The entire world is talking about the coronavirus/COVID-19. Some people are scared, turning to supermarkets to stock up on toilet paper and disinfectants. Others are trying to remain as calm as they can when the entire world is panicking around them. But for small business owners, the pandemic comes with additional problems and many of them are wondering: will my business get through this or will I have to close up shop?
We here at Catdi Printing hope that the following tips will help you make sense of this situation and devise some next steps for your business to take during the quarantine.
Keep Calm and Devise a Plan
First, take a deep breath. Even if the quarantine itself isn’t stressing you out, you’re still likely asking yourself:
- Can I keep my business afloat?
- Do I have to close the shop for a while?
- Can I afford to pay the wages of my employees?
And these questions are stressful. The coronavirus quarantine has to be taken seriously if we want to put a stop to the epidemic. While the world works through it to get over this bump on the road, you can take care of a few things in your business’ marketing efforts.
As you may know, conferences and outdoor marketing are both out of the question due to concerns about spreading the virus. But, it doesn’t mean all your marketing needs to come to a halt. Here are some areas you can address now that you have the time:
Focus on Content Marketing
Content marketing is a powerful tool not many businesses leverage. Studies show that those who focus on blogging are as much as 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI than those who don’t.Content marketing takes time and effort. If your department was previously focused on other methods, specifically outdoor methods, maybe you never had the chance to dive into content marketing. Now you can, and it’s not only something to keep you busy in the present. A well-crafted blog will be beneficial in the long term as well.
Strengthen Your Email Marketing Game
You are not the only one who’s probably taking cover in the comfort of your home – so is your consumer. If you’ve never had an email marketing campaign, this is the perfect opportunity to start.
Email marketing is the digital version of a tried and tested method of promoting a brand – getting something in the mail. Except now, it’s much easier, and cheaper to send the coupon to thousands of customers at the same time. And thanks to great software like MailChimp, emails can be so personalized that the individual customer reads something that seems written only for them.
Did you know it may also be the preferred means of communication for your customers? Some statistics show that around 91% of shoppers want to hear from their preferred businesses via email. And if you think about what an email is, it makes sense:
- The format allows you to give more information;
- Links can be added to allow a user to easily inform themselves;
- Is less invasive, since the user can choose if they want to click to open an email or not.
Update Your Current Web Design & Leverage Social Media
Rather than doing away with your current website, an cost effective alternative to is freshen your current website. Simple things like adding a blog or redoing the homepage can help your SEO and strengthen your position in the SERPS. Doing these couple of things can be really cost effective. In addition If your business does not have any social media accounts, you should consider opening some. Social networks are a great way to keep in touch with consumers in a way that seems less informal than through emails or your official website.
Social media allows customers to interact with you directly by commenting on your post or sending you a private message. And again, your customers want you to interact with them. Around 86% of consumers want a brand to have an honest social media approach.
So, you may also be thinking “what can I possibly post on social media at this time?” Well, here are a few suggestions:
- Business updates – for instance, if you have a restaurant, let your clientele know what your plans are for the near future. Are you closing? Are you only taking delivery orders? Why?
- Safety recommendation – you can share with your consumers, small tips on how they can stay safe at this time, such as washing their hands for at least 20 seconds or practicing social distancing;
- Behind the scenes – consumers love to see what goes on behind the scenes of your business, so if you have a particularly interesting manufacturing process, now’s the time to share some photos or videos!
Non-Business Plan Ideas & Recommendations
We also have to talk about the personal implications of this quarantine because it’s not always about the business:
Let Your Employees Work from Home If Possible
It’s really important for as many people to align themselves with national efforts to stop the spread of the virus. For business owners, that means allowing your employers to work from home where possible.
For example, most of the tasks your marketing department has are likely taking place online anyway. There’s no point in forcing them to come into the office while everyone else is worried about the virus. The same goes for the HR department and other employees that don’t have to physically handle things in your business.
It’s also a way to show your employees you care about them and value their safety more than your bottom line. Plus, you really don’t want to be the business that made its employees come to work at a time like this. This kind of news spreads fast.
Spend More Time with Your Family
It’s times like these where we realize just how important it is to spend time with family and close ones. Though you may be worried about your business and want to focus on reassuring your employees, you need to do the same with your loved ones.
And yes, you can’t necessarily go out and travel for a while, though there are plenty of activities at home to take part in and bond:
- Watch a movie;
- Cook together;
- Make a DIY project;
- Play a tabletop game, etc.
Meet Those Around You, Establish Relationships and Lend a Hand
It’s a busy world we live in. So busy, that most people don’t even know their neighbors, even though you may have been living next to them for years.
And some of your neighbors may even be more scared about this pandemic than you are, and for good reasons. It’s widely known that older people and those with a compromised immune system are more at risk to suffer the worst of the coronavirus symptoms. The vast majority of those who’ve succumbed to the disease come from these categories.
So if you are not that worried or are not highly at risk, you can take this time to help others. Maybe you have a single, old woman living next to you. Why not knock on her door and offer to help her? You can go grocery shopping for her, and buy the things she needs, but can’t get herself because she is worried about the virus. It’s a really small gesture when you think about it, but one that is really vital for some people.
Keep Yourself and Your Family Safe
There is a lot of evidence that shows the coronavirus is not as deadly as other diseases out there but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful.
Because it’s often not about you but those around you. If one person is careless, they can infect hundreds of others, some of which may be more at-risk. So it’s important to take care of your own health at this time and protect your family, friends, and other people you come into contact with.
The CDC has a few recommendations on how to make this happen:
- Stay indoors as much as possible – the virus is transmitted from person to person, so the only way to really protect yourself is to avoid close contact with other people. So stay in your home, and only go out if you really need to, such as if you need to go to the pharmacy or grocery shopping;
- Wash your hands often – you can touch an area that’s been compromised, and then take the virus from your hands to your body by touching your face. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water is the next essential step to staying safe. If they aren’t available, you can use hand sanitizer instead;
- Practice social distancing – if you’re a lovey-dovey person, you should refrain from hugging, kissing, shaking hands, or even fist-bumping people for a while. Keep your distance from people, just to stay safe.
Over to You
With around 170,029 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, it’s easy to panic and want to lock yourself inside your doors. But, it’s important to remain calm at this time and remember a lot of things can’t be put on hold.
Like your business. There are a lot of things you can still do to ensure you are still communicating with your customers. At Catdi Printing your safety is our # 1 priority. Period.As in business and life sometime you just have to change the medium a little bit, for a while. Please call us if you have any concerns at 713 882 4629