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Marketing 360® Blog

Small Business Tips for Handling Social Distancing

Social distancing has affected so many small businesses across the globe. But, there are a lot of things you can do to keep driving sales while complying with current restrictions.

9 Tips for Driving Sales With Social Distancing

#1. Keep your customers up to date.

Have you changed the way you operate in order to comply with restrictions on in-person business in your community? Whether that means offering curbside pickup or delivery, make sure that your customers (and prospective customers) are in the know about how you are operating now.

Update your Google My Business listing with your current operating hours and system, as well as your website and social media profiles.

#2. Offer remote services.

Many businesses that normally host clients in their office can easily transition to remote online services. These businesses include lawyers, accountants, therapists and counselors, personal trainers, music teachers, etc.

Give your clients plenty of options when it comes to working remotely, including by phone or video conferencing. Some people even prefer to have consultations or appointments via text.

The more options you offer, the better you’ll be able to meet the individual needs and preferences of your clients.

#3. Go to them.

Your customers may not feel comfortable coming to your physical location if they don’t have to, but that doesn’t mean that you have to stop serving them.

Nail technicians, barbers, hair stylists, massage therapists, and other professionals who operate on a one-on-one basis can keep working with their clients by going to them instead.

#4. Adjust products and/or services.

Your existing products or services may not be ideal in the midst of this new reality. But, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to offer your customers.

There are a lot of adjustments you can make to your existing offerings to make them more appropriate for those trying to social distance and meet your client’s changing needs.

For example, fitness centers could offer online group fitness classes and remote personal training sessions, as well as personal nutrition planning. Dance studios and martial arts centers could also move their classes online.

#5. Re-focus your marketing strategy.

The pandemic has not only made in-person business riskier, but it’s also affected income for most American households. Fewer people are now willing to go out and spend on luxuries and entertainment, but we all still need the essentials.

Re-focus your marketing efforts on the products or services you offer that are essential. For example, dentists should market root canals rather than teeth whitening. Your patients are less concerned with white teeth right now, but if they’re in need of a root canal, it’s not something they can put off.

#6. Let your customers know how you’ll keep them safe.

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, anything you can do to give your customers peace of mind is important. One way to do that is by making sure your customers know what you’re doing to keep them — and your employees — safe.

Have you stepped up cleaning procedures? Have you offered your employees are more sick time and encouraged people who are sick to stay home? Have you reduced the number of people in your office or store? Have you started requesting that clients wait in their vehicles until their appointments start?

Whatever you’re doing to keep your customers and employees safe, make sure that you communicate that to them.

#7. Provide discounts.

As I mentioned already, the majority of American households have lost income during the pandemic. Millions of people have lost their jobs, and many more are keeping their budgets on lockdown in case they suddenly find themselves as the newly unemployed.

Anything you can do right now to help them out will go a long way, and offering discounts on your products or services is a great way to do that.

Not only does offering discounts make it easier for your customers to afford what you have to offer; it earns you future goodwill that will lead to loyalty and referrals. Plus, it does you no good to offer products or services that your customers can’t afford.

You could also drum up even more business by offering discounts. For example, fitness centers could offer a big discount for signing up now for future memberships.

#8. Stay nimble with the way you do business.

Meet the moment by pivoting the way you do business. Offer anything remote that you can.

Offer up your knowledge and experience through online classes. Be creative. Even if you don’t normally offer classes, now is the perfect time to start. For example, restaurants can not only pivot to curbside pickup and delivery, but they can generate more revenue through online cooking classes.

If you have a retail store, transition part of your business to ecommerce. You don’t have to fully operate online, but it can help to bridge the gap when in-person business is reduced.

Think about what the needs are in your community, and find a way to meet them. Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to branch out and start offering something new.

#9. Build your online presence.

If your operations have been cut, you may find yourself with more time on your hands than usual. For many business owners, having spare time isn’t at all usual, and it can be unnerving. One great way to use that time is to put it toward your business’s online presence.

Set up social media profiles for your business, or work on expanding the social media presence you already have. Add content to your existing website, or spend your time building a better, more effective one. Build out email marketing and text messaging campaigns to stay in touch with your customers. Respond to any reviews that you have and work on getting more.

Having spare time doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Make the most of it by building a strong online presence for your business.

Change is an inevitable part of life — and business. And, while change is out of our control, it’s how we react that can make the biggest difference in the end.

Whether meeting the moment for your small business means offering remote services, building a new website, or coming up with creative ideas to meet the needs of people in your community, Marketing 360® can help. Learn more today.