COVID-19 Marketing Tips For Small Businesses
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.
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!
The Top Equipment You’ll Need Before You Launch Your Landscaping Business
If you’re planning to start a landscaping business, you’re going to need the right equipment to get the job done. Investing in high-quality equipment is essential for ensuring that you can provide top-notch services to your clients. Many of the options in this list are a must to buy, while others can be rented out for the day or week, depending on how long you need them.
What’s critical is, of course, maintenance. Always get a shadow board and other storage units to go alongside these tools and equipment. This way, you can safely transport the necessary tools to the job and minimize injuries. Since there’s a place for everything, your workers can find what they need faster, there will be less damage overall, and you’ll look more professional.
So, keeping in mind you’ll need a way to store every item in this list, here are some essentials you’ll need to get started:
- Plant Tools
Some of the most important landscaping tools you’ll need are plant tools, but these come at exceptionally high prices. Don’t worry. There is no need to keep all the plant tools you’d need for every job on hand. Instead, rent it. By properly planning out the schedule, you can rent those specialist plant tools like excavators for a day or even a few weeks and incorporate that cost into your quote.
- Surveying Equipment
Surveying equipment is essential for any landscaping business. This equipment helps you accurately measure and plan landscaping projects, ensuring you get the job done right the first time. From measuring tapes and levels to a transit, several options will help you get the job done quickly.
- Cutting Tools
There are many different materials you’ll need to cut down to size, from metal to stone. To make precise cuts safely, you’ll need a range of professional cutting tools like handheld saws, circular saws, and reciprocating saws. In addition to these saws, you’ll also need to make sure you have all the PPE on hand to prevent workers from inhaling the dust or getting it into their eyes.
- Gardening Equipment
No landscaping business is complete without a selection of essential gardening tools like lawnmowers, shovels, rakes, or pruning shears. These tools are essential for planting, digging, and maintaining landscaping beds. Look for high-quality, durable hand tools that can withstand frequent use.
- Trailer or Truck
You’ll need a trailer or truck to transport all of your equipment to job sites. A trailer is a more affordable option, while a truck provides more storage and towing capacity. Look for models that are large enough to accommodate all of your equipment and durable enough to withstand frequent use.
- Safety Equipment
Finally, don’t forget about safety equipment. As a landscaping business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep yourself and your employees safe while on the job. This includes personal protective equipment, such as gloves, safety glasses, ear protection, and warning signs and cones for job sites.
What to Factor into Your Budget When Moving Your Business
Moving your business can be incredibly difficult, and it can put pressure on your business in several ways, especially on your finances. As such, if you are worried about how the move will affect your company’s bank account, here is what you should factor into your budget when moving your business.
Although you may not think that you will need storage because, in an ideal world, you would simply transport your supplies and equipment from one location to another, that is not always the case. So, if something is getting in the way of your being able to move your office supplies and equipment easily, you should consider investing in self-storage units. These units can enable you to have somewhere safe to store all your different pieces of equipment without them getting damaged or having to give up any of your prized office supplies. Therefore, if you have an overwhelming amount of equipment to move and want to do this gradually, you should make sure that a self-storage unit from a company like StorageArea.com is within your budget. Any spending that can make the move easier for you is a good use of your money.
Although you might be able to acquire spare boxes from your warehouse or get them off free online listings, if you want to keep your possessions safe, you will likely need to invest in some top-quality packaging materials. However, you should make sure that you only buy the packaging that you need and that you reuse any old packaging that you already have so that you can save money and care for the environment. This will cut your spending in the long run, though, as this will ensure that you will not have to pay out an extortionate amount to replace any supplies or equipment that have been lost or damaged in the move.
It is unlikely that you will be able to move all your office supplies and equipment in a car, especially if you want to transport these all at once. So, you should make sure that there is room to hire a moving van within your budget and that you set these funds aside. By hiring moving services, you will also be able to make the move simpler and quicker as the moving professionals that come with these services will be able to help you to pack and transport the items that you are keeping, as well as unload the van at your destination. You will then not have the hassle of moving all these office items yourself.
So, if you are about to move your business to a new location, there are many aspects that you might have forgotten but which are essential to include within your budget, from moving vans to packaging. You should also not forget expenses outside of the move itself, such as the need to provide employee relocation packages. This will ensure that you do not end up finding that your move is unaffordable for your company by the middle of the move.
How to Start an Ecommerce Business From Scratch
So you want to start an ecommerce business as a complete beginner but don’t know exactly how to go about it, right?
Read along to make sure you’re taking the right steps towards running a successful ecommerce business.
How to Find a Market you Can Sell to Online
”Amazing things will happen when you listen to the customer” – Jonathan Midenhall
You know why the internet is littered with corpses of over a billion failed ecommerce websites?
People are selling what others don’t want. Heck, many business owners hate working on their businesses.
Running a business is much an experience, a service and product, to you as it is to your customer. If you don’t have some sort of connection to your business that surpasses just making money for its sake, you won’t be strong enough to weather the storm of entrepreneurship that’s surely coming your way.
But don’t be scared, you have it in you to win, you just haven’t realized it yet. Doubt me? Okay see…
Your business could help provide extra income for you and your family in these unprecedented times. That connection and duty to serve your family, is the motivation you need. Passion for your business could be another connection to help you do what’s necessary to succeed. Being tired of being at another human being’s mercy could be it for you.
Let one of those emotional subjects drive you. With that said, find a hungry market. It’s simply a group of people that have a problem you can solve. It would be better if that service or product is connected to your hobby or passion. A hobbyist writer can offer content writing services to companies on the internet.
How to Find Products to Sell Online
As we discussed above, if your passions are aligned with the problems companies need online, then you could sell that as a service or product. Someone who likes woodworking, could sell crafts to wood enthusiasts through their ecommerce store or marketplace.
But services and products don’t have to be about writing and crafting. There are many ecommerce business models out there to explore and adopt. For example, the woodworker could decide to sell woodworking tools through affiliate partnerships to fellow woodworkers that follow him.
A writer could do the same, by selling tech writing tools to blog readers who are aspiring writers themselves. A software engineer could create a Software as a Service company to help make business processes easier for a certain industry eg Online Marketing (HubSpot)
And if you’re just passionate about commerce, you could use the numerous online marketplaces to buy products on the cheap on one platform and resell at a higher price on another. This is known as ecommerce arbitrage. You could also decide to dropship products through a website store of your own if you don’t want to deal with inventory.
How to Setup Your Website and Register Your Business
Depending on what type of ecommerce business you want to start, there are many ways to create and launch your website online.
If you’re more of a service provider and freelancer, go for websites that have the drag and drop feature for an easy experience.
Affiliate marketers and content creators should use something with a content management system that gives its users the most customization options. They just have to find good themes for an attractive website design.
Register your business as a corporation preferably a C corporation to take advantage of the tax benefits associated with such companies.
How to Run Profitable Sales and Marketing Campaigns
Once you have your website set up and your business registered, plan out a paid and/or organic marketing strategy.
Organic content marketing is best suited for affiliate marketers and store owners on a budget with free time on their hands. Freelancers can start cold pitching their prospects through email.
If you have funds and a stomach to lose a chunk of it before you actually make a profit, go with paid marketing strategies.
Another thing to consider is buying a small profitable ecommerce business on online marketplaces. You can bypass all the grunt work of starting a profitable business, and now have a system that works.
How to Iterate and Optimize Business Strategies
Business strategies and tactics will always change because the human condition is always changing. Keep tabs on marketing metrics and sales statistics to monitor the health of your business. Execute your ideas and watch to see what works. Then do more of what works while shutting down failed experiments.
Your Time Starts Now…
Don’t wait another minute, spend the next hour selecting your niche and a business model that suits you. And start setting up your website. Make an effort towards your ecommerce business everyday and soon you’ll have a successful one.
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