No one could have anticipated today’s situation a few months ago, this is a very unusual and unpredictable time.
We have put together this series of posts to try and help your business through this uncertain time.
The ideas included are aimed to help you look at different ways to promote your business and hopefully increase your current turnover. Most of the ideas are free or cost very little.
Let your customers know you are still here.
Whether you are able or unable to trade, sharing information about your business using your website, social media, newsletter or blog is really important. If you are able to trade, but in a different method to how you would normally, let your customers know! Sharing updates from your business on social media channels will allow for your friends, family and fellow businesses to share your posts, widening your audience reach.
If you are unable to trade, keep sharing up-dates online. Even if it is simply promoting other local businesses that are still trading, or sharing personal uplifting stories and interesting local news. This is a great way to keep your social media channels busy and your customers aware you’re still here.
Bring your business online.
If your website does not allow customers to purchase items online, you could add a new page that details some of your products that are easy to post or deliver. You can include an email address for them to message you their choices. Once a customer has messaged you to tell you what they are interested in, you could then give bank details for BACs payments. You can also do this via phone or text message if you don’t have too many products.
There are a few local couriers that will be able to safely pick up goods and deliver them locally or nationally.
You can also promote your products or services via your Facebook or Instagram page or using a newsletter, if you don’t have a website.
Better yet, give yourself a project during this period and create your business a website. There are lots of free website tools that can be used to set up your own website from home. Or if you have a budget, now may be a good time to invest in a website as during this period more people are going to be online and finding your business that way!
Host Webinars, live sessions or share videos.
Depending on what your business does, you could share some of your expert knowledge. For example, if you are a hairdresser you could share some easy ways to style hair (without scissors!). If your shop sells clothes you could put together a fashion show. These options allow you to include links on how to buy the products recommended in the video. Again, you don’t need an e-commerce website to sell these products. Customers could email you their choices and you can email them back the cost and your bank details.
Put together a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)
You could write a list of questions that you think your customers might want to ask you. For example:
Q: Can I still use vouchers in your shop that are due to expire in the next few weeks?
A: Yes of course, we will honour all vouchers until 2021
Q. Can I place an order over the phone and pay by cash?
A. You may place an order by phone, but we are only taking payment via BACs or Paypal.
You can build on this list as clients ask you more questions over the next few weeks. Answering questions with detail and reassurance will help your customers (and prospective customers) feel confident in using your services.
If you are unable to trade now, you could offer gift vouchers to customers to spend when trade resumes. Perhaps you could give them at a discount in exchange for buying them now.
Gift voucher giveaways are also a great way to promote your business and get people sharing your posts on social media. If you can, giving away vouchers for NHS staff, for example, could be a great way to boost your virtual presence.
Review other local businesses that are online
Saffron Walden has a great business community. Although the current situation is making life difficult, we can still help each other out. Visit fellow businesses’ websites and social media pages and write positive reviews. Hopefully they will do the same in return.
Tag other businesses in your posts
A great way to extend your reach to other customers, is to mention another business by tagging them in your post. On Facebook, if their page doesn’t automatically come up when you type their name in, try using @ before their business name (eg @supportsaffronwalden) This should bring their business name up and allow you to include them in your post.
Collaborating with other businesses is a great idea to grow both of your businesses. You can share delivery with another company or give customers offers of items bought together. For example; Saffron Fish and co collaborates with Mini Miss bread and Burton’s Butchers.
Including fellow business-owners in your post is a great way to increase the amount of people who view your post as it will share to their network too.
Each of the above items will be explained in more detail over the next few days. Hopefully we will be able to help you promote yourself and your products or services so that you can still trade and keep people aware of what you are offering.