Have you seen people complaining about not being able to hit their local gym or coffee shop? So have I.
People are deeply in love with their local businesses and highly loyal. Unfortunately there’s only so much one can do when they’re all closed down.
All these COVID-19 restrictions will definitely impact your business in a negative way, but there are ways around them.
Business owners, allow your loyal clients to help you out. Not being allowed to physically have them in your shop doesn’t mean you have to cut all ties. There’s more you can do to ensure you won’t close down for good.
Here are 7 things you can do to keep your local business alive during this time of crisis:
1. Gift cards
You can’t sell while your physical location is closed… or can you?
Your loyal clients would love to buy from you and help your business, so give them a way. Either for themselves when the madness ends, or to give away to their friends and family, gift cards are a quick way to bring in much needed money right now.
Make it easy and contact-free to buy by selling them online. But it doesn’t have to end here – deliver the cards to your customer’s door with a thank you note, all in a corona-free sealed envelope. A small gesture goes a long way.
It sounds obvious – but have you considering delivering your goods? Your once packed restaurant or bar is now the happy home of cobwebs and painful silence.
No matter how much food people stockpile they’ll still cling to their normal lifestyle. Bring their favorite food and drinks to their doorstep for a nice dine-at-home experience.
Here’s a personal one: deliver bread. What’s more heart warming than a freshly baked sourdough bread? Nothing!
Psst, also see #7 – it might be the difference between success and failure.
3. Educate online
Staying top-of-mind during these times is of utmost importance. The crisis will come to an end eventually and you’ll want the locals to remember of your existence.
Got a restaurant? Post easy recipes for your clients to make at home. Better yet, film them in your kitchen. You don’t need a film crew, just pull out your phone and film your cook (maybe just get a tripod).
Got a gym? Do a (live) online training for your yoga, aerobic, you-name-it classes.
Got a flower shop? Help people with Q&As on how to take care of their garden as spring is just around the corner. They’ll need something useful to do while being stuck at home.
Got a coffee shop? Teach people how they can make some delicious coffee at home without all that expensive equipment. (I’m looking at you, Turkish coffee)
You get the point, right? Keep your clients engaged as if nothing happened.
4. Join forces with other businesses
There’s strength in numbers, or so they say. Nevertheless – now it’s a good time to help each other out and let other less-fortunate businesses piggyback a bit.
You own a pizzeria which does well on delivery orders? Add a sample of freshly roasted coffee from the coffee place down the road to each order, or a cupcake from that nice bakery across the road.
They probably don’t have a delivery crew and could really use the help. You get more sales and attention, they get to stay afloat. It’s a win-win.
5. Pivot fast
We’ve seen breweries turning their production to disinfectant or clothes factories making masks. It’s probably messy – but it will get you out of this crisis alive and it also allows you to keep and pay your employees.
People need uplift and distractions from the quarantine. Use all your online channels to provide entertainment.
Here’s an example: if you own a bar first share an easy to make at home recipe then host an online party. People (also) go to bars not to drink alone so double down on that.
Also from the “sounds obvious” series – reassure your clients that everything is done with utmost care and there’s no need to worry about bringing the nasty virus home via your products. Show, don’t tell: use social media to post behind the scene photos & videos. Your clients will relate to you, appreciate the effort and, hopefully, share the love.
What are you doing to keep you business alive during these difficult times?