23% of businesses say they are already being negatively affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
A recent survey, conducted by Goldman Sachs, of more than 1,500 small business owners found that over half of them said they didn’t think they could continue running their businesses for more than three months with the current conditions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. If this is true of your business, the Small Business Administration announced that they will work directly with state governors to provide low-interest disaster recovery loans to any businesses that are severely impacted by the current circumstances.
For the businesses who are feeling the negative effects and losing business during this time, there are some things that can be done to adapt until things are back on track:
Continue to Support and Connect with Customers
People are paying more attention to marketing messages now than ever. Because of this, businesses should continue to support and connect with their customers any way they can. Things are trickier now that many businesses have had to temporarily close, or work from a distance. But at the end of the day, things will eventually go back to normal and consumers will be looking for businesses in your industry. Staying connected to them through this pandemic is a great way to keep your relationships with customers strong and lasting.
Be There for Your Employees
Being an employee right now is almost as scary as being an employer. Business owners are working hard to keep jobs, on top of all the other stressors they’re dealing with. Even though business owners have their own worries, it’s important to be there for your employees as much as possible. Hiring and training employees is expensive and time consuming, plus you don’t always know if they’ll end up being an asset to your company. Now that the unemployment rate in the US is expected to reach about 10%, your employees are likely stressed that they’ll add to the statistic. Being upfront, honest and personalizing your relationships with employees will make all the difference when it comes to keeping them around for the long haul.
Take Safety Precautions
One of the best ways businesses can adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic is taking the proper safety precautions for themselves, their employees and their customers. Let your customers know what your business is doing to ensure safety measures are in place, and that might be just enough to nudge them in your direction, even during the current crisis. Some of the best precautions home-service based businesses can take include:
- Wear a mask during home visits
- Wear gloves upon entering a home. Dispose of them upon leaving
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often
- Keep a safe distance while talking with your customers
- Don’t allow your employees to enter a customer’s home if they’re feeling ill
The world is in an uncertain and scary time, and everyone is dealing with the side effects in one way or another. However, we shouldn’t lose hope, especially those operating businesses. It’s after an economic downturn that businesses can focus on the basics to get themselves back to where they were, and continue building an even more secure foundation for the future.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!