Creating or having a business online is even more important than ever before.
I have been through several disasters in the last few years, and I was directly affected in some and/or people and businesses around me were also affected.
It does not matter what face the disaster has, but as a business, you should be prepared right? But we cannot even conceive how the Coronavirus would affect our businesses and daily lives.
But, every calamity has a silver lining. There are businesses thriving right now. The trucking industry, the farmer supplying our veggies, the delivery business delivering groceries and I could go on down the line.
It is more difficult when it gets personal especially if you are a solopreneur, and this situation is very prevalent in the eCommerce space.
When you are directly affected, your brain tends to hunker down! The panic starts filtering through your body and you feel you cannot move on or make the right decisions.
Sticking your head in the sand (or under the blanket) is not an option. If you want to survive, you need to get up and do something!
1. Keep ON! Don't stop!
The first thing small businesses do is stop their marketing. This is the time to INCREASE your marketing.
Why would you do this? Your customers might not buy your products right now, but here is an opportunity to stand out! To be noticed!
- Connect with your existing customers and send them an email to see if they are okay.
- Post encouraging messages.
- Connect with your local businesses to see if you could support each other, even if it just to come up with ideas about how to survive. And you can do this virtually.
- Think of ways your products can support your customers and sell them at a discount. This is a great way to get new customers.
Kelley, from Parisians Pure Skincare, is preparing organic sanitizers and sending a small sample bottle of her hand cream as part of the package for free. The purpose is to help your customers and also to get new customers at a low price.
Think about what can you add to your products? I know it is hard, because obviously gift ideas is not something people do right now.
Donna from The Missing Piecer Puzzle for instance. It is not something you would daily buy. But, think of people staying at home who need to entertain the kids without TV or games. What about: "Create an adventure puzzle to get your through the long days staying in isolation!"
2. Use Your Time Wisely
Some products would be very hard to think of an immediate solution for the difficult times right now, but you can use the time you have with slow business, to get stuff done!
1. What about the blogs you have not written that are on your list. (Here is a link to why you should write blogs.)
2. Get your product photos updated. Get some Lifestyle photos up.
3. Update your Story/About Page - make it phenomenal.
4. Add dropshipping to your store. See if there are more complimentary products you can add to your line of business.
5. Research your competition and see what they are doing and do it better.
6. Create some interesting social media posts for the next few months.
7. Plan our your promotions for the year. Dust off those goals in your head and start implementing some of them.
Don't waste your time and do nothing.
You did not start this business to just pack it in.
3. Be Flexible
Don't let stress get the best of you.
Mark Shaeffer said: "As businesses, we need to zag when everybody is zigging".
Be flexible with:
1. Your store hours - staying open longer and being available on your chat so that your customers can immediately get attention.
2. Prices - discounts are a good way to bring in new customers. If you don't have a business, selling at a better discount will bring in business. Money is money!
3. Online shipping - if you have not offered Free Shipping, maybe now is the time to add that to your store.
4. Employee schedules - right now they have to stay at home. Maybe they can help you with some online tasks. You would be surprised what your employees are capable of. Ask them.
5. Joint venture opportunities - how can you leverage your business with somebody else to support each other. This will get you a wider audience and maybe hopefully more customers.
4. Reach Out to the Community
If you've been hit, chances are the community as a whole needs help. Find the immediate needs the surround you and help them in whatever capacity you can.
Have extra inventory that's applicable to needs? Donate it.
Restaurants are really suffering right now. Support your local restaurants by order food for pickup. Donate some food to local shelters.
Think of your online community as well. Thanks to social media our communities stretch across the world. Being connected and not feeling too isolated will help everybody.
Stay present and flexible, the community will take notice.
5. Stay Positive
When you have a positive attitude, you will see the benefit in this with people around you.
Taking charge of your emotional needs in a positive way will have a major impacts on your employees, your vendors and your community.
Staying positive will help you to think clearly and act differently, instead of giving up.
Be a leader for those who are unsure of what's to come. Show them rebuilding starts with a positive notion.