Your Business and COVID-19
Now is the time to build your online presence.
These are scary times. Businesses will fail because of COVID-19. None of us thought we'd see something like this.
Two weeks ago, folks treated this type of response like an overreaction. And now we're inside. Quarantined. Schools closed their doors. Churches canceled services. And some communities closed bars and restaurants.
At the CDC's recommendation, folks canceled in-person events that consist of 50 people or more in the next 8 weeks.
For many of us, last weekend was the last weekend out for a while.
This hits small businesses especially hard. I know. I am a small business.
And I meet with small business owners every day. They're panicked - for good reason! People won't shop in their stores during a pandemic. People won't eat in restaurants during the quarantine. And because we're flattening the curve - and it's super important that we do, this is going to go on for a while.
If you don't have an online presence, it's time to establish one - if you want any chance of surviving this. If you already have an online presence, time to ramp it up.
Here's why -
First of all, COVID-19 is not a computer virus and it can only spread through person to person contact.
Are you done rolling your eyes yet? Good. Because here's the thing. Businesses that have an established and well known online presence will continue to do business online. In fact, they're going to see an increase in business as people avoid going to stores.
If you start blogging today, you remind customers that you're still here. Send them messages about how you're mitigating infections, offer gift certificates or curb-side pick up of goods. If it makes sense, you can set up an online store so folks don't have to visit you in person. Even if you don't carry the basic essentials.
People stress shop during times like these.
I know it seems like a lot to think about and a lot of work. But I can help with that.
Set yourself up as a community builder. Do something useful. Offer your place of business as a drop site for basic necessities. Make deliveries if you're healthy.
Entertain people. Things are pretty grim right now, and people need a pick-me-up. You might be just the person to make them smile. Write an inspiring story or share a funny anecdote. Create some memes. Share some photos. Make a video.
Be the ideas person. As you know, this pandemic disrupted everyone's lives. Kids are alive and well but they're home from school - indefinitely. Folks homeschool now. Even folks like me who shouldn't homeschool. How do we cope? As a business, offer ideas to folks who are stuck at home. They can be anything from homeschooling ideas for parents whose kids are home with them to book recommendations to home exercise ideas.
You may be stuck at home too. Share what you're doing to survive.
Be the connection. Send community news updates. Give updates on how you are doing and share how other community members are coping. Focus on topics that fall outside of the mainstream news cycle. Invite folks to a video conference so people still feel connected while under quarantine.
Be the online destination. Set up your online store. Even if it seems overwhelming. People are looking for stuff to do - and shopping might be one of those things.
Be present on social media. It's time. Complement your website with social media presence. You can even use your existing content for social media posts. During isolation, folks will rely on social media to stay connected. And if you're on social media too, folks will find you.
I can help with all of this.
We live in interesting times. Ideas for establishing online presence abound. And if the last few days have taught us anything - you can't afford not to establish your online presence.
If you're interested in setting up a blog so that you can reach your customers during the quarantine, send me a message. I can get you set up quickly and without an in-person meeting. And if this ever happens again - you won't have to worry about your business. Shoot me an email and let's talk.
Take care, stay safe and...