position to help others, give back anyway you can.