5 tips on how to save your small business during a pandemic

The corona virus epidemic will be with us for some time to come. No one can predict for how long. One thing is certain – during this time it will strongly affect almost every sphere of our life or economy.

Even if we manage to cure everyone of the virus, the devastation it has caused will make its presence known for years.

The closure of state institutions, schools, movie theaters, cancellation of mass events or sports events will also shake up the advertising industry and marketing companies.

Only now, on our own, we will clearly feel that this world is a kind of interconnected system of vessels. Ads worth millions will not be aired or no one will see them. Who will bear the cost of this?

The situation we face is an unprecedented phenomenon. The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the truth about the state of the world’s economy, the level of health care, the condition of countries, especially in crisis management, but it has also shown the truth about the sales and marketing sector.

Interest in coronavirus

In recent months, coronavirus has been the number one topic in all global media. News sites have seen an increase in traffic, with searches by Internet users focused on phrases such as „COVID-19 and” coronavirus.

Consumers and the crisis

After the initial shock, the time has come to act and save the company from collapse due to the pandemic crisis. Companies need long-term solutions, and perhaps a complete change in business mindset. This includes how to think about consumers – they have also changed a lot.

Overnight, entrepreneurs have had to reorganize marketing strategies, launch new sales channels, change the way they communicate with customers. Companies focused on direct sales were painfully affected by the sudden stagnation of the market. Brands that at least partially sold online reacted much better.

The consumer’s attention was distracted, while changing direction. Today, customers need reliable information, but also good news. The proliferation of fake news, the narrative of fear and panic makes consumers expect truth from brands.

Authenticity has gained in value. Purchasing preferences have also changed. The demand for luxury products has receded into the background. They have lost the importance of belonging, recognition and self-realization. The need for security came to the fore in the first phase, which is when the turmoil was greatest.

Online sales – e-commerce is moving forward!

The e-commerce market has undergone a huge evolution. Both from the consumer and the seller’s side. The change in priorities directing the potential customer to purchase has necessitated an overhaul of marketing and sales strategies.

As interest in online shopping has grown, more and more hopes are being placed on solutions to improve customer service. With help comes the increasingly popular implementation of chatbots for e-commerce.

With this software, it is possible to communicate with customers without incurring additional expenses for customer service. Nowadays, a quick online sales launch may be the best solution for your business.

This option is especially recommended for stores that have so far conducted stationary sales.

Your company’s response to the crisis

The strength of a brand can be seen in the face of a crisis, or more precisely in how it responds to it. Effective online marketing and PR are the tools to combat a crisis. Perhaps now is a good time to think about building your company’s image.

This is a good time to focus on strategy, effective social media presence and campaign design. A big role in the current communication process is played by social media and solutions to make customers a tough nut to crack.

The best marketing for difficult times.

Reorganization of existing activities is proving necessary to survive. Of course, some companies go online, knowing exactly the mechanisms that govern online marketing – they continue the familiar solutions or improve them. What is worth investing in during this difficult time? What marketing actions can you take right now?

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Epidemic restrictions have made the Internet a medium for normal functioning. The first point on the map of online activity is the search engine. Keep in mind that the effects of search engine optimization will not appear immediately, so you should think about strengthening your site’s position in Google today. A quick way to increase website traffic is through search engine advertising and social media.
  • Ensure communication at every stage of the buying process, and maintaining customer relationships can be supported by chatbots on the site or Facebook or email marketing efforts. Efficient service is a major factor in the consumer experience. For online stores, it is advisable to analyze the user’s experience along the purchase path. By this I mean payment and delivery methods. It may be necessary to improve existing solutions. Even more so when customers choose cashless payment and use parcel delivery or courier services.
  • Use social media. Today, the first channel of communication with customers is social media. Brands are using them to communicate their activities and support through online broadcasts, live meetings, creating engaging posts, while staying in touch with fans. Right now, when customer activity has moved online, let’s think about content marketing strategies. Content distribution, such as through a blog, will attract traffic to your site, which is especially beneficial for sites that sell.

What can I do to save my business from collapse?

Certainly, many entrepreneurs are already feeling the negative effects of the crisis and thinking about the future. However, as an entrepreneur you need to remember one thing – don’t give up and think positively. Here are some ideas that you can apply to your business during this difficult time.

Be resourceful and listen to your customers

Companies can respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic in many ways, but we suggest being pragmatic and resourceful. For your company, this means being aware and considering the real impact on your customers. Consider your situation, how your company’s work has changed.

Don’t try to force your brand to adapt activities and functions where it doesn’t belong. Reach out to your audience to find out what they need – and what you can do to help your company.

Maybe your industry needs different activities now?

If people can’t come to your business in person, think about other ways to contact your customers. For example, if you own a gym, offer your customers live streaming sessions that they can attend online.

Keeping in touch with current customers is paramount in these activities. Equally important is to show prospective customers that your business is always working and waiting for a better time.

The customers you attract to you during this time are likely to use your services after the outbreak. The worst thing you can do now is disappear from the Internet!

Steps you can take today

Not all industries can operate remotely. Even if your business can’t provide services or sell goods right now, that doesn’t mean you can do nothing. Make good use of this time to achieve success in the long run. Don’t waste this time.

If your business doesn’t have a website, or it’s underdeveloped, now is the perfect time to fix it. Consider launching an online store. The current situation has shown that online sales are the future.

Thanks to the epidemic, more and more people have become convinced of online shopping and have no intention of giving it up. Even if your services or goods are not intended for digital sales, you can always use your store for promotion.

Marketing during pandemic
Marketing during a pandemic

You can sell gift cards that customers can exchange for goods in your stationary store. This way they will also be able to make gifts for their friends without leaving home.

A well-built website will also serve to collect the email addresses of your fans and customers. This way you can inform them about promotions or new offers. It really works!

The worst thing you can do is sit still and take no action.

Give something from yourself

Also remember to give something from yourself. We are all in a very difficult situation, so help others. Maybe you can donate some of your products to someone in need?

Or you can perform a service for free for someone in a worse situation? Let’s look at ourselves and offer what we can. Let’s remember that good always comes back.

In view of this situation, we, Valde Media, have something absolutely free for you. If you don’t know how to develop your business on the Internet or have problems with your website, contact us.

We will check what’s going on and advise you on the best solutions completely free of charge and without any obligation. We will suggest what to do to survive this crisis.

My business in times of crisis – summary

The crisis is a test, it shows the weaknesses, but also the strengths of the brand. For some companies it’s an opportunity to improve their image, a chance for key changes. Internet marketing and e-commerce are gaining importance.

It turned out that on the web you can effectively manage not only the store, but also the company. For many companies, the intensive work on market advantage has changed to reduce losses and maintain a pre-event state.

Much has also changed socially. The crisis showed the power of communities, business solidarity, customer loyalty and their willingness to support their favorite brands.

New heroes have emerged – people working in health care, retailers, couriers. We must thank them and remember that every crisis comes to an end.

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