The Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has had an unprecedented impact on small businesses across America. Supply chain, operational, and health challenges have popped up daily and every business owner is asking themselves: How can I stay open? How long will this last? What options do I have? No one can say for certain when the COVID-19 pandemic will end, but there are absolutely ways that small businesses can find success during these extraordinary times. Here are 6 ways locally owned businesses are succeeding during COVID-19.
1) Communication with Customer is Key
Businesses who communicate with their customers are staying top-of-mind. And, in a world that lives day-to-day, being recent is amongst the most valuable competitive advantages. Send your database of clients emails & texts letting them know you are if your business is open, how they can shop online, and any special deals you’re able to provide. Then, reinforce your existence with social media posts and testimonials to inform your customers of everything they need to know about your business.
2) Carry-out, Delivery, Contactless Availability
Is your business offering Carry-out & Curbside Pickup, Delivery, or Contactless services? Should you be? In addition to staying open with carry-out & curbside pickup available, there are dozens of 3rd party delivery services to provide meal and product deliveries (Waitr, Doordash, Postmates, etc). Signing up for these services is quick and will increase your business exposure to these 3rd party service’s existing users.
What about contactless services? If possible, can you and your team avoid touching the same items as your customers? Are your deliveries being left at customers doors to mitigate face-to-face communication? Can your stop provide by-appointment availability? These are just a few ideas of contactless services your business can adopt to maintain safe distances and exemplary hygiene.
3) Promote Good Hygiene
Hygiene is one of the reasons the Coronavirus has spread so quickly. Wash your hands often, keep them away from your face, and know what symptoms to look out for (coughing, fever, lack of smell, body ache). Publishing these reminders at your shop, across social media, and when engaging with customers. This is not only helpful to combating COVID-19s spread, but it also tells your customers how committed you are to their safety as much as your own.
4) Grant Flexible Work Arrangements
These are extraordinary times and truly, we are ALL #inthistogether. Patients and kindness are our two of the most powerful weapons against COVID-19. Having an empathic heart and mind to your employees and their situations will win you their loyalty and the communities. Speak with your team and let them know how your business is responding to COVID-19 and why. The more kindness you show to your team, the greater likelihood of retribution down the line.
5) Consider Financial Options
On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses. The 2020 CARES Act has two key programs that are designed to help every local business and you can apply today. The Small Business Association has become a driving force politically with the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program quickly becoming the go-to resource for small business capital infusion, loans, and loan forgiveness plans.
6) Adjust to the new “Normal”
We know that social distance has had a positive effect in combating the spread of the novel coronavirus. Until a vaccine exists or the majority of the population has recovered from COVID-19 to contain antibodies, social distancing is the new “normal.” Businesses that have adjusted to operating in this extraordinary landscape have already set themselves up for success in the post-COVID-19 era. Using digital communication and clear customer communication, thousands of businesses are seizing opportunities of the time to succeed.
The economic devastation of COVID-19 is going to leave an impact. How you and your business navigate these extraordinary times will determine not only your immediate success, but also how well-positioned your business and employees will be when shelter-in-place mandates are lifted and communities return to their new expectation of “normal.”
Want to get new customers and keep them coming back? Talk to a Local Business Growth expert from Towny and learn how.