Social Distancing and Small Business
Helpful articles because running a small business is Big Work!
Social Distancing Affecting Your Business?
What You Can Do to Connect With Customers
Social Distancing. …
We are thinking of you. Really. And it has us wondering how we can help. (If you want to skip to the ‘good stuff’, we’ve included some links at the end that we think will be of help to you.)
So many are being affected by the Social Distancing mandates across the country. Small business owners are feeling the squeeze as so many of their customers are being kept at bay by having to close their doors or not being able to service their customers in person.
Studio Barn Creative is comfortable in a digital world and thought that we might be able to give you some ideas for how to reach out to your customers when you can’t be there in person. Remember, this situation won’t last forever and your customers will come back. And when this veil is lifted, more people than ever will be looking for your services.
Ideas to Connect With Your Customers During Social Distancing
Reach out somehow to your customers and clients. Sincerely. If you previously saw customers on a regular basis, they may be missing you. Send an email, a postcard, a letter, give them a call. If your customers were the less frequent kind, thank them for their previous business and let them know you’re thinking of them. Try not to mention the virus or if you do, do not make it the focus of your communication — everyone that they’ve ever given their email to over the years is reaching out to let them know how they’re handling it. Reach out because you mean it, not because you think it will magically win you business during this time of economic pause. It won’t.
#2 Social Media Strategy
Being socially distanced shouldn’t mean social media distanced, too. Businesses may be wondering whether it’s ‘the right time’ or indelicate to post as usual. Keep posting, for sure, although it is the right time to change your strategy a bit. With all of us spending less time with others and more time on our own, people are turning to social media more than ever as an escape. And let’s be real, to kill some time, too. Give your existing and potential customers something helpful or useful. That means thinking more about what you can do for them than what you can say about yourself.
If you plan your social media ahead with programs like Hoot Suite, or Buffer, ‘usual’ posts may already be on the calendar to auto-post. Consider switching some of them up depending on how far in advance you plan ahead. If you’re current, consider shifting your strategy a bit for these changing times.
#3 Pivot and Offer Services Digitally
So, you’re a tour operator or a dance instructor. Now what? Consider creating digital services instead. This means create content that customers can access digitally instead of in person. For instance, photography instructors can film a series of tutorials (using your iPhone will work great) that paying customers can get access to. What happens after the social distancing mandates are lifted? Now you have a second stream of passive income. Get creative, and let us know if we can help.
#4 Travel to Your Customer Instead (where possible and safe)
Do you have a business that people historically have come to you? Maybe you’re a car mechanic or a lawn mower repair service. Maybe you’re a bakery or a coffee shop. If there is a way for you to go ‘Mobile’, you may be able to reach some of your customers and not have to have direct contact with them.
Who doesn’t love a good Freebie? Using any of the ideas mentioned above, offer your existing and new customers something for free. Do you have an online store, create a Coupon Code and share it. Coffee Shop? Offer a free muffin with their next purchase. Dog walker? Offer 20 minutes of free walking or pet sitting with their next paid service. If you happen to see our Ad on Google, we’re currently offering 50% Off your first month’s Website Maintenance Plan with code ’50-SBC’. Get creative and be helpful.
If you’re in a business where freebies won’t work for you, and traveling won’t either, think about providing helpful educational or tutorial type content. Are you a hair dresser? Send emails or share on social media some tips for how to extend the lifespan of a haircut.
Make suggestions for products complementary to your service that are on sale, or maybe reveal one or two of your ‘best kept secrets’ that customers can use to help themselves while you’re not there for them.
Think about creating a new YouTube Channel and sharing helpful or educational pieces for your customers. Like above, videos taken with your iPhone work great.
Do you operate a business that usually meets with people in-person? Perhaps a therapist or lawyer? Tax specialist? Keep your appointments and offer your services via Facetime, Zoom, or a regular ol’ phone call instead. Your customers will appreciate the accommodations.
#8 Create Something New
It may be time to create something new. What can you offer as a service that complements the skills and talents that you already have? Pet Sitter gone Concierge Service? House Cleaner pivots and becomes a Mobile Car Washer? Business Coach creates Online Classes? Vet makes house calls? Small retail store creates online e-commerce shop?
Links + Info to Helpful Services to Connect with Customers During Social Distancing
Postcard Printer:Express Copy
Email Service Provider: MailChimp (free options available)
How to Create a YouTube Channel: Video Version / Text Version / There are several tutorials out there if these don’t work for you.
Video Editing Software for iPhone Videos: Check Out these App Suggestions / And These, Too
Building Online Classes: LearnDash is a Popular Option for a LMS (Learning Management System)
If You Don’t Have an iPhone for Facetime: Zoom
Retail License: If you’re going to start selling tangible goods online, you’ll need a retail license (in most states, even if you’re using a third-party to fulfill orders). Research what your state requires and how to apply and receive a retail license.
Social Media Image Creator for FREE: Canva
How Can We Help You Connect With Customers?
If there’s something we can do to help, please let us know. Need a little advice? Send us an email. Not sure where to start? Let us know. We’d be happy to offer you some help selecting or setting up the tools you may need to get started with these ideas during these difficult times — that will pass.