In the era of COVID-19, small business is beginning to feel a bit personal.
Perhaps your business has been affected by COVID, and if not your business, your customers almost certainly have been. We are collectively struggling to think outside the box, stand out as a business and as human beings. There’s a sense in the business community that it’s becoming important to let prospects and customers know they have your support.
Some ideas for small business owners to consider during these times…
Communicate with clients and customers more often; be empathetic and listen to them.
Know your niche, then find your pivot point. Be willing to explore new areas while staying loyal to your original purpose.
Connect with people and community. Use social media to reach out, start a helpful discussion, be present.
Know what financial support is available, and to which options you have access, e.g., SBA funding.
Examine your customer service practices. Now is the time to examine what has worked well in the past, with an eye as to how clients will perceive value now and in the future.
Capitalize on technology. We all know about Zoom, but what about these 26 Top Meeting Software alternatives?
ABC’s Shark Tank is arguably one of the top-rated shows on TV, outperforming NBC’s Dateline by double-digits across the board, according to Friday Ratings. Maybe it’s because so many of us are watching TV as COVID-19 stubbornly refuses to let us get back to “business as usual.”
Shark original Robert Herjavec is author of The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding, a #1 National Bestseller on why good enough is never good enough in business and in life. In Chapter 27, entitled Let’s Wait and See What Happens,” Said the Captain of the Titanic, Robert addresses what happens when businesses fail to face challenges — and there’s been no other time in recent history that has been as challenging for many businesses.
While we may define a recession as lower demand during a pandemic, Herjavec points out that while economists define recession as two consecutive quarters of economic decline, in the book he defines it as two consecutive months of declining sales. Today, it’s called worldwide pandemic and business lockdown.
He goes on to say “I don’t believe in waiting and seeing what happens. I believe in making things happen.” Some of his advice is impossible during a pandemic, for example, #2 is to visit customers yourself, in person.
More advice from Robert…
Forget sales messages: deliver buying messages. Talk about the reasons your customer wants to buy your produce or service.
Don’t ask the customer questions you can answer yourself. Go online, find out everything you can about your customer or prospect. Invest the time you have to engage and build rapport.
Focus on value, not price. Buyers are expecting deals during these trying times, so selling value has never been as important.
He also says that problems are opportunities…later. For many of us small business owners, we can’t wait for “later.” But we can use these times to disrupt our priorities in order to spend quality time on mapping a more prosperous comeback.
If you’re a Shark Tank fan, click over to CNBC to see what advice the Sharks have to financially survive the Covid-19 pandemic.