Managing Your Business While on COVID-19 Lockdown
By: Andrea Serie
During a recent press conference, Governor Andrew Cuomo referenced an Italian expression that translates to “Health is wealth.” While the primary focus during the COVID-19 outbreak is staying healthy and safe; the secondary concern is how can my business survive while we’re on lockdown?
Fortunately, we’re living in a time when a large percentage of our interaction takes place in the digital space. The team at Double Down Digital has been working with businesses throughout the country in an attempt to ease this major disruption. We’ve compiled some techniques helping businesses thrive during these unprecedented and challenging times.
Minus essential services, all brick, and mortar store locations are closed. If you’re a vendor who has been contemplating the jump to eCommerce, this might be the ideal time to transition. Although cataloging merchandise and coordinating shipping does take time, we all have more time on our hands than ever before. By adding products each day, your business can be visible to buyers and generate some sales, even while still getting your site fully established. There are predictions that social interaction may shift, even post social distancing. Buyers may take more of their shopping online to avoid stores and crowds. eCommerce may be essential to the long-term survival of merchants, so start taking proactive steps now.
Service providers are offering their sessions remotely. Through Zoom calls, FaceTime, Skype or just a traditional phone call, therapists, doctors, speech pathologists, etc. are still conducting appointments and generating income. We even found service providers who booked new appointments when offering remote services. Why? The masses have more time now and are craving stimulation beyond their daily home routine. Consider crafting an email blast and social media post offering remote services as a reminder you’re available to offer support.
BE CREATIVE WITH YOUR CAPTIVE AUDIENCE
Use this time to direct your brand narrative to people who desperately want a break from the ongoing disturbing news. Use digital platforms to offer your clients content, 5-15 minutes is ideal. If you’re a salon owner, suggest products and techniques for people to manage their beauty maintenance at home. If you’re a clothing retailer, hacks on how to organize your closet. Be mindful of your message. It will appear tone-deaf to push products and services during a time when prospects are concerned about surviving not only a health crisis but also a potential financial crisis.
CLASSES & EVENTS
Gyms, learning centers of all types and networking events were amongst the first wave of businesses to feel the strain of social distancing. However, classes are being conducted through streaming services and YouTube videos. Networking events are using digital platforms and grouping people together individually for short periods of time. People are then given the option to connect for longer conversations. Unconventional? Yes. Clever? Also, yes.
Conduct a call out to all of your clients. Not to pitch business, but rather to touch base and see if they are okay. Perhaps they are in dire need of something (a Dr referral, a product they can’t locate at the supermarket, or just a human connection during a moment of loneliness) and you might call at the right time and be able to offer assistance. Life will eventually return to some level of normalcy and people will remember who reached out when they felt alone. If you’re not confident on the phone, consider a text message or a personal email.
The message to help local small businesses by purchasing gift cards has been circulating since the beginning of lockdown. By making gift cards available on your website or through the swipe up feature on Instagram, you’re making it easy for people to support your business. Daily swipe up purchases in the middle of the night will start to add up and reflect a financial difference.
Now is the time to tackle all those lingering items on your to-do list. Network through DMs, emails and conference calls. Clean up your invoicing system. Organize your inventory. Re-evaluate marketing strategies-will they still be effective post-COVID-19? We are all waiting for the day when businesses can reopen; utilize this time to be ready to hit the ground running when that pivotal day finally arrives.