“NOW what do I do?” This is the question on every small business person’s mind. Well, this is the time to prepare yourself for a post-coronavirus world: Especially because you have probably been forced to shutter or otherwise change your business approach.
CFIMITYM: Cash Flow Is More Important Than Your Mother
Conserve your cash. Act like you’re in a turnaround crisis because you probably are (too). If you haven’t done so already, project your cash needs out for the next 12 months. (We can help with that. Go to MSBDC.org/SEMass and contact an advisor.)
Talk to your customers; communicate with your bank; invest in your social media; let them know that you’re still around; keep them engaged. Try selling gift certificates. This is a great time to try that for future business. Send them emails to let them know you’re still here and OK!
Most small business people don’t continually create content because they say they just don’t have the time. Well, your schedule is a little more open today, so create some content. Create educational content about your products and services; create instructional videos; create stories that you can share in the near future to tell the world how great your business has been and still is.
Advertise your local services
If you work at people’s homes, particularly for services like landscaping, or other home improvement services that are low-touch, get the word out that when the time comes, you’ll be available.
Prepare and invest
Now’s the time to get a leg up on the competition: Get that new website started; it’s going to take a little time to get going, and this downtime will help you modernize.
Optimize your business for local search. It takes a few weeks for optimizations to happen, so get the leg up once people are ready to leave the house again.
Sort out the back end of your business: Your CRM, your customer databases, your online store. Make sure these are all up and running so that you are prepared for the future.
Cliff Robbins joined the Massachusetts Small Business Development Center network as a senior business advisor in January 2002. He is a management professional and an educator, with functional experience in the fields of marketing, sales, strategic planning, and e-commerce.