The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the economy and placed many businesses into difficult situations. In particular, small businesses with less access to resources and long-term savings are even more vulnerable.
Results from the U.S Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey indicate that 51.4% of small businesses have experienced a large negative effect from COVID-19. This overwhelming statistic points towards a six month timeframe for businesses to return to normal—a time that most cannot afford to wait. Due to the unpredictable nature surrounding the modern business climate, we are providing a list of tips to help your small business succeed during the pandemic.
Understand Your Consumer’s New Buying Habits
A recent gradual shift towards online and digital sales has accelerated over safety concerns surrounding the virus. Meaning, in-person shopping may never fully recover. Now more than ever, it is crucial to invest in online shopping, curbside pickup, and other technologies to improve the customer’s digital experience. While doing this, make sure to stay true to the brand identity that loyal customers have come to know and love.
In the face of our own struggles, it can be easy to forget that the local community—your shoppers—are hurting as well. They still care about your business; they just might not have the means to support it at the moment.
They are also stuck at home consuming more content than ever before, which is why now is the time to focus on quality over quantity in terms of your messaging. Striking the right tone will strengthen the community bonds and set your business up for loyalty and success going forward. Customers will be able to tell and appreciate when you are genuine with your message.
Think Carefully About Your Marketing Budget
Now may seem like the time to slash the budget, but marketing is an essential part of any successful business’s strategy for growth. How will new customers reach you without being exposed to your brand?
While now may not be the time to splurge on a television advertisement, it is still important to maintain your marketing presence. There are a variety of low cost and efficient ways to accomplish just that. Social media and email are two examples of low-cost mediums that provide a way for your business to engage with your audience at a time when authenticity is key.
Small Business Shoutout
My Sister’s Closet is a local non profit organization here in Bloomington, IN. Like many small businesses they have been hit hard by this pandemic. However, they have been working hard to combat it with a few of the tips we have talked about! My Sister’s Closet took this time to really focus on their E-Commerce presence, growing it greatly and helping adjust to the changing needs of customers both locally and nationally. It has also focused on advertising the safety measures of UV lights and steaming processes so customers and employees know that their experience there is a safe one. They have also switched their focus towards digital marketing through Instagram and Facebook. Follow them for updates and volunteer opportunities at My Sister’s Closet Bloomington on Facebook and @mysistersclosetin on Instagram!