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How to Pivot Your Business in the Age of Coronavirus

Don't Panic Face Mask
Image: Unsplash

So, I’m pretty sure when you did your vision board in December 2019 about all the goals and plans you had for yourself and your business in 2020, you didn’t think that a virus with the name of a beer would come along and ruin it. I’ve pretty much shoved my vision board in a corner at this point because...Rona. We are all dealing with a range of emotions right now; I can go from happy to sad to angry to laughing in the span of an hour these days. But, one thing this pandemic has reminded me is that we are not in control, even the best laid plans fall through and we are stronger, more resilient and more creative than we think.

Watching the news is more depressing than usual. So many people have lost their jobs, livelihoods, businesses and most importantly loved ones. The United States is up to over 36 million people unemployed, food bank lines are at levels not seen since the Great Depression and almost everyone has lost their minds it seems. But, through all the doom and gloom there have been so many stories of hope, inspiration, perseverance, creativity and adaptability. When life gives you lemons, get that lemonade poppin! In other words, do what you need to do to make it work with what you’ve got. So, just how do you make lemonade you ask? We’ve got ideas below for how to pivot your business during this time of Coronavirus.

Shift Your Business Online

If you don’t have a website, get one...like now. Don’t miss this opportunity to get your business online. Online sales and traffic are up across the board. People who’ve never bought anything online are suddenly buying all the things; and, us pros (like moi) are buying even more (don’t judge me). Make sure your website embodies your brand, is optimized for SEO (so people can find you) and most importantly is easy to use. It doesn’t matter if you have the best looking website in the world if no one can figure out how to use it. Keep it simple.

Setup E-commerce and Other Ways To Sell Your Products & Services

Add ways for people to throw money at you. If you are a restaurant, get online ordering in place. If you are a service, do online booking and digital products like e-books. If you normally sell products offline, move them online with e-commerce. Sites like Wix, Shopify or WooCommerce make it easy. Don't forget to add curbside pick-up options for the locals. If you’re a hair stylist or fitness instructor, offer online classes. If you’re a nail tech, start making and selling pre-designed press-on nails or hand scrubs. No matter what your business, there is some portion of it you can either move online or come up with new streams of income. Get creative!

Social Media is Your Friend

There have been countless times I’ve Googled a business to see if they have a website or social media so I can learn more about them and give them my money. Often I am disappointed to see they have no website, and no social media page! Websites cost money, but social media is FREE. That is FREE marketing. You are leaving money on the table if you do not have a social media presence. It's the easiest way for people to find you, follow you and interact with you. You want to build your community, engage your followers and cultivate that captive audience.

Go Where Your Audience is - Choose the Right Platforms

You don’t have to be on every platform. It’s important to understand your target market and their habits. Posting content regularly is the best way to build an engaged audience, but that can be time consuming. If you are on five or more social platforms that can take up a lot of your time. Think about who you are targeting and where they are. Trying to reach women who are fashionistas? You probably want to be on Instagram and Pinterest. Looking to reach families, moms and older demographics? Facebook is a great start. Does your audience skew towards Generation Z? Well, Snapchat and TikTok it is. Experiement and see what resonates and which platforms garner the most engagement.

Marketing Online is Cheaper and Often Free

feminine office space
Image: Unsplash/Ansel Hasanovic

The best thing about marketing your business online is that there are a ton of free or practically free ways to do so. I don’t know about you, but I like free. Here are three ways to market your business online:

  1. Social Media Ads: Facebook and Instagram ads that are focused and targeted are much cheaper than print or display ads and usually reap a bigger return on investment (ROI). Pretty much every social media platform offers ads. I’ve bought many items from those clever social media ads, so we all know that they work. Get your business out there and in front of the right people.

  2. Email Marketing: Build your email list and email them regularly. But, not too regularly. No one likes spam. Once or twice a week (or less) is more than sufficient in most cases. Make sure you follow CAN-SPAM laws, GDPR and California Privacy Act Rules. Don’t have email captures set-up on your website yet? Check out MailChimp. It’s free!

  3. Content Marketing: Content is king and that’s especially true on the Internet. It’s important to put out content regularly to help build your Google SEO rankings, keep your audience engaged, position your business as a thought leader and to attract new people. There’s many ways to achieve this such as a blog or resource section on your website, make videos for YouTube, guest blog on other websites, create fun quizzes, or start a podcast.

The bottom line is, don’t get discouraged in this time of anxiety and uncertainty. This too shall pass. We will get through this. The age of the Internet and technology has made it easier than ever to find new ways to bring in money and keep going. If you need help making to shift to bring your business online and thriving online, reach out to us. We’d be happy to help.