"This year in the US, there are 30.2 million small businesses" to that were unprepared for what 2020 had to offer. No one could've known that the transition into a new decade meant #stayingathome for an unknown period of time. The coronavirus pandemic caused both large and small businesses that were NOT deemed "essential", to relocate or close their doors to decrease the amount of spreading. You were fine if you were able to work remotely from home, but if your business required constant face to face and hands-on interaction with people to survive, it was subjected to the social distancing order that's having a huge financial effect on businesses worldwide.
If you are inspired to start your entrepreneurial journey this year, you need to understand the necessity of having an online presence and digital experience for your customers. This can help your business survive a pandemic. Going digital certainly has an undisputed amount of definitions and can mean a variety of things. In this case, I'm speaking in terms of rethinking how your customers are served and how you engage them on the internet. This article provides creative direction on different opportunities you have in the digital world that can give your customers access to you, your product or service, and keep them connected with your brand.
I'm a business professional.
Blog or launch a podcast to share your expertise. People like having access to experts. Your opportunities to evoke action in them are no longer limited to being "local". Make sure the info you provide when blogging or podcasting is relevant to your audience. Provide links to resources and always include a call to action. Remember your brand messaging and positioning and be mindful of your tone.
Create and host online seminars and conferences. Showing your face behind the brand is always a plus. Include visual slides that capture and keeps your audience's attention. Don't overwhelm them with information. Be mindful of their attention span, if it is not an interactive presentation.
Start an online group or forum. There's something about having access to a place where you know you can find all the answers you need about a specific topic. This is where you can learn the needs of your customers, collect data, and instantly connect!
Be Social. You've heard it before. Social media is important for every business in the future, regardless of your industry. Sharing information on any one of the platforms available to you, allows you to connect with more people. You don't have to conquer and post on them all. Just the platforms where your customers are. Make sure they know how to find you on your website and OFF these platforms because you do not own them. Your social media can be shut down instantly like the CDC recently did most small businesses.
I provide hair and beauty services.
Create a website. Do I need to emphasize having a website in 2020? The beauty industry generates over 500 billion in revenue and requires close contact to service customers. YOU NEED TO BE ONLINE! Your customers need to be able to access and learn about your business, view your work, read customer reviews and find what they are looking for.
Selling care and maintenance products. A social distancing order removes the physical access your customer has to you. No more face beats and hair on fleeks until further notice! Products for care and maintenance can create loyalty and keep clients connected with you. This is the perfect opportunity to create engagement and educate them more on social about the benefits of using your products. Use your social platforms and tell them why they need to experience your brand!
Masterclasses (aka digital products) and DIYs tutorials. Creating online classes helps generate income and people will pay to learn if they want to. Don't look at teaching your craft online as a way of losing money. Not everyone can do what you are gifted to do. Look at it more as a way of selling your expertise! Teach different techniques that are relevant to your services.
I make and sell food for a living.
Create a food ordering system. Providing a convenient and easy-to-use online ordering and delivery system can result in sales and help your business thrive online. This added service works as a backup when customers are unable to visit your establishment. With online ordering, Customers can track delivery, pay online, make a preorder, and more. This is an easy way to maintain customer relationships and limit close contact. If you are feeling generous, go the extra mile and create a rewards program for your loyal customers. They love free stuff!
I run a handmade or apparel business.
Invest in online ads to reach more customers. The handmade and apparel community should already understand the importance of selling online. The internet is a marketplace and using the proper tools to build brand awareness will help increase traffic to your online store and help drive sales.
2020 caught everyone by surprise and not in a good way. Small businesses have been forced to shut down by what seems to be the virus that changes how we do things in the future. If you are a wannabe entrepreneur who's ready to start, do your research first and take every step you need to make sure you can still generate income through physical or digital interaction with your customers. To the newbies and established entrepreneurs who were affected by the recent coronavirus pandemic, visit the Small Business Association for more information and guidance on receiving economic relief. To help your business survive any social distancing orders issued by our government, as a precautionary measurement to decrease the spreading of a pandemic, please remember that YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS TO BE ONLINE!
Looking forward to sharing more ways to help you be creative and generate sales for your business online!