We are all chipping in with social distancing to help save lives, and it’s been devastating for many small businesses that depend on face-to-face interactions to thrive. Local restaurants, gift shops, and home services businesses all have to rethink their normal strategies to find innovative ways to thrive during these strange times.
At Phiquest we have tapped into our network of small business and entrepreneurs to learn what they’re doing to thrive now. The primary lesson we have learned from all of them is that you need to be flexible and innovative. Here we share but a few of the key strategies that may also work for your small business. Let’s have a look.
Some savvy businesses are teaming up with others to bring combined value to their customers. For example local restaurants are partnering with their local grocers to sell prepared meals off the shelf. This partnership gives the local grocer a new product for their clients and allows the restaurant to continue producing much needed revenue. Another similar strategy used by restaurants is the meal-kit. They are delivering prepared meals ready to cook directly to the doorstep.
Social isolation can be stressful for parents and kids. What better way than to work together on some arts & crafts. A local arts & crafts shop known for hosting workshops is delivering kits to their customers, and hosting online workshops on how to complete the kits. If you have a business that involves training, you should consider webinars and delivering your products directly to your customers.
If you have lemons make lemonade. Local microbreweries that rely on foot traffic have shifted to making hand sanitizer. This allows them to avoid laying off staff and provide a much needed product to the market. In a similar fashion residential cleaning services are shifting to offering sterilization and disinfection services for entrances to buildings and stores that are operational. The revenue from these operations isn’t as high as normal, however, it allows the businesses to continue operating while waiting for the recovery.
Brick-and-mortar retailers that offer personal services to their customers are going virtual. Purchasing jewelry usually involves browsing and interacting with a store clerk. A local jewelry store is offering Facetime store browsing and personal recommendations from their experienced sales staff. It’s a unique experience for customers and allows them to feel that personal touch even though they are remote.
With so many children now stuck at home, many of them are not getting enough exercise or opportunity to share their birthdays with their friends. A local gym has started offering virtual PE classes for kids to help them keep fit during this time. They have also partnered with a local chef to teach kids how to make healthy meals at home with their parents.
For many businesses, like massage therapists, that still can’t find a way to deliver their services directly to their customers, you need to stay in-touch. This is an opportunity to schedule some one-on-one time with your customers and let them know you care about them. Your customers may not be buying right now, but you’ll need them more than ever once the economy opens up.
This is a great time to work on those projects that you have been putting off for way too long. Focus on projects that will improve your team’s productivity and efficiency. You can train your team and improve their skills, or automate some of your processes that are normally time sinks. The process of improving your business operations can be challenging and some businesses need help. If you find yourself in that situation set up a time for an introductory consultation with one of our experts.
This is a challenging time for small businesses, and there is no magic bullet. Try some of the strategies we’ve shared, and let us know how you are doing.