Our business operates virtually, most days, so I wanted to help where I could during this crisis. I’m afraid this is just the beginning of a lot more hurdles coming our way. So today I want to give you some ideas on keeping your business running smoothly while the country is promoting social distancing and quarantines. Most of these apply to service-based businesses but some will work for retail and online stores.
You've just been told to send everyone home or YOU now have to stay home because the kids can't go to school! It's chaos everywhere. Fortunately, most of us have been using virtual business methods over the last decade. But for some this is foreign. Or... you're now trying to figure out how you're going to sell your product or service with no walk-in customers... Lots of variables here. Where I can help is to give you some tips on online tools our business uses to work with clients across the globe. I can also help brainstorm some creative strategies to change up your product offering to work with the current cards you've been dealt and how to market them.
Here is a list of marketing ideas, tips, suggestions, and software to help with your business operations:
- First needs—to communicate with your team! We use Skype all day, even when we're at the office. It's a quick way to tell a coworker something or send a photo or link. Eliminates so many emails. We also use it with customers. You can just type or do a video or voice call. And it's free!
- We use a project management tool to keep everything organized and can virtually discuss progress on projects and workflow. Trello is a free one.
- Next step: start with email marketing to let customers know about changes to your business. Make them feel comfortable that you are continuing operations and products and services are being delivered. We like to use Mailchimp but there are several others.
- Update your followers on social media with any relevant information.
- Create a company facebook group. It’s a more private place to correspond with customers.
- Write a blog article detailing what your business is doing to keep your customers safe or that your products are still in production. This is easily done if your site is in WordPress, Wix or other content management systems.
- Receiving payments—you may want to opt for online invoicing to digitize the payment process as much as possible. There are several methods to do this. We use Stripe and Paypal. Again if you need help, just let me know.
- Instead of in-person events, do a virtual webinar. You can Use Facebook Live, Instagram TV or or other software to broadcast your event on social media. Or setup a webinar by inviting guests to a web conference. We use Zoom or Uberconference.
- How about doing training videos? I like to use Loom, which is free screen and video recording. You can record your screen while a little headshot of yourself talking is in the corner.
- I'm using Quicktime on a Mac to make this video.
- Did you know you can also sell these videos as a digital download??
- So your Tradeshows are canceled!! How are you going to get your product in front of the right audience? Digital marketing is going to be essential to target the right audience. This includes Google and social media ads, email blasts, youtube videos, so many ideas!
- Now is the time to start getting CREATIVE!! If your direct product or service is being affected by the quarantines how are you going to stay in business?? It’s just crazy and sad to think about all the businesses this will affect. How can you adjust your business model to still make money? An example of a shoe store in Minneapolis is that he’s delivering shoes right to your house so you don’t have to come into the store. Now that won’t work long term and you can’t reach that many people, so let’s think of online methods. The majority of people are going to be working at home, shopping from home, kids are at home, but we still need supplies and to live! How can you help out this current situation? Is there anything you can sell online that relates to your business? Can you start a membership for an online community? People do these all the time. There are online fitness and support groups, mom’s groups, business mastermind groups, the list can go on.
- Are you an expert in your industry, then become a consultant, virtually…
- A lot of these might be for solo entrepreneurs but there are other ways small companies can shift their game plan a bit to continue to make a profit. What big picture ideas can you come up with that can make a huge impact to stay afloat?!
Need more help? Let's chat and get creative!