As we all adapt to these changing times, many business owners are (rightly) concerned with what they can do now to keep their business running until the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
When there’s so much going on, it can feel paralyzing and scary. So, here are some things you can do right now to help your business adapt to what’s happening around us today.
1. Update Your Website
Our situation is changing daily. Businesses that were open yesterday are closed today, and consumers will likely turn to your website for the latest updates with your business.
Make sure to add relevant updates and information to your website. This can include your pick-up or delivery options, updated hours, and what you’re doing to keep customers and employees safe.
Now is the time to overcommunicate to customers just what’s going on with your business.
2. Check Your Local Listings
As more and more people stay home and businesses close or change their hours, this is an important step you can take for your business to keep your customers and prospective customers updated.
For example: Are you adding delivery options? Make sure that’s included on your local listing sites. Searchers can filter by delivery in Google Maps and Yelp to determine which businesses they’re able to order from or visit for take-out.
And, this doesn’t just apply to restaurants. My local Color Me Mine is offering delivery and pick-up options for pottery painting.
This is also a great time to make sure all the information on your local listings is correct. People may try calling your business or visiting your website from listings to see whether or not you’re open or what services you’re offering right now. Do a quick audit of your top listing sites to make sure you’re not missing out on these customers.
3. Adapt Your Business as Much as Possible
As we practice social distancing, now is the time to adapt your business as much as possible. This can include newer payment models like advanced payment on credit cards or other workarounds.
My local bakery is bringing orders car side and typing in credit card information so there’s no contact between the employees and customers. HEB, a grocery store chain, is installing sneeze guards between cashiers and customers to protect their employees.
Think outside the box on what you can do right now to protect your employees and customers based on your business. This might even include asking your employees what would make them feel safer.
4. Keep Your SEO Running
While many consumers are staying home, they’re spending more and more time online – either for work or for play. Now is an important time to ensure your business is showing up on search engines through a robust search engine optimization, or SEO, strategy.
SEO helps you get seen by local searchers on their favorite search engines by optimizing your website, your content, and offsite factors like your local listings, which is going to be important as fewer people are out and about.
5. Stay Social
Another thing people are doing while they’re home: spending time on social media. Not only is social media a great place for your business to communicate with your customers, but it’s also a great time to engage with your community. Participate in the conversations happening with your social media audiences, share regular updates from your business, and get real about the challenges you may be facing during this time.
My local doggy daycare and boarding facility shared a heartfelt update about how this pandemic is impacting their business. With fewer people traveling, they’re losing business. They also shared some ways people can support them now – by purchasing services to use at a later date, complete with discounts and deals to take advantage of now through social media.
We know that times are uncertain, and it can be difficult to know what to do. We hope these quick tips will help you feel more in control of your situation and understand what you can be doing to keep your business running as smoothly as possible.
We also want you to know that we’re here for you to help in any way we can. Learn more about us and our mission here.