This is a crazy time of uncertainty that we are facing. I know already small businesses including my own; have been hit by the pandemic.
Things will happen that are out of your control but as the book “The Obstacle in the Way” by Ryan Holiday says:
“Great individuals, like great companies, find a way to transform weakness into strength.”
Now is the time to take a step back and see this obstacle or set back, as a temporary setback, and if you can, you can turn it into an advantage for your business.
God knows we’d all love to own the business Zoom right now, as everyone is working remotely and meetings are being taken online; their new subscribers must be soaring!
But we can find opportunities in our own businesses. So let’s get started with these 10 tips…
1. Find alternative ways to deliver your service
If you have a professional services company this is great, as you can deliver all your meetings, coaching or workshops online via video conferencing. So you can ride out the storm that way.
But if you are a business such as a beautician, Physio, Chiropractor, personal trainer, gym, hair dresser, mechanic or a restaurant you will need to be creative.
So if you offer a beauty business or health business why not offer to do home visits, for those who are healthy, and are scared to come to your clinic. You won’t be able to see as many clients but it will still bring you in some revenue.
Obviously you need to be safe and ensure that you are going into a safe place for your health and that the client is fit and healthy and hasn’t travelled overseas recently.
I can see already PT’s, gyms and yoga studios jumping online to offer classes to their clients in the comfort of their own home, which has been great to see.
If you own a cafe or restaurant, you could offer home delivery. People still need to eat and drink. I am sure the off licenses/bottle shops are doing a roaring trade right now!
2. Decrease the expenses involved in running your business
In the past week I have lost two clients with digital marketing services being put on hold, so I had to jump into my monthly expenses involved in running my business, to see where I could cut things or put things on hold. So look at the following:
- Business insurance
- Tools that you are using to run your business etc.
- Ongoing monthly commitments that could be paused
Which of the above kind of items are you using in your business and can you cull any of them temporarily or for good? I managed to get my expenses in half by going through this exercise.
I will re-start some of the tools etc. after we get through this lean period. So this can just be a temporary measure to ride through this period.
3. Review your website
Many small businesses set and forget their website. However your website should be constantly improving, changing and evolving. Customer experience is key. Have you looked at your Google Analytics lately to see what your bounce rate is?
My hovers at 3% I am proud to say! You want to aim for approximately 50% so if it’s hugely above this start looking at reasons why. What’s the average time spent on your website? You can use a tool such as Hotjar to do a heat map on your website to see where your website visitors or spending most of their time on each page of your website.
The more quality video content you have on your website, the better, as this will increase your website dwell time, which Google favours in search engine results.
So look at your website, is there any images that need to be updated, copy that needs to be re-written and even if all the services are still relevant.
And from a user experience point of view ask yourself if it’s easy to identify:
- What you do
- Who you help
- How do you help
- And what’s your CTA – what do you want potential clients to do on your website?
If you have a WordPress website make sure your plugins and theme are up to date. Do you have a way to capture email addresses on your website with a free tool or quiz? You can use a tool such as Code Canyon to help you with this.
4. Update your blogs
If you have been in business for a couple of years, your blogs that you published two or three years ago will need to be updated.
Update the images, the industry information any links or is all the information in the blog still true and relevant? Re-publish the blog with a date in the present.
Google wants to rank recent content so it will favour new blogs over old.
Make sure you have done your keyword research too and pick a focus keyword for each blog using Google Auto-suggest or Ubersuggest.
Or if you don’t have a blog start one!
5. Social Media
I can see already small businesses banding together in an act of solidarity on social media. So make sure you keep on putting out content that is valuable, educates and adds value during this difficult time.
How can you add value to your community and stay consistent during this period? Well keep showing up; engage with all of your comments and followers. Engage on other people’s content. Encourage your community.
Keep sharing videos, images and insights. Stay top of mind and social media is a great tool to huddle in closer to your community and help them through this period. Some content ideas:
- Videos sharing educational tips in your area of expertise
- Behind the scenes Insta stories – be real how is the pandemic affecting your business?
- Share your useful and insightful blogs
- Share your free tools
- How are you getting involved in the pandemic are you giving back in any way, how are you helping your customers?
Be real and raw that’s what people want to see!
6. Local SEO
We will get through this pandemic and people are still seeking solutions on Google. So make sure your local SEO is on point, so that local businesses are still finding your products and services in Google.
On your Google My Business page:
- Is all if your info sections completed?
- Have you featured your focus keywords in each of your services?
- Have you added your services under the info section?
- Do you need to update your opening hours?
- Keep sharing posts and photos to your Google My Business page
- Ask your customers for Google Reviews
Google My Business is such a great tool, and it gives you free real estate on Google so if you haven’t already set up your page head to business.google.com and follow the steps to set up your page.
Always stay on top of your focus keywords and identify where you rank for each keyword.
Tip – Do this in a Google Incognito window. So right click on the Google Chrome icon on your desktop and then from the list select – New Incognito Window – Type in Google.com.au in there and then search for your business type e.g. Marketing consultant, and this will show you true results of how you actually rank.
7. Email Marketing
Keep up your regular communication to your email community. It’s business as usual.
Find ways to grow your email list. Maybe release a series of educational videos via email, for free during this period. Offer a free tool such as an eBook or checklist.
Also it could be time to tidy up and segment you email list, so use this time to do that.
Go back through past campaigns, and see what types of emails have received the highest open rates and look at the reasons why and replicate what has worked, in future email campaigns.
8. Online Community
If you have a Facebook group such as this one that I run: Marketing School Community, make sure you are staying active in the group:
- Keep delivering
- Keep problem solving
- Keep helping
- Keep supporting
- Keep showing up.
Your community need you now more than ever. And it’s a great safe place for your customers or community to ask questions about their business or your business, and voice their concerns.
Keep it as a friendly supportive place, and your community will thank you for it.
9. Update your processes
I know I will be using this quieter time in business to start creating a whole load of documented processes for business.
It’s so important to get everything out of your head and onto paper so that if you ever sell the business, or are sick, someone else can step in and perform the tasks.
You can type your processes, or you can film them as a Loom video for example. Whatever works for you or it could be a combination of both.
10. Read, learn and exercise
Use this time in your business to finish a course you have been taking, or to take a new free online course to up skill in your industry.
Read as much as you can, industry blogs, and books. Soak up that knowledge.
And also get out and enjoy the fresh air, while you can, and exercise daily and have some downtime to just be quite and reflect in amongst all this madness.
Avoid the news where possible as it can send you into a spiral of worry. I know I am now limiting what I watch as I was getting really scared and overwhelmed with it all!
I am here to support you so reach out if you need anything, and together we will get through this.