24 Jun Business Survival in a post Covid-19 World
The last few months have been a very difficult period for business.
Covid-19 affected so many aspects of our lives, but none more prominent than everyday business life. To say that business has been disrupted, is an understatement of monumental proportions. What was normal, acceptable and common prior to the pandemic, is now anything but.
Businesses, especially small “mom and pop” ones, are closing at an alarming rate. Many of the owners, employees and even customers are left in their wake unfortunately clueless as to how they could have avoided shutting down completely.
So how do you, as a business owner who worked so hard for so long to build a business the way you believed would work, adjust and pivot to put in place new procedures that your customers and potential customers expect and want? The first thing you have to realize is that there IS a silver lining in this, just like any crisis that has ever beseeched mankind before. In every previous crisis, fortunes have been made. This one is no different.
But you must have the courage to move into new paths to prosperity. The old paths, the status quo’s so to speak, will NOT work. So with that, let’s delve into several areas where mostly every business can make adjustments to prosper….
Your Website and Online Presence
Gone are the days when just having a website will suffice. Through the years I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with potential clients who stated, in one form or another, the same phrase “I really don’t need a website, I just have one because it’s expected”. In today’s world, your website becomes the central part of your post Covid strategy.
As society grows more and more remotely oriented, your website should offer some way for people to interact with you without actually physically being present. If your a retailer, it MUST have online ordering in place, with the added feature of order curbside pickup or home delivery as an added desired feature. This also means attractive and professionally taken and edited photos of products. If your a service provider, you need to have a way to schedule video conferences with customers and prospects remotely. Using services like Zoom, Google Meetings, and Go To Meeting and doing so with some level of competence (i.e. how to share your screen, how to switch presenters, etc) is a must. There are hundreds of videos on YouTube that walk you through every step of conducting a successful online meeting. The smart business owner will use every resource at his/her disposal to orient their business to a successful remote online strategy.
You also must have your Google listings (Google My Business and Google Maps) up to date and complete with ALL the information relevant to your business. As prospective customers spend even more time online looking for goods and services, having these listings optimized becomes a necessity (especially for localized searches and voice activated searches using a GPS device). We offer several different levels of listing optimizations, each is designed to give your business online visibility.
You should utilize pictures and videos as much as possible online that represent your products or services. The fact that a business with a large number of online photos receives around 7 times the phone calls than one that doesn’t should tell you something….people look at and respond to pictures. They aren’t just visually appealing, they’re magnets to attract new customers.
If you have an offline presence, you need to of course have in place safety procedures for customers. Social distancing, masks, deep cleanings all add to giving people a level of confidence to frequent your place of business. It may be a good idea to hire a professional cleaning company that would come in on a regular basis and disinfect your facility.
Tying these procedures in with your online efforts would greatly increase their effectiveness in bringing in new customers. So you want to be sure to add them to all of your online efforts. The more people know what your doing to make them safe, the more confidence they will have to do business with you.
In conclusion, the best thing for a business to do is to step back and take a deep look into what they can change to make their business more attractive to their target market in today’s climate.
Better yet, have someone with no emotional ties to your business look at it from the outside looking in. They often will see things that you will miss simply because your too emotionally attached. That in itself, will be worth all the money you may have to invest in such a service, because often one idea is all it takes to move forward, instead of backward.
The later, is just a much more difficult pill to swallow.