5 strategies to promote small business development during the coronavirus
- 1 5 strategies to promote small business development during the coronavirus
Many small businesses are suffering from the economic and even social impact of the coronavirus. The key to survival may lie in adjusting your business practices, channels or models. In June, the American Chamber of Commerce Report One-fifth of the small businesses surveyed have closed, whether temporarily (19%) or permanent (1%). Their survey shows that more than 80% of small businesses have made, are making, or plan to make changes in response to the pandemic. Here are some suggestions on how small businesses can adapt-operate better or at least remain partially open to a new future.
1. Go online for e-commerce (or simplify business activities)
Companies with online businesses, especially those that have already conducted virtual operations, already have an advantage in maintaining openness. However, even if your business is a local brick-and-mortar store with a basic website or an underutilized website, there are many ways to do more and upgrade quickly.
Build a virtual store. If you don’t have an online ordering service on your website, you can get many e-commerce platforms from third-party vendors.
- Digital market giant Alibaba has launched a new set of e-commerce tools, including Tmall’s Super consumption growth accelerator Plan to help small American businesses struggling with the coronavirus outbreak.
- Shopify, WayFair, Big businessAnd other major platforms also allow you to easily sell your products online.
- Other smaller online markets, such as Bonanza Etsy and Etsy are popular with artisans and other niche sellers looking for alternatives (or supplements) to Amazon and eBay.
Localize your online image. If you are new to e-commerce, instead of trying to do business on a global scale or competing with others on Amazon and eBay, consider localization. Consider methods that can focus on customers within a 10-20 mile radius. For example:
- Provide free local delivery service within your radius.
- Use your online store to arrange curbside pickup.
- Display your products by using extended window displays, such as exquisite real-size catalogs or vending machines, displaying clear product codes and prices, so that customers passing by can use their smartphones (or send emails during off hours) to purchase Merchandise can be delivered on the roadside, thus embracing window shopping.
- Add or highlight locally sourced products that are of interest to your community, from small-batch local food and beverage producers to sports or community-branded clothing in your hometown.
- Use signage and social media to promote your small business to attract your neighbors’ pride in supporting the local store.
- Set up virtual tip jars to help support waiters, bartenders, or other service staff who are on vacation or laid off.
2. Listen to your customers and meet their needs
Now more important than ever is to deepen loyalty to existing customers. It is also important to actively listen and adapt to their needs.
- Use customer feedback surveys online via email or social channels. Customers can provide you with valuable insights about your business and products that you may not have noticed.
- Dig and view your data, including your knowledge of customers, sales, and marketing. Be honest about which actions you know are effective and which are not, and create a profile for your best customers.
- Look for customer reviews, photos, and stories that you can share on social media to increase trust, audience, and engagement.
- Provide new services or products that are expected to peak in demand, such as viral niche products or newly passed laws that require you to provide services (such as legal or construction assistance).
3. Talk to your team
Your employees are not just your employees; they can be an important resource for business ideas. Face with them the challenges you face, any necessary staff changes, and your plans. This is especially important for safety precautions, immediate changes (such as social distancing), and your plans or need to adjust business processes or models. Ask your employees for comments, such as:
- Suggestions for new strategies, products or business opportunities.
- They may have hidden auxiliary expertise or talents, such as in art or marketing or even music, they may provide help to transform or differentiate your business.
- Can take on different roles (including local delivery) or work flexibly or extend working hours.
4. Collaborate with other companies or brainstorm ideas
Not only are you with your neighboring small businesses, but you may also have other business partners (existing or potential) who may be able to help you and each other through innovative sharing of primary or secondary skills and resources.
- Find ways to use your supply chain or partners to solve the shortage of items or services that are difficult to find in your area.
- Consider negotiating with local delivery, courier and even taxi companies to help you provide or meet your home delivery needs.
- Ask your large partners, such as technology companies, whether they can help you adapt to the new normal by acting as consultants for your business or marketing or even customer data analysis. Some organizations that cannot help financially may still be able to provide free advice or even guide courses.
- Cooperate with other small business owners to develop value-added packages, co-marketing or cross-promotion plans.
- If you are a restaurant that needs more space, especially when dining outdoors, talk to the owners of nearby shops or parking lots that are blocked to see if their area can be used as customer seating.
5. Diversify, adapt and add business models
Sometimes, transformation may actually require doing something about your business that you have never considered before. This includes expanding your services or products. Although due to COVID-19, local laws may reduce or even limit the flow of people in your business premises, there may be other ways to use your space and employees to generate income.
- Turn your restaurant into a market.In Atlanta, a Several restaurants It has been transformed into a temporary market. By repacking bulk commodities such as rice and flour, dry goods, and even tissues and toilet paper, these commodities can be ordered online or delivered by non-contact car-side delivery from the new “menu”.
- Real-time online courses or production videos that teach skills that your business is proud of, whether it’s cooking classes, taekwondo exercises, self-styling hair and beauty skills, or even virtual professional services from accounting to consulting.
- Extend business hours, eat or shop-or provide 24/7 customer service over the phone or online. This is a competitive way to build loyalty and serve more customers when space is limited.
- Become a convenient place for your community to accept delivery. You can work with Amazon to become an Amazon hub, providing Amazon lockers for self-service pickup or using your own kiosks and employees.
Take advantage of this time to evolve
Many companies now face the choice of closing or changing. Many of these changes may prove to be more than temporary. However, your agility to deal with this crisis, although unexpected, can help you master the skills and strategies to deal with whatever happens next.
Disclaimer: Fundbox and its affiliates do not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This content is for reference only and is not intended to provide and should not be used as a basis for financial, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your financial, legal or accounting advisers before making any transactions.