As the owner of a small business, you’ve probably had to make incredibly difficult decisions recently that you’d never anticipated. Maybe you’ve had to take a pay cut, stand down employees, apply for government support, find new sources of finance to protect your cashflow or temporarily close your business.
Throughout this unsettling time, there has been one constant: your customers. Even if you’ve had to close your doors, your customers remain, and they want to support you more than ever. Buyer behaviours changed due to restrictions. Consumers stayed in their neighbourhoods, shopping locally increased. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a collective goodwill in our communities to support local small businesses.
Now that restrictions have eased in Australia and New Zealand, here are three ways to help you stay front of mind with your customers.
1. Keep connecting with your communities
Even if your physical doors have reopened, stay in touch with your customers. Thank them for their business and their support during these challenging times. Use your social channels to share motivational quotes, mindfulness sessions, not just to promote your business.
You’ve built relationships with your customers and community. Now is a good time to strengthen those ties even further. If you’re getting back on your feet, consider if there are different ways you can assist your customers and your communities; for example are there ways to support your local non-profit?
2. Suggest things your customers can do to help your cashflow
As life is slowly returning to a new normal, businesses have started welcoming back customers to their stores, gyms and restaurants. As we all rebuild our lives, there are additional things your customers can do to make a difference to your cashflow. Identify these and share them. These might include:
- buying gift cards for future use
- restarting subscriptions for your services
- following your social media channels, sharing and interacting with your posts
- writing online reviews to encourage potential customers to give your business a try
3. Embrace technology
Over the last few months, many small businesses shifted offline services to digital services with the help of cloud-based videoconferencing platforms and collaboration tools. Yoga classes, language learning sessions, dance classes and life coaching all pivoted to offer services and products in an alternative way. Even though many customers are returning to stores and gyms, consider keeping these alternative channels going. Many people have enjoyed the convenience of digital services and are keen to go on using them. Technology may be a great way to help you continue to differentiate from your competition.