Our local business community has suffered so many blows over the past few months. But, nothing could prepare us for the current COVID-19 situation.
While you are self-isolating (and provided you aren’t already overloaded with homeschooling) here are some proactive things you can do right now to nurture your business. Your community still wants to hear from you – even if your doors are closed or your services have been temporarily shut down.
The first step is to get your digital ducks in a row. Assets like social media accounts, websites and sales and marketing software have become vital during these times of reduced human contact. This is a fitting time to start posting more on your Facebook page or Instagram account. Or perhaps learn about Ads Manager and email platforms like MailChimp. You can then integrate your digital platforms. For example, put an Instagram feed on your website and direct your Facebook ads to a landing page. Tidying all these things will help make sure they deliver in the most effective and efficient way. There are endless resources such as webinars, YouTube videos and step by step instructions to assist with this.
Once you have sorted the best ways for you to keep the conversation going with your community, take the time to consider your tone of voice. This can vary, but it should suit your brand and be authentic. It will likely be best received if it is calm, positive, helpful, informative or empathetic. Tasteful humour is a good one, but please be sensitive and very mindful about how others may interpret your messages. Additionally, people are already bombarded with information about the virus, so it's worth thinking about ways your voice can stand out from the crowd.
Now that you have established lines of thoughtful communication, brainstorm ways to adapt your service delivery. Be the solution to the problems that people are experiencing. A great example is how quickly most of our cafes started offering home delivery. Another example is how local fitness trainer Rikki Lee started a Facebook group with free daily workouts. Think creatively about how best to utilise your skills. You could become a virtual consultant, providing useful information that is relevant to what you do and to your customers. Zoom chats, Facebook live, Watch parties and Google Hangouts are all relatively easy and fun ways to deliver your messages.
Staying in contact with your business, employees, customers and suppliers could be a wonderful way to stay focussed on your passion. Share that passion whenever possible. There is no better time to surprise and delight your customers with excellent service. Your kindness, compassion and attention to detail WILL be remembered when we all come out the other side.
We are all in this together.
From the Barefruit Team