Updated: Aug 6, 2020
What does life look like for small business?
The province is opening up again!
Great news for small business, right?
Maybe. Yes. Probably. We dunno.
COVID-19 played a massive role in the economy’s operations, especially for small businesses. Shutting your doors and thus nixing any income streams was a big factor in how the pandemic played out. Heck, it even made Murder Hornets look like a walk in the park.
So, where does that leave us with small business life now that the province is opening up (or plans to)?
How do we ensure we don’t face that hurdle again? Even if the second wave of the pandemic returns?
Here’s the tip:
Even if you shut ‘er down when the pandemic hit and you fell quiet on social media, now’s the time to put yourself out there again.
Or, continue to put yourself out there. Consistently.
You’ve got to engage with as many customers online as possible so that they remember you, and know what you’re offering. There’s little opportunity for casual walk-ins anymore without a complete system put in place to ensure safety. That’s our new world for the foreseeable future.
Stuck on ideas on connecting with your audience?
Here are 15 ways to connect with your audience online right now:
1. Post a new outfit every day. If you’re a retail shop, then throw on an outfit and post it every day. Show them your wares in real life with real people in it.
2. Give tips. Provide value. Tell people how they can...
3. Package your offerings. Put the Caesar kit together for them and sell it. Have limited, ready-made bouquets ready for order. Make it easy and valuable to buy from you.
4. Show them your new life. Document a day in the shop with no people and what it looks like.
5. Do a video walking someone through how they can buy from you.
6. Do a video on how someone can submit their tax information to you.
7. Set up an online ordering system. E-commerce sounds like a scary term, but we promise you it will convert more buyers. We love Ecwid and have a webinar walking you through how to use it.
8. Host an online sale: go beyond the 15% off our store! Give a huge sale on a specific item or category. That gets people onto your e-store and browsing your other offerings
9. Team up with other businesses. How can you package an offering that allows you to then get into their audience’s feeds as well?
10. Work with an influencer. An influencer can use and promote your product and get you on their feeds. And remember, influencer doesn’t mean a huge audience. A small-town high school athlete can easily have 1,000 Instagram followers. Imagine advertising directly to 1,000 audience members from someone promoting your products/services from who they trust.
11. Do a challenge. Make a hotter-than-hell wing recipe. Challenge your followers to take it (free, with another food purchase). If they complete the challenge and document the end result, they get on your wall of fame and a gift certificate to your restaurant.
12. Shout out to another business who saved your world. If you’re loving the local paint store who recommended a beautiful room colour change for you, post about it on your feed. Connect with other businesses who are helping.
13. Engage through Instagram stories. Watch Instagram stories nightly (in bed, in pajamas). If there’s a story that makes you laugh, cry, think, feel emotions, then it’s okay to send a direct message to that account to connect.
14. Be yourself. If you’re having a shit day, say it. Share it. You’re a real human being.
15. Pivot. OMG, if you have to hear this word one more time, so help me. BUT….it’s true. How can you pivot AGAIN to bring a new offering to the table that aligns with today’s time? Poplars Resort in Newboro can’t book accommodations. They pivoted and have boat rentals. Amazingly innovative with a small pivot to their existing infrastructure.
This is hard.
And it’s completely changed how you’ve always done business. But even as we head into summer and the province may start opening up, you’ve still got to connect online and create lasting relationships in a place that people are hanging out.