17 strategic business pivots to do in the time of COVID-19

Your Coronavirus Essentials Checklist

So we wake up in a different world! The coronavirus epidemic has completely changed our lives and transformed the way we do business.

For many, this can be an incredibly scary time to be a business owner.

You worry about the health of your employees and the business, the bills that keep coming in, your income and family obligations.

But rather than letting worry overwhelm them, smart small business owners can take this opportunity to plan and prepare for future growth and success.

That’s why we’ve created a COVID-19 checklist to help you make the most of this uncertain time:

1) Announce changes to business hours.

Are you an essential business that stays open? You may have shorter business hours to allow more time for cleaning, or a business hours where high-risk and elderly customers can come and shop safely with fewer customers.

Post any new business hours in front of your physical location and share them on the home page of your website.

Don’t forget to update your schedules on your social media profiles too, as well as your Google Business listing so everyone can keep up to date.

2) Pivot to meet the current needs of your customers

Find creative ways to do business with home quarantined customers. Do you offer pickup or delivery? Let clients know what you are doing to adjust to them during this new, and hopefully temporary, normalcy.

For example, amid shutdowns and shelter-in-place requests, most car dealers will deliver your new car to you. Similarly, service-based businesses can change their offerings to meet the demands of stay-at-home customers.

One example is the landing page we designed for Barbara Katnich, interior designer at Fresh Approach Desgins.

She acknowledges that with all this time on her hands she is probably ready for a design makeover. Then he walks you through the process of how he can work with you virtually while you are at home.

The advantage of a landing page is that it is quick, easy, and allows you to talk about specific customer needs right now without having to redesign your entire website.

3) Provide ways customers can still support you

If you operate a service-based business such as a restaurant or salon and have been forced to close its doors, you may want to consider offering gift certificate sales online.

Encourage your customers to purchase a certificate now so they can be processed and redeemed when the virus outbreak has subsided and their quarantine period is over.

This can help you keep up sales, while also giving your customers something fun and exciting to look forward to.

4) Communicate with your customers.

People want to know if and how their business has changed in light of the pandemic. Reassure them that their health and safety are your top concern and tell them what you are doing to ensure a safe shopping experience.

Explain the additional precautions you are taking to disinfect and clean and let them know how you are promoting social distancing as a small business owner.

5) Advertise any new services you are offering.

Whether you sell food or fashion, do you offer pickup or delivery? The more ways you can accommodate your customers during this new normal, the better for them and the less financial loss you’ll experience.

Share the news on your website and on your social media accounts like Lorie Brown did. She saw a great need to support nurses and healthcare professionals during this crisis and created the COVID-19 Survival Guide.

She asked us to help her create a multi-guest interview series that offers daily videos to subscribers, all for free.

6) Eliminate outdated information and broken links.

It’s the perfect time to step back and take a good look at your website.

Are there typographical errors? Did a team member listed on the About Us page resign? Are some items no longer relevant?

Maybe your site is too outdated and in need of a full overhaul. Don’t try to go it alone, it’s best to hire a professional web development company that can help ensure your site is professionally made to give your business the best exposure once this crisis is over.

7) Lighten the (remote) workload.

Give your staff easy ways to keep track of their hours, like the free Toggl time tracking tool we use. Encourage team communication with tools like Zoom, Slack, or Discord. Look for team collaboration tools like Monday and Asana to manage project workflows.

You can see more team tools in our article: Tips for managing your workforce remotely.

8) Be thin and mean.

You’re going to have to accept that things can be tough for a while. Are there some nonessential items you could cut out of your small business budget?

Reevaluate the services you use to make sure you get the best value for your money, but don’t tighten your belt so much that you miss out on business or marketing opportunities.

9) Plan your editorial calendar.

You want to provide your clients with informative and valuable content that inspires them and builds your expertise and credibility in their eyes.

If you have any downtime now, invest it in your future content. Take a look at what products and services you’ll want to promote in the future, and plan some engaging content and marketing materials to support your efforts.

10) Learn a new skill.

Do you want to learn how to use Instagram more effectively? Maybe you want to master your video marketing skills or learn a new language to better communicate with your customers.

If you can slow down a bit, take the opportunity to read, learn, and grow! This might be a good time to check out our AMPLiFY! Business Academy, where members get instant access to a large library of training videos, from social media marketing to lead generation to content marketing.

11) Make your employees feel safe.

Always communicate your COVID-19 plans to workers regarding sick days and compensation. If your employees have to go to work, reassure them how you keep your area clean and safe.

They expect you to feel cared for during this terrifying time. That said, don’t lie or withhold negative information; If you can’t give bonuses or have to lay off staff, let them know as soon as possible and support them to the best of your ability.

12) Drive more traffic to your site.

It is always a good idea to add new and useful content to your website. Your visitors will appreciate solution-focused content that honestly explains why they need your product or service.

Focus on writing a few keyword-rich articles to improve your search engine rankings.

13) Grow your followers on social networks.

It may isolate itself, but it can go online! Send messages to the people who liked or commented on your posts on social media to start a conversation.

Be active in Facebook Groups where your ideal customers hang out. Be visible and helpful (not salesy or annoying) while making new connections and offering people a human connection.

14) Segment your email list.

Over time, email lists can get complicated. Small business owners may lack the resources to write targeted messages to each group of potential customers (eg, hot prospects, warm prospects, new prospects, business colleagues).

Focus on segmenting your email list so that people feel like you’re speaking directly to them and offering them unique content.

15) Develop a new product or service.

Maybe you have a business idea that has been on the back burner in recent years. Or maybe you’ve identified a product or service that would actually help people during or after the COVID-19 pandemic.

See what Heather Wilson has done to meet the current demand to use Facebook Groups to benefit businesses. He quickly created an online course called Create, Complete, and Engage Your Facebook Group.

16) Conduct competitive research.

Staying on top of what your competitors are doing to you is an incredible advantage, whether you’re running an established small business or developing a new product or service.

Spend some time now to better understand your competitors. How are their messages different from yours? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do they interact with their followers on social media?

17) Share the love.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to strengthen your most important relationships. Think about the people who are important to you (family, friends, clients, vendors, mentors, partners) and tell them what you appreciate most about them.

Stay engaged with customers and keep sales alive during COVID-19.

While the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and uncertain, let’s try to view these slow times for small businesses as an opportunity to think, review, and plan for future growth and success.

If you need help, we can help you design a landing page to help you transition and support your customers effectively right now. Together we will find ways to drive declining sales due to this unforeseen economic crisis.

We wish everyone health and safety during this unusual time.

To your success,

Susan

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