Owning a small family business was the ultimate family dream. It meant having freedom, control, and something to pass on to your future generations. You earned more than enough for your family and wasn’t tethered to an office desk from nine to five. You had a range of products and services that catered to the needs of many people, too. It seemed like the best of ideas.
Until COVID-19 happened.
COVID-19 threw all those dreams aside as it wreaked havoc on businesses, especially the small ones. It caused massive layoffs and the filing of bankruptcies. Even big businesses, such as retail giants JCPenny and Lord and Taylor, had to file for bankruptcies. If your small family business has been severely affected by the pandemic, you are not alone. And it doesn’t mean you can’t survive this.
Who Survived the Purge?
Businesses with digital marketing and automation tools in place found it easier to bounce back after the initial effects of the pandemic on most operations. Those who have invested in remote and collaborative workflow processes adjusted quickly and were able to enjoy business continuity despite the lockdowns and local work disruptions. For many small businesses, digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) became critical to their financial performance during the pandemic.
If you have no idea what an SEO consultant can do for your business, then you need to catch up real quick. This is because most people turned to e-commerce when the pandemic hit. Why go outside and risk getting infected if you can buy products online and have them delivered to your doorstep? In the first half of 2020, buyers spent more than $300 billion online.
The convenience of e-commerce became more apparent when physical interactions had to be minimized for everyone’s safety. E-commerce and digital marketing allowed businesses to communicate with their existing customers and win new ones.
How Can You Take Advantage of E-commerce?
Restrictions have eased up, and businesses with physical stores or locations have been allowed to open their doors. However, the fear of contracting the virus still has most people hesitant to visit physical stores regularly for supplies. Many still buy their needs online.
If you are relaunching your business now, you might want to review and redo your marketing and business plans. Reopening your family business by doing exactly the same things you did before the pandemic isn’t such a smart idea. First, you will be missing revenue opportunities online, where most customers are now. Second, who can say if lockdowns will not happen again in the future? Third, foot traffic and word-of-mouth promotion will no longer cut it. Fourth, face-to-face business transactions are not safe; these can put both your customers and employees at risk.
The key to surviving and being resilient is by adapting your business structure and processes to the current situation. Explore new channels and avenues to communicate and reach out to your target audience.
Digital is most likely the best and safest route. With many people online today, all you need is find out where your target market is often present. Facebook, for example, is one of the top places where you can market your products and services, with the social media platform’s almost 2.7 billion subscribers.
Establish a Strong Online Presence
Take your business online and do the following to pivot your business and make it more resilient against fears and uncertainties:
1. Create your website.
Establish your business’s identity and image with a well-designed website. Hire a professional who will design and create an e-commerce site for you that’s easy to navigate and has a shopping cart system for smoother transactions.
2. Create a social media presence.
With billions of people on social media, it is just practical to be on the same platform where you can find your target customers. A Facebook page or Instagram account allows you to reach out to more prospective customers in a cost-effective way.
3. Create an e-mail list.
A lead generation specialist can help you collect the e-mail addresses of your existing and target audience. You can send promos and announcements to your e-mail list, with links that will take them to your website.
4. Create valuable content.
One way to generate traffic on your site is to create valuable content. Your content must address the needs and problems of your target audience. The more relevant content you produce, the higher the chances that you will show up in the search results of search engines like Google. You can also produce content specific to your social media profiles to engage your followers.
The pandemic is the perfect time to look at your small business’s operation and see how you can run it within the current business environment. Rethink your marketing and business strategies when you reopen. It will help your business become more stable and resilient despite the pandemic.