Let’s face it: COVID-19 has really done a number on us. It is likely that the changes the pandemic have brought about will stick with us for a while. However, there may still be hope for small business owners. You can use these trying times as a chance to reach new heights, to go even further than you’ve gone before.
Here are five concrete steps you can consider to give your small business or mid-sized business a fighting chance fighting chance to stay relevant and remain top of mind with your clients and customers during COVID-19. make it out of this thing smiling on the other side, knowing full well that you did all you possibly could to take make the best out of the difficult circumstances you happened to find yourselves in.
Let's dive in.
1. Use Every Available Marketing Dollar Strategically
The first order of business for your business is to adjust the amount of money you spend on marketing and advertising campaigns. This may seem counterintuitive, especially during a recession. However, in order to emerge victorious in this battle for the business that made the best of the situation, it is crucial to think beyond the obvious. While everybody else is clutching every dollar in despair, anxiously awaiting an end to all of this so they can just pick up where they left off, the more realistic business person will realize that “normal” as we know it probably will not return for a while. This is a time of permanent realignment, in which the very structure of our system of economic engagement is bound to become unrecognizable.
Now, that of course does not mean that you should pour money you don’t have into a marketing endeavor that may or may not work. That being said, if your budget permits, it would behoove you to further invest in marketing. With all of the permanently closed doors cropping up around you, it is vital to avoid being swallowed by the void.
2. Take Your Web Presence Seriously
It is the time, therefore, to employ all the strategies at your disposal, explore all of the digital marketing resources available to you. Enhancing your business’s online presence and relevance among web users is a good starting point. For instance, how do you currently stack up in the search rankings compared to your competitors? Perhaps it may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the many benefits of search engine optimization. That way, when people do begin to solicit small businesses again, yours is poised to be the prime mover and shaker while everyone else is still just figuring out how to navigate now unrecognizable terrain.
Another great opportunity for scaling your business amidst the present crisis is to bulk up your outbound marketing volume, in order to more effectively engage your target market and ideal customer. We wrote an article on this very topic: "Who Is Your Ideal Customer?" Ideally, you would like your business to occupy a fairly large share of the consumer’s mind. This could be accomplished through improving your organic social media strategy, or by developing a comprehensive pay-per-click advertising campaign across multiple platforms. Be sure to take advantage of all of the various forms of advertisement available to small businesses, including venturing into territory that may have previously been uncharted for you (you won’t know what works if you don’t try!)
It can also be super beneficial to have a marketing plan in place that can be hyper focused on optimizing every dollar and time-spent on achieving the results you need during this time. A proper marketing plan can speed up your results, minimize the trial and errors, and provide the blueprint to be hyper-focused.
At the end of the day, when it comes to growing and expanding your business, marketing yourself intelligently in this digital landscape, and exploring all avenues for generating clients, is pretty much a numbers game. It is common knowledge that one must spend money to make money. To outsmart your competitor, get your money moving!
But investing your money is just one part of this game; you also need to take the time to engage your audience. Give them a reason to return to you--not just to see what you have to sell but what you have to say. Show them that you are listening.
What’s more, these are no doubt difficult times. Many people find themselves scrolling endlessly through social media, anything to keep the mind busy. Now is your chance to catch an eye and make an impression with a clever ad. Make the most of it!
3. Focus On The Best (Never Mind The Rest)
Before the pandemic, perhaps you felt desperate to attract anyone--just about anyone--to your brand. A lead was a lead, as far as you were concerned. Surprisingly, this is not necessarily the case.
Again, while this might not seem intuitive at first, all it takes is a shift in perspective to see that you can afford to be more selective about who you target in your marketing efforts. After all, you only have a finite amount of resources and labor available to you. You do not have to waste either of these things on leads that just are not likely to yield the results you want to see.
Now is the time to be picky. It’ll pay off in the long run, when you can maintain a stable team of employees and your inventory isn’t run dry. Being more selective about your marketing will also allow you to focus more on the ones that actually value you and your business and that you enjoy serving. It will strengthen your existing bond, and take that relationship to new heights.
4. Maximize Your Potential
The opportunity for introspection presented by the global pandemic is perhaps the shiniest silver lining one could possibly gleam from such gloomy times. Take this time to really reflect on your business strategies, and examine whether maybe you could be doing things more effectively.
It could even be little things, like what accounting method you’re using, or how much you spend on inventory. Do a deep dive; you will emerge on the other side of this sorrowful sea a lean, mean, profit-maximizing machine, equipped with newfound insight, ready to rake in even more customers than you previously even considered possible.
5. Enrich Your Heroes
The first step to showing your customers how much you appreciate them? Build a team of employees you can count on, even in these uncertain times where keeping a full roster of workers at all can feel like a challenge. At the end of the day, however, a strong team invigorates the entire business, which in turn reflects how you serve your clients.
To cultivate your team, consider: what is the ultimate mission of your business? What do you hope to achieve, and what sorts of people are most likely to get you there? This will likely mean that you will have to make tough decisions, especially when it comes to hiring. Oftentimes, however, the toughest of decisions bring with them the greatest of benefits.
In addition to showcasing your commitment to your clients, restructuring your team and placing emphasis on the highest performers will motivate them even more, as they will feel their hard work and dedication is being adequately rewarded. After all, who does not enjoy feeling part of something greater than themselves?
Our sincerest best of wishes to those of you out there as you attempt to make the best of the situation we all find ourselves in. It definitely won’t be easy; however, with all of the resources at your disposal these days, many of which are free, it could spark new moment and direction for your business. If you're not sure where to begin, please reach out to us here at Splurge Media. We are open, ready, and willing to help.