Business Staying Successful During the Coronavirus Pandemic

How Small Businesses Can Adapt to the New Normal

Starting a new business can be a great and rewarding task. It’s also a risk wrought with many challenges, even in normal circumstances. These extraordinary times pose new obstacles for SMEs due to various shelter-in-place orders and quarantine restrictions.

Social distancing and self-isolation are being encouraged. This moves customer traffic away from brick-and-mortar locations. Fortunately, modern technology and logistics give struggling businesses options to stay afloat. Here are seven ways to boost small business support and show business flexibility in these crazy times.

1. Ensure Best Practices for Infection Prevention

Put everyone at ease by training your staff to maintain sanitary conditions in the workplace, increase disinfectant use, and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when interacting with customers. Your loyal customers will appreciate the effort you put into infection control and keeping them safe. Your employees will also be grateful for receiving PPE. These measures will breed trust by showing customers and staff members that you genuinely care about their health.

2. Organize & Promote Contact-Free Delivery

Consider offering contact-free payment methods & delivery. Give customers the option to observe safe social distancing during delivery transactions. There are different methods your employees can politely suggest.

Payments can be completed online and parcels can be dropped off at doorsteps before ringing the doorbell. A chair can be set out for customers to place cash and receive their packages while maintaining ample social distance. If your small company cannot offer curbside or contact-free delivery, consider partnering with an existing delivery company or join an e-commerce website.

3. Offer Curbside Pickup & Contactless Services

Contact-free transactions at your store’s physical location can be achieved with curbside pickup. Get the message out fast about contactless orders.  This can be promoted heavily on your website’s Google listing and social media. This allows customers to order take out or any other product available at your store, then receive it outside without exiting their cars. Pedestrians and cyclists can also receive their orders via curbside pickup if they prefer to protect themselves by staying outdoors. Offer online payment or cash exchange with adequate social distancing for peace of mind.

4. Develop and Expand Your Online Business

In our modern-day society, many businesses have elements of an online business. However, now is the time to seriously upgrade.

  • Does your business permit online video calls or chats to conduct meetings for completing sales and orders?
  • Does your business have the ability to accept online payments with delivery/pickup services?
  • How effortless has it been for your customers to make transactions and payments quickly?
  • If your customers cannot order or make payments quickly online, what can you do now to improve customer experience, while speeding up the sales cycle process?
  • Are your customers fully aware of significant changes that you have made to improve upon their experience and purchasing processes?

Going online can effectively help you build a home-based business or maintain office operations with a skeleton workforce. You can also take this time to improve your company website, get into e-commerce business, and allow your customers to order online. Connect with your customers and keep them engaged through digital marketing and social media management.

5. Support Your Community

Many inspirational stories that have been making significant impacts on consumers today are of the good deeds of companies. SMEs can do their part to support communities, health workers, and other frontliners by donating in cash or kind. Morale within your small company can also be boosted through employee volunteering. Offer a promotion with part of the proceeds going to a worthy cause, send gifts to a hospital to support health workers, or use your resources to help make sure your neighbors’ needs are met.

6. Offer Gift Cards and Reservations for Later

Encourage customers to purchase your products or services, even if they cannot avail them in the meantime. Offering gift cards to enjoy at a later date will give you access to funds. How to make your small business grow during this period can be challenging, but you can still earn revenue even without visitors. You can also allow customers to make a downpayment for the reservation of limited, desirable goods which they will receive in the future. Promote this as a concrete way for people to support local businesses.

7. Support Other Small Businesses

Many SMEs around the world are in the same boat right now. It is a good time to unite and help support other small businesses. Refer your customers to patronize other struggling businesses, reach out to discuss ways to collaborate, offer partnered promotions, and even explore joint volunteer work or fundraising ideas. Working together can be a cost-effective small business marketing technique, and you will form valuable connections and relationships within your industry or community.

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