Small Businesses are struggling to survive this pandemic. Some have already closed their doors unknowing if they will ever open them up again. When drastic things happen in our life, we have to adjust our sails for survival. This pandemic is no exception. Without money coming in, we have to think outside the box to stay relevant and also available for consumers. I am a small businesses owner with no real back up plan, so I get it. It is scary. But, with some adjustments and forward thinking we can get through this and save the business that everyone has worked so hard to build. Below are some of my tips and tactics that can be utilized across all business platforms and can be implemented into your business.
1. Virtual Business: Virtual tours are all the rage. Why not do it from your own store? Why not bring your business to the people? You have a captivated audience right now. Give them a takeaway. For example, if you own a boutique store, why not do virtual shopping? You could offer an exclusive opportunity for your regulars or even new customers to have a personal shopping experience. Through Facetime, Google Hangouts, or Zoom, you can have a virtual tour of your store to have a more intimate feel, rather than the customer just looking on your website. They never have to leave their home, but get the up-close experience of one-on-one shopping. You can highlight different features, trends, and deals for them to take advantage of. Having something to bring to the table whether it is a product, store, or brand will bring more awareness about your business. If you let people into your space, they feel more involved and more likely to support and come back.
2. Live Events: Social media is the biggest platform for your survival at the moment. Going Live on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter is the most popular ways to showcase who you are. Still being able to interact with your followers and customers builds the sense of community that comes with small businesses. You can be safely at your store or place of businesses and have events. You can do pop-up sales and discounts. You can create a community through your live events. It creates engagement and helps organically grow your brand and company. You could do interviews, price slashes, or new product releases. Another example might be a restaurant owner. Get in the kitchen and feature weekly specials, secret recipes, and offer discount on take-out items. People want a break from their kitchen and this is a great opportunity to give that to them. It gives a chance for people to experience food that they could never cook on their own, but want to learn how to. Give them something special so that they keep tuning in, and eventually be back in your stores/restaurants etc.
3. Community Connections: Cross promotions are a great way to connect with other local businesses. Joining forces helps boost sales, but it also lets you tap into their customers. For example, if you are a part of a bloody mary mix company, team up with a local vodka distillery to bring bloody mary’s to your home. Or, if you own a boutique clothing store, you could team up with a local stylist. If you spend more than $50 in the clothing store, it comes with a virtual styling session. Or, if you own a pizza restaurant, work with a local brewery to offer beer and pizza pairings. It is all about crossing over with companies for more exposure.
4. Online Shopping: It is also the time to make sure all your inventory is online. People still want to shop and they will, but you have to make it available for them. You can also have your inventory on your social media, so that they can buy directly off your social-media posts. Instagram and Facebook make it easy for you. You can now link your catalog directly straight to your Instagram and Facebook accounts. You can tag each photo that includes your items and the price. The consumer just has to click on the item in the post and it takes them to the purchase page of your website. Social media shopping is huge and easy for you to do right now from home.
5. Promotions: Social media and online promotions are the easiest way to get your brand and company to a vast amount of people in seconds. You do not have to spend a lot of money. A 20-dollar promotion can get you thousands of eyes on your post. You can promote your company, run a sale, or promote specific products. Online ads and promotions allow you to specifically target a audience. Take advantage of this time to focus on the demographics that fit your businesses and grow a quality audience.