So many small to medium businesses are going broke right now because of the COVID19 lockdown. All companies are paying rent, power, wages and paying back interest on loans used to purchase inventory, fittings and more, and the end is not yet in sight.
Assuming you have not made the decision to close your business, I wonder if you are keeping in touch with your customers. This is very important because people do business with people, and while everyone is suffering, your customers also want you to stay in business, both as people and members of the community, and also because they want your goods and services. Local business is important.
Do you have a social media page? If you do, post daily. If you don’t, then now is a great time to set one up. Facebook is probably the best place to start. Don’t know how? Do you have a teenager in the family? They would love to do it for you.
Also make use of your community pages. Not for selling, but to communicate and develop relationships. Post and look for replies, comments and questions. Answer them promptly.
If you just close your doors and wait, doing nothing more, you are missing an important opportunity to relate to your customers and keep our business in the forefront of their minds. You will be on the back foot.
I recommend you tell stories about your business, why you are in business, how you are preparing to come back, perhaps what you and your family are doing during the lockdown, or what your staff are doing. How are you helping them?
What will your business look like when you come back? Are you in the food business? What are your stocks going to look like, will you have everything as usual? What are you going to do with pricing? Will you have a welcome back sale or will you put prices up? Have you thought about a loyalty program?
Are you in the restaurant business? Are you going to do deliveries? If you haven’t done them before, how will your customers know? It’s fine if you are using a service like Uber Eats, but can you afford the premium? Can your customers, many of whom are not being paid, afford the premium?
How are you going to keep you and your customers safe when you reopen? Will you restrict the number of people coming into the store at any time? How? Will you have a real time social media presence? You could let people know what is going on, you could talk about your products and how they can be used?
How do you tell your stories? I recommend that you write as though you are talking to your customers, as friends. Post on social media regularly. Tell them interesting things about your products and services. You probably got into business because of a passion and interest. When things are busy, you don’t have the time to do these sorts of things. Now you do.
If you do this, people will feel so much closer to you when your doors reopen. They will want to do business with you. Your business can pick up more quickly if you are in touch with your customers.
Don’t know how to tell stories? Of course you do, you do it all the time, you just have to write them down, or you could video yourself. If you are really stuck, employ someone like me as a casual copywriter to write them for you, then all you need to do is post them. I can coach you as you go. I’m a small business too, but I have that experience.