In these shifting uncertain times, it can be difficult to gauge just where to put your efforts as a small business owner. Where once you may have been thinking about growing your PPC campaign, now you may only be trying to avoid cutting employee hours. Everyone has been saying now is the time to start supporting small businesses, but that doesn't make the headache of navigating this rocky terrain any easier. You may have your loyal base of customers to help you survive, but you also have a great chance to figure out a way to reignite both your business as well as the industry as a whole.
As an entrepreneur, investing in the small business sector has been incredibly rewarding. Seeing a business continue to grow and thrive and eventually get big enough to expand and become a publicly-traded company gives you a rush like no other. Through the culmination of years of hard work and dedication that sets it apart from different experiences. We are all getting ready for the floodgates of the economy to open back up, but in the meantime, there's still plenty that you can do within your business to set it up for future success.
It's easy to focus on all the negatives right now, but all the more important to take a good look at your business internals and clean up parts you just never had time for. Little messes pile up in every small business, and sometimes you wish that you could make some changes. Now is the time. Whether it's moving your paperwork into the digital world or updating some software that was creating slowdowns in your pipeline, these little fixes will help you reach future customers as well as bring a better experience to loyal ones.
If you feel as though your business is moving towards harsher waters, look towards expanding or innovating by trying out new ideas. E-commerce, delivery, takeout, farmers markets, there is a wide range of ideas that you can try now that you have time. Even if it doesn't stick, there's not much to lose. If your social media presence wasn't the greatest, try investing some of your extra time into revitalizing it and letting people know about any new promotions or ideas you'll be executing. No market strategy is etched in stone, so experiment! Broaden your reach towards a more extensive consumer base. Or offer other services alongside what your business already provides. Show the world that you are not going down without a fight.
Speaking of broadening your reach, it's essential to communicate with your fellow business owners both in and out of your market. Small business owners of all sectors have had to make drastic changes in the way they run companies in the last couple of months and are most likely willing to share some advice about what they've been doing. Where once you may have been direct competitors, now you are allies in survival.
Making cuts can be difficult. Sometimes that means relocating, moving to remote work, making staff changes, and updating business hours. Keep both your staff and customers as informed as you can during these changes to create a greater sense of transparency while maintaining a good relationship. Times may be tough now, but they won't always be. Ensure that you can reach back out to your sources once the dust settles, and your business can resume steady operation.
Use this time to build further relationships with customers with newsletters, small discounts, and other convenient services that show that you are grateful for their business. More than anything, if you cannot maintain your usual services, let customers know. Whether you're making changes because of health and safety reasons, or are having a hard time meeting demand, a clear line of communication with your customer goes a long way. Create solutions for problems before they come and hurt you.
Think like a customer. Many of us are in the same boat, whether we are small business owners or essential workers. Some of our most basic needs must be met before we start going about our business as usual. Where you usually would further dive into a specific niche in your business sector, you must now diversify. With that in mind, streamline your process, whether that's creating express pickup, offering deliveries, creating in-home spa kits, or anything else that will let your customers get what they need in the most convenient way possible. Now may even be the time to double down on perfecting the quality of your product.
It can easily be said that small businesses make up the backbone of this country with various services that large corporations can't offer. If you're someone who has put their blood, sweat, and tears into their small business, just know that we are all out here rooting for you and your employees.