Businesses globally and locally are quickly realizing how important it is to have an online presence during the COVID-19 pandemic and making changes by adjusting their operations. By leveraging remote work and digital solutions such as meeting software like Zoom, generally, smooth operations can continue. The companies that have fallen short and have not had any online presence are sadly becoming obsolete, with no idea how to navigate this digital realm. Some may have already closed their doors for good. Although it is heartbreaking to see some businesses die, remaining optimistic and readjusting future business models can resurrect that idea in the future. By acting now, a small business owner can start learning how to best use technology and offering solutions to their client base. Do not lose faith in your local mom & pop shop; they will come back, to have a business; you have to have a backbone and resilience like no other. It is imperative to remain sensitive and optimistic. At the same time, we navigate through this panic and what seems to be all negative media, even if it has impacted your business as well. Here are some practical tips on how to best address this COVID-19 as a business owner using your current online presence and survive this together:

Be Sensitive of your Communications On Social Media

Since the pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in user activity and engagement on all relevant social media platforms. Many of you wake each morning to get your news and updates on Facebook or Linkedin and live coverage. The beautiful part of this social isolation is that you have the time to create connections, building a network of trust, and in a way, camaraderie. Although the natural thing to, during this time, is to engage in debates about COVID-19, it is not wise to do so, even if you feel strongly about your opinion. It can become a negative interaction and potentially ruin a business opportunity. Leveraging this precious time to make positive connections, providing solutions, and being a beacon of hope, will take you further once this pandemic is over. Learning how to work virtually will help you navigate through this period; click here for help on learning how to work remotely. This, too, shall pass. It always does. Our ancestors have witnessed much adversity and came back stronger; this shall be your confidence while we persevere. Remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel and provide your audience with hope and solidarity, not making light of the situation, but being emotionally intelligent and sensitive with communications will yield better results and quality business connections in the future.

Understanding that Your Marketing Campaigns Should Be Thoughtful 

With so much strategic planning that goes into building a great marketing campaign, it is hard to have self-control and put some initiatives on hold and think outside of the box. If you are not flexible with your marketing campaign and making adjustments to the relevant situation, you are not providing customers excellent service. It is essential to rethink your strategy, put some initiatives on hold, and soften your sales initiatives. Not cutting out advertising or marketing entirely, but being thoughtful of how you can adequately empathize and offer solutions instead of hard selling. By shifting strategies, but not stopping your efforts, you encourage others to feel that that this devastation is temporary. We see the best companies offering discounts, free services, payment plans, and zero delivery fees; those companies are being thoughtful and wise during this COVID-19 pandemic, fostering customer loyalty and building a dedicated fan base for the future.

Announce on all Platforms Effect of COVID-19 on Your Industry

It is essential to maintain business continuity during this unpredictable time. Companies that already had an online presence online and authority ranking and e-commerce abilities can keep their businesses afloat. We see that the majority of industries impacted are customer-facing, with lots of restaurants and retail shops, bars, and events center temporarily shutting doors. This time is necessary to announce the effects that COVID-19 and be transparent with the current state of your business and offer solutions or updates on operations. Posting updates online, a banner at the top of your website, or an email would help alleviate panic and provide comfort to your customers. Don’t leave them hanging, be as open as possible; they will want to support your business during this time. Being proactive and informing your customer of changes before the customer visits your location will provide excellent customer service, and keep the customer informed.

Provide Support to Other Businesses 

No matter the industry you are in – most businesses are impacted negatively during this pandemic. Many small businesses are currently seeking loans to help cover their overhead and pay their employees, if you need relief – visit SBA to see if you qualify for a grant or loan. The strength of the internet has helped communicate their needs, and we should help each other out as best as we can! During this challenging time, we can come together as a community and support each other, little by little, until we all get ahead again. We’re in this together, and together, we will come out stronger!