it'seeze newsletter [Mar 2020]
What’s happening in the world right now is completely unprecedented, and it’s hard to know exactly what might change from one day to the next. We understand that this makes running a business even more of a challenge – but we want you to know that, as always, we’re here to work with and support you in the many ways that we can.
Our top priority right now is ensuring the wellbeing of our team members and our clients, and making sure that we’re able to deliver the same high standard of service to you all despite these challenging circumstances.
We don’t profess to know what’s going to happen in the long run, but we do know that there are plenty of things we can all be doing right now and in the weeks that follow to keep things going, stay informed, and maintain some sense of ‘business as usual’ in otherwise exceptional times.
1) Keep up-to-date with the latest business advice and support
There may be uncertain times ahead for all of us, but the good news is that there are new measures being put in place every day to protect SMEs and local businesses. There’s also a wealth of information out there that can help you figure out exactly what you need to do and how to do it, no matter what kind of business you own.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have put together a helpful guide on reducing the risks to you and your business from the COVID-19 virus.
This includes the latest news on the government’s plans to help businesses that are affected, a list of useful resources and action plans, guidance for employers, and timely advice on how business owners can look after their mental health and wellbeing.
The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Public Health England have outlined all the latest measures to support public services, people, and businesses during this time, with guidance that is regularly updated.
This breaks down exactly what support is available for businesses right now and in the coming weeks and months.
2) Update your website to reflect changes to your business
Business owners are renowned for being resilient and determined, and overcoming the many setbacks thrown their way. Well, if ever there was a time for us all to get creative – this is it.
There are many ways your business can adjust to weather the storm – from offering giftcards and deliveries, to providing online classes and ‘contact free’ services.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you update your website so that customers know how your business is responding to the current events.
Here are just a few of the changes you can make:
- Add an announcement to your home page telling customers about any changes to your normal business - such as restricted opening hours, new delivery/takeaway services, the extra health and safety precautions you’re taking, etc.
- Add a pop-up notice to your website to alert visitors of any urgent business updates - for example, if your business is currently closed or not able to take new orders due to high demand.
- Add a pay button to your website if you want to accept single online payments for giftcards or online courses, etc.
- Add updated menus to your website if you are a bar/restaurant/café/pub/etc. offering home delivery and takeaway services for the first time.
- Update your contact page to let people know if you and your team are working remotely and how they can reach you during this time.
- Create a members’ area for anyone signing up to new paid online content, such as course materials or video classes.
- Add products to your store if you are moving more inventory online, and be sure to update stock levels and your delivery options whilst you’re at it.
- Add offers and discounts to your shop to incentivise customers to buy online.
- Integrate Tidio Chat with your website so that you can respond to any queries concerning your business in a timely, ‘contact free’ manner.
3) Shout about your business
You don’t have to look too far to find examples of people rallying together through these extraordinary times, with many making a concerted effort to support businesses that may be struggling due to COVID-19.
However, people can’t support your business if they don’t know about you. Now is the time to reach out – here’s how:
- Take to social media to let people know what’s going on with your business. Not set up yet? There’s no time like the present to put your business out there and make your voice heard online.
- Keep your blog updated with regular, keyword-optimised posts detailing how your products and services are still available, or the changes that you’re making to your business as you adapt – promote new products and let people know how they can help you.
- Encourage your existing customers to spread the love by leaving you positive reviews or sharing your business with friends and family.
4) Keep in touch with your customers
It’s important that you keep your clients informed during this time, and that you maintain some level of contact where possible.
Social media and blogging are great ways to do this, but you can also leverage email if you already have a mailing list set up. You should also update your Google My Business listing to reflect any changes, and, if you can, take meetings online by switching to virtual tools such as GoToMeeting, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Skype.
Although things are changing at a rapid pace these days, please know that we remain committed to supporting your business throughout this time and beyond, and we’re here to help you when you need us. If you do have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Thank you and take care,
Your support team at it'seeze