It’s being talked about everywhere and unfortunately this is only the beginning. As a result of COVID-19 there are many things rapidly changing and businesses will need to adjust in order to survive these uncertain times ahead.
The last few days there have been many questions regarding supplies, jobs, and quarantine. One topic that keeps surfacing is how the small businesses are going to handle being closed down so unexpectedly.
Larger organizations have the cash reserves to sit on during times like this, but small businesses are going to need some support.
In this article I’ll share my perspective on this situation and what you can do to stay productive and help keep sales up. By marketing your business during coronavirus (COVID-19), You’ll put yourself in front of your competition.
Reacting Vs. Adapting
As small business owners we understand the importance of adapting to change and moving forward, even when it’s difficult.
Many of the top companies in the US have already been sending out emails about COVID-19 and what they’re doing to contribute and help others during this time.
- Easyjet, a British airline group is helping customers by waiving all fees on flight modifications.
- Loom, a digital screen recording company is disabling the limit of videos you can record on their free plan, and giving the software to teachers, healthcare, etc for free.
- Downdog, a yoga app is offering free lessons until April 1st.
- FitnessHut, a porguguese gym is suspending all payments for current customers.
- Local food pantries across the US are offering drive-thru service for families that have very little.
These are examples of businesses reacting to the pandemic. This is a good way to mitigate the impact on their bottom line in the short term. Unfortunately for some small businesses this won’t be enough.
- Businesses can only offer exceptions for so long before the impact is too great. A local gym likely suspend payments for a couple of weeks to help out, but how long before they would have to start taking too much of a loss and be forced with a tough decision?
- Social distancing and quarantine is just the visible part of the virus. It’s tough to tell what the full impact of this could be. Will travel be slow for a few coming years? How much of a financial impact will this have on the consumers spending money at businesses? When consumer spending slows as the market plummets, small businesses need to get creative right now. Maintaining positive momentum should be a priority right now.
Businesses across the nation will have to do more than just react, they have to ADAPT.
The Metropolitan Opera is not just suspending their shows and completely halting operations. They’re offering free nightly opera streaming.
Quality Urgent Care is helping locals in Michigan by offering Telemedicine, a remote option to receive professional medical attention.
These are great examples of businesses that are adapting to the situation and being pro-active. By changing their offering to fit the upcoming market changes, they’re able to still generate revenue.
Virtual 1-on-1 Client meetings
Virtual 1-on-1 Client meetings
Zoom allows for meetings with up to 100 participants for a low monthly fee.
Simply invite all the clients via a Zoom link and join for a voice or video call. Skype also has a meeting feature. It allows you to invite people through a link.
So at this point many would object “Well, that’s great for those people who work remotely, but I’m a [fill in the blank], I can’t do that…”
Online Solutions for Offline Businesses
In order to adapt to the changing landscape of the market, you’re going to need to think outside the box.
- Which area of your business could be offered online?
- Can you create an online offer?
- Can existing assets be turned into an offer online?
- What can your audience learn from you?
Here’s examples of businesses already leveraging these strategies in their business model.
Example 1: A Veterinarian (or a Dentist)
When you think of a veterinarian, I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind is NOT an online offer. You think about your sick dog that needs help and needs to be examined. While that is true in most cases, there is also an opportunity to offer an online veterinarian service.
Don’t believe me? Check out Petcoach.co, a company that offers pet owners to ask questions to a vet and to do an “in-depth online consulting” (including showing your pet through video) or JustAnswer that offers a similar service for dentists.