Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Covid-19 - what a mess we're in. Small businesses are forcibly or voluntarily shutting down everywhere. For small businesses, the whole thing is justifiably terrifying. People will lose their jobs, inventory will just sit there, rent won't get paid and that's just the obvious stuff.
Let's just say it. What does the shutdown really mean? Does it mean you might go under? Yes. Is shutting down the right thing to do? Yes.
Whether you believe Covid-19 is a lethal pandemic or a government attempt at mind control, if only from a marketing perspective, don't be the business who put revenue first. Your staff will remember, your customers will remember. Make it easy for people to enthusiastically come back to you when this is all over.
To do: Put the health and safety of people first.
So what do I do now? First of all. Go home. Then take a breath and realise that shut down doesn't have to mean full stop. There are a multitude of things you can do you to remain active and retain your community's attention while we all wait.
To do: Go home. Just go home.
Know your financial obligations The very first thing to know is exactly how much you need to generate to just stay standing. This number will inform just how creative or flexible you'll have to be to make it.
To do: Figure out who you have to pay, who can wait and who you can renegotiate terms with.
What will it take to save my business? You. It'll take you more than ever. Small businesses are built on hope, risk and sacrifice. If you actually have a business, it means you've done this before and you've got what it takes - we just have to figure out how to save it. Of course there are no guarantees that a mix of strategy and courage will work, but doing nothing certainly won't help anything. #fightorflight To do: Come up with a plan. Then run with it.
Self-assess while you self-isolate List every single inventory item you are sitting on and ways to flog it. Can you liquidate now and replenish later when you reopen? How long will that sale carry your basic financial needs? Is it worth it? If the answer is yes, then the next question is how, where and when do you sell and deliver these products? Then list every single service you can offer remotely. Deciding to realign will test your confidence. You will need to believe that people want and need your services in a time of crisis and lockdown.
To do: List everything you can sell then sell it. List all the services you can offer remotely then promote them.
If not now, then later If you're a massage therapist, you're probably thinking none of this has anything to do with you. In your case, your investment will be in your future. You'll for example share your expertise, help people maintain fitness, give tips on how to care for aches and pains while quarantined. Again, people will remember who cared. Position yourself as the provider they will seek when this is all over. You won't make money now, but you won't be idly waiting.
To do: Offer advice and reassurance. (see what I'm doing? that.)
Go digital Communicate. Never has it been more important for businesses to have a website and talk to people on social media. Lockdown = everyone's on their phones. You have a lifeline - take it.
To do: Create or update your website, update your business hours, clearly explain the products and services you still offer, post to social media regularly, stay positive.
And finally, this could be a good opportunity to work on your business. Head down, get that long list of things we never seem to get around to because we're wearing too many hats and there just aren't enough hours in a day. The hours are here and they're yours. Use them!
To do: Paint, scrub, file, hit your inbox, organise and reorganise... and rest.
Common Goal Creative specialises in business development and marketing strategy for small business. We are working hard to help small business owners mitigate the losses caused by the current shutdowns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. If you need help, please book a free 20 min call on our website. We're in this together and we want to help. www.commongoalcreative.com