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Five Tips to Virus Proof Your Small Business

Staying in business in these times with the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents a real challenge. That’s why I am here to offer you tips so you can stay afloat during the crisis. Here are five ideas that you can use to move your small business forward.

Build relationships

You must have heard at some point the saying, “teamwork makes the dream work”. How can you use that to your advantage? How will it benefit you? You may not have all the necessary resources to serve your customer’s needs or have access to a certain customer list. Therefore, team up with similar, complementary businesses in your niche and agree to a working relationship. Whenever you cannot meet your customer’s needs, recommend those other businesses you teamed up with. This will help to serve your customers better and keep your businesses going.

Be more social

I am assuming that you are already using social media for your business, if you are not publishing a blog, now is a good time to start.

  • Use it to give your customers more value.
  • Write articles and give tips, review the products you currently sell.
  • Make the blog become a useful resource for your customers as they search for answers to their questions.
  • Promote your blog via your social media channels.

Be seen 

Do you have a physical location where customers go for the goods or services you offer?

  • Make yourself even more visible with Google maps!
  • Set up your Google account and register for a Google listing so your established customers can recommend you and you will be seen by potential customers, along with your reviews and ratings.

Use technology 

You should take advantage of any technology that will drive your business forward. Artificial intelligence (AI) can be used to develop and execute marketing strategies.

  • AI can help sort your customers by demographics and interests.
  • AI can help target ads for your digital campaigns and solve problems.
  • AI can make suggestions as to the products or services you currently offer and handle sales support.

It is a fact that sales success depends on the use of soft skills and human interaction however, do not discount AI as it can provide useful insights, predict customer needs, manage time and improve sales forecasts.

You should utilize digital technology to mobilize your website, e-commerce channels, social and mobile channels, (If you have none, start building them now) to communicate with your customers and support your digital strategy in order to drive growth.

Stay liquid 

According to Al Jazeera News, the US government so far has spent over 8 billion dollars to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There is some relief for small businesses from the US Department of Treasury but there are conditions. This means there will be a further economic fallout and you will need access to cash. Therefore, hold any cash reserves you have on hand; you will need it to keep your business afloat and to cover short term and unplanned expenses. As the saying goes, “Cash is King”.

Small businesses are the driving force behind economies, they contribute to the GDP, they provide jobs and economic growth. Small business owners are at the cliff’s edge – the hairdressers, the barbers, specialty shops and others deemed non-essentials, are all closed, and staff are being let go. It’s time for action!

Dionne is a Business Strategist at DM Consulting. She consults with top clients internationally on business topics, mainly working with women in business. Connect with her on LinkedIn and view more posts  from her here.


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