Even as Yelp revealed that more than 163,000 businesses had to close shop by the end of August 2020 and with 60 percent of them most likely closed for good, there is still that 40 percent that has been resilient enough and thrives. The one thing that businesses belonging to that surviving percentage possesses is the ability to adapt and be creative. While this concept is simple and sensible enough, it’s easier said than done.
If you own a small business and you want it to continue operating throughout this pandemic and be resilient enough for future ones, here are five ways to help it survive and thrive:
1. Embrace digital marketing.
Marketing one’s business using digital means like running social media campaigns or YouTube ads has been around for quite some time. Unfortunately, a lot of business owners still don’t embrace this marketing platform, so they end up at the back of the pack.
If you own dental practice, for instance, you should hire professionals to do dental clinic marketing and promotion through SEO and pay-per-click campaigns or email marketing and social media promotion. With the current and future pandemics, businesses with a strong online presence are the ones that will thrive, especially when lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures are strictly enforced.
2. Establish and maintain meaningful connections with your customers.
The last thing you would want is for your customers to feel detached from your business due to a lack of meaningful connections. In today’s digital age, this should not be the case. If you want your customers to continue supporting your business throughout a pandemic, you have to find ways to connect with them both online and offline. You can hold weekly Facebook Live sessions or Zoom meetings where you can update them about your latest inventory or discount program. Just make sure that customers will feel looked after and get great value from these scheduled interactions.
3. Offer delivery services and payment options.
One thing we learned during the COVID-19 pandemic is how vital delivery services are to get the things that we need to survive. Whether it’s food, medicine, hygiene supplies, or clothing, many buyers had to buy exclusively through online channels and pay for their purchases using a digital wallet and similar payment options. If you aim to survive this pandemic and the ones that may occur in the future, then these are the features that you have to start incorporating with your business model right now.
4. Invest in diversifying employees’ skill sets.
Quite a lot of businesses throughout the pandemic have made 360-degree turns with the way they operate. Restaurants and gem dealers, for example, had to learn how to do live streams of their processes to engage customers and generate media mileage for their businesses. If your business is in a similar situation, then this is one trick you should do. By giving your employees enough learning opportunities to diversify their existing skill sets, you’re essentially making them pandemic-proof. This will come in handy when another problem of the same nature happens in the future.
5. Consider integrating AI in your business.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is another excellent tech innovation that would help your business tremendously, pandemic or not. During the height of the OCVID-19 crisis, businesses were inundated with email messages and chats sent on their social media accounts concerning their products and services. The businesses that were smart enough began incorporating chatbots in their platform to help them address such customer concerns. This simple adaptation allowed them to stay in touch with their customers and offer great customer support and experience without exerting too much manpower and time.
Business owners should really roll up their sleeves and flex their muscles if they want to survive and thrive in the ongoing and future pandemics. With these tricks, making your business flourish should be easier and painless.