Small Business Success Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic (Video)
Even with the relief funding from cities, states, and the federal government, small businesses continue to struggle because of the coronavirus. While optimism is high that vaccines and social distancing efforts will bring business back to something resembling normalcy, small business owners still need to form smart business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. From strategies to finance your business to creating new empathetic marketing campaigns, entrepreneurs need to develop survival tactics for the current crisis—and the next one. Here are three small business success strategies to help guide you to better decision-making and sustainable growth.
1) Stay Financially Healthy
For small business owners without a substantial emergency fund, another crisis like the pandemic could mean inevitable business failure. One critical business strategy during the global pandemic is to maintain a financial “cushion” to get your business through unforeseen crises. Having access to money to cover gaps in fluctuating monthly income or finance a last-minute project is essential to ride out the unpredictable waves when running a small business.
A line of credit is a flexible loan accessible when you need it and is an important component when formulating your business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike a bank loan, a business line of credit is revolving credit—it allows you to draw money when you need it and then pay it back over time.
There are two types of small business lines of credit: unsecured and secured. In most cases, commercial banks will only offer your business a secured credit line, which means you must come up with collateral (business and/or personal assets) to back up the credit line. Collateral may also be your business assets, such as inventory, receivables, and equipment. A lender might even ask you to use your home as collateral.
Unsecured lines of credit, like the kind Financing Solutions offers, do not require collateral and are easier and faster to obtain. Where a bank line of credit could take between three and six months to get in place, Financing Solutions could have your money to you within a week.
2) Pivot to Meet the Needs of Your Customers
One advantage of owning a small business during the pandemic is you can more easily pivot to new strategies when needed. And flexibility is the key to planning your business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consumers’ needs change during a crisis, and businesses must also change to meet those needs.
Start by doing some simple market research to see specifically which of your products and services are still working for customers and check sales reports for new customers’ activities. Keeping your finger on the pulse of social media is one of the best business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, as consumers turn to social networking platforms to see how others are solving their pandemic-related problems.
Also, remember to take a deep dive into your company’s marketing analytics on your website. Google Analytics (or whatever web analytics program you use) offers insight on what pages consumers land on, how long they spend on each page, and if and when they abandon their e-commerce shopping carts. Website heat map tools can show you where consumers click most, how far they scroll, and more.
Does your business employ email marketing campaigns? Your opt-in email subscribers are an excellent source of feedback and insight into what topics currently resonate with your customers. Look for changing patterns such as which subjects got more views before and after the pandemic started. You may also see practices begin to change now as consumers prepare for a world getting ready to reopen under new guidelines.
Once you have a clearer understanding of what current and new customers need from your business, brainstorm with your staff for ideas on how to serve consumer needs better. Developing business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic that work depends on how well you know and serve your market.
3) Solution Marketing for Business Success Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the coronavirus spread, the phrase “We’re all in this together” also gained traction as consumers and businesses alike attempted to navigate a new world of safety guidelines, product shortages, and a focus on mental health. To work, the business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic you developed required your business to offer solutions to consumers’ problems. However, marketing your business as a solutions provider takes finesse and sensitivity.
Solution marketing shifts the emphasis away from what your business sells to the solutions you have to address consumer demands—from practical to psychological needs. As we previously emphasized, to create smart business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need a clear understanding of what makes your customers tick and, in this case, what problems they have that you can address.
Start by creating a customer profile that includes key characteristics about their lifestyles, goals, and challenges. Then try to answer the following questions:
- Are these challenges completely due to COVID-19, and they go away when the pandemic ends?
- What are all the ways the consumer will seek solutions?
- Who are your competitors, and how are they marketing their solutions and businesses?
- How specifically can your products or services solve consumer challenges?
Once you do a thorough analysis, you may find your business needs to tweak your products and services to better, more targeted solutions.
The next challenge for your business is to position your company as a solution provider without seeming insincere. Your marketing messages need to be empathetic without overdoing it. Consumers can recognize fake empathy from a mile away, so test a few options across social media, in email campaigns, and on your website to see how customers react.
Your marketing messages should grab consumers’ attention because you’re offering the solutions they need. Consumers want to feel good about the brands they support, so be sure to highlight how you can help them. Ask satisfied customers to leave your business a review on Yelp and other relevant review sites and reprint the testimonials in all your marketing materials.
Summing up, deploying smart business success strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic involves developing a strong understanding of your customers, how your products and services meet their needs and having the financial stability to bring it all together.
Contact Financing Solutions today to find out how easy we make it to get your business the financing it requires and increase your small business success strategies.