The COVID-19 small business effects around the world are devastating. There are fears from accountants and bankruptcy agencies around the globe that they should be bracing themselves for the largest wave of bankruptcies ever recorded once quarantine has been lifted.
However, there is hope for these entrepreneurs if they act now and not wait to see what fate will dole out to them once the new normal arrives.
Self employed small business owners all over the world are chomping at the bit to get back to business.
The best thing that you can do in this Covid-19 small business environment right now is not to be concerned with what business will look like tomorrow; be concerned about your customers today!
The key to marketing in a crisis is to make sure that your customer is the king!!
Your customer is the most valuable asset to your business and you need to treat them that way.
How do you do that?
Well, you do that by keeping in touch with them whether they’re in a position to buy what you’re selling or not.
The truth is that during this time you need your business to become a regular “giver”.
The reason that you’re doing this regularly is that you’ve got to solidify your market position in people’s minds.
If you are the kind of person who does ‘Facebook Lives’, now’s the time for you to be doing Facebook Lives every day.
If you are a blogger, now’s the time to be blogging.
Now is the time to be writing emails… be as creative as you can.
Now is the time to make your customers feel special.
DO NOT EXPECT to be making sales on a regular basis at the moment but recognise that this can happen now and in the future by communicating with your customers and making them feel appreciated.
In your messages you should be educating, and in so doing, providing value that solidifies your market position in people’s minds.
If you can, this is most effective with email, but you can support it with blogs and on social media.
I recommend that if possible, you don’t depend on social media alone.
Just because you have a social media following does not mean you have a list that is engaged, and the people on social media can often be no more loyal to you than they are to a cat.
They may have ‘liked’ your page but It doesn’t mean they’re loyal to you.
It doesn’t mean they’re going to be loyal customers.
If possible, make sure that social media is your backup and not your primary method of connecting with customers.
If you can do Direct Mail then consider this as can be very effective for offline businesses.
We continue to speak about Market Share. That is what this is all about.
If you can use these marketing ideas to get in front of your loyal customers and potential customers every day, without being aggressive or opportunistic, providing valuable content to them, then you are on the right track.
What questions do your customers have that you can provide answers to?
One current “hot” method of communicating with your customers is through “Facebook Live’s”so if you have been waiting for a time to do one, now is the time.
Start emailing your lIst regularly whether you have 20 or 200,000 in your list.
Being proactive in this way is much better than rolling over and just waiting for the crisis to end.
And you don’t want to give your competitors an edge either.
You need to know as much about your existing customers as you can…what they’re purchasing and what they’ve already purchased.
This could take some work on your part but time is available to you through this crisis, so dig into previous records and find out what they have previously purchased.
For your existing customers, you will want to think through what they may want or need based on what they already have of yours. Do they know everything that you have to offer? What assumptions are you making that might be wrong?
The easiest sale to make is to someone who has already purchased from you.
If you are a service business such as a plumber, electrician, or carpet cleaner, for example, remind your existing customers of all the products/services that you offer.
Create a short video describing something unique or different about your business. What is it that separates you from your competitors?
Trades people have been given a bad rap so to speak. In a recent survey, it was noted that the biggest customer complaint was that they are often late and leave the place in a mess.
As a point of differentiation, you may want to offer a guarantee that you will be on time and leave the place clean and tidy or your money back.
This will take some thought but it will be worth it if you’re in regular contact with your customer base.
A huge benefit of Covid-19 for many small businesses is that you have extra time to work on your business. Put that time to good use.
Sometime in the future weeks and months, there will be a “normal“ or I guess you can call it a “new normal” that will probably look different to today or yesterday.
Your business may be at risk at the present time, but if you are proactive with your attitude and your time right now, you can help yourself position your business to survive and thrive.
But you must act now! Follow the tips given above and you will feel much better. Instead of just wondering about tomorrow, you will be creating your business of tomorrow…TODAY!
For some more information, check out the Sales and marketing information in the Small Business manifesto on this site.
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