For small businesses, this is a very scary time as we are all faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus has forced many businesses to close, while others have lost a higher percentage of their customers, with most reduced to either a 100% remote workforce and/or skeleton crews.
Also, if you are like some working parents, you now have to homeschool your children along with working from home. That means you may spend your days teaching your kids first-grade theater, gym, music, reading, writing, and math while also needing to keep your 5-year-old preschool son busy with activities. Of course, there is also laundry, cleaning, dishes, and cooking to take care of. So there isn’t a lot of time left for work.
It is a complete nightmare!
So that is the bad news.
However, let’s discuss the good news as well.
The good news here is this is a unique opportunity as well that only comes around once in our lifetimes. Think of this as an opportunity for investing in Facebook or Google when no one had ever heard of these companies. Knowing what you know today, it would have been obvious to invest in either Facebook or Google. However, it was scary when they initially launched since they were in uncharted territory.
I believe we are in a similar situation today. A lot can be gained by staying focused on the future rather than getting caught up too much in all of the negative that the media is circulating.
The pandemic for many small businesses could be the end for them – literally. However, if your business is not immediately at risk of having to shut down for good, then this could be a chance that you don’t want to let slip by– getting to know the different marketing strategies for your small business.
The following are some useful marketing tips to help you succeed during this global pandemic.
Tip 1: Reallocate and Reassess Your Marketing Budget
Small business growth specialists at Max Funding say, “trade shows are obviously not an option during the COVID-19 pandemic.” They suggest, “if you had plans to invest a certain amount of money into trade shows or other types of in-person events, divert this money elsewhere, like into digital marketing efforts.”
For example, some clients have reduced or paused their Google Ads or other online advertising and moved their money to search engine optimisation. That way, they can improve their organic rankings that can help them pass the competition after the pandemic is over. So if you have shut down your ads but you can afford to keep investing in marketing, I strongly recommend that you reallocate your funds to making improvements to your search rankings. That investment can provide you with a very strong return after business has returned to normal.
Tip 2: If Possible, Invest In Marketing
A lot of your competitors are easing up on the marketing pedal right now. That means you might be able to pass them by! View this as the hare resting while leading the race which allows the tortoise to put in consistent effort and ultimately win. Keep your foot on that pedal!
I do understand that many businesses cannot afford to invest after losing so much revenue recently, so just skip this tip if that is the case. However, this could be the most important takeaway in this article for everyone else. This is the time to invest more money into your marketing and not less. That is how you can achieve a competitive advantage during the months and years ahead.
Tip 3: Focus on Your Current Customers
Ask yourself: Is it good to focus on customer retention marketing or customer acquisition marketing?
During this pandemic, however, it is still a good reminder that marketing to existing customers is much less expensive and easier compared to trying to acquire new customers.You need to consider what you can do to help your current customers. Could you offer additional services or products? Could you speed your delivery up for an extra fee? Could you sell more by offering bulk discounts? Could you enhance your service or product by partnering with another business?
Tip 4: Make Changes To Your Delivery Method
If you own a brick-and-mortar business and cannot see patients or customers in-person right now, then you need to see if you can find other ways to set appointments, generate leads, and generate revenue.
The following are some ways that you might be able to changes to your delivery methods during the time of the pandemic:
Orthodontists and dentists can offer to give virtual consultations rather than in-person ones. The same is true for other kinds of professionals such as financial advisors.
Local retailers could offer to deliver their products to customers rather than people needing to shop at their stores.
Spas could promote their products rather than their services since they cannot see clients in-person right now.
Other businesses could offer discounts for up-front payments. For instance, restaurants in my area are offering “bonds.” Customers are able to pay $75 to receive $100 worth of food after the restaurant has reopened. Businesses could offer discounted gift certificates and other similar discounts or deals.
Finally, Try Your Best to Enjoy the Ride!
As previously mentioned, being a small business right now is scary. However, you can still believe that your business will be healthier and stronger than ever after this is over. Try every day to enjoy the ride as much as possible. This is definitely a unique time in our history. Take the time to take this in. In the meantime, stay at home and stay safe!