For all the horror COVID-19 has been, I feel like we haven’t talked enough about its impact on small businesses. I mean, its impact on women who survive via their small business. Think about it, it’s easy to hold placards and ask people to stay at home (and yes, I agree we should all be at home) but we must also think about the young salon owner or food supplier whose sales has ground to a halt.
Small businesses are the livewire of many economies, yet the needs of small business owners appear to be the last consideration when situations like this arise. Especially in large developing economies.
Anyway, I’m not trying to criticize the government or anything but to chip in my own suggestions. If you are a small business owner in this period of lockdown and restricted movement, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Assess your situation
Think about your operations, sales and marketing, products/services – all parts of your business. Then think about what has currently changed in the world and how this directly affects customer behaviour. What adjustments are customers making? Consider how these changes affect your business and how you might adapt.
Be honest with your analysis
Is your business still relevant enough in the current world crisis? Can you add something to it, maybe an extra service, e.g. delivery services or is it time to move onto something else? These are tough questions to answer but they will help you move forward and this is better than remaining stagnant.
Up your digital marketing game
Most small businesses are online in one way or the other but during this period, you’ll really need to up your game. The digital world is the most effective marketing tool right now and if you don’t have an online store, then your social media marketing strategies and tactics need to be consistent and aggressive. Work on building your online community. Demand for virtual training is also going through the roof, so this is another way to show your thought leadership and expertise in your industry.
Don’t overthink, try out your new ideas or direction as soon as you can
You’ll never be able to determine your market or customer’s response to your new ideas/direction till you test it out. So start small, scale and see the response, but in the famous words of Nike ‘Just do it.’