We know this is a difficult time for people everywhere, including small business owners. We want to help. We’ve gathered some useful resources to help you optimize your small business for COVID-19.
After securing the health and well-being of yourself and your staff, nothing is more important than protecting your company and the jobs it provides.
From simply keeping the lights on today to growing tomorrow, we’re here for you. You might bookmark this page as a reference.
Change/Update Your Business Description on GMB
A Google My Business description is a 750-character summary of your business and its offerings. This description doesn’t have to remain static.
In fact, your Google My Business description offers an additional platform to speak directly to current and prospective customers regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and changes to your business operations.
Your description can be amended to update all interested parties. Here’s one example:
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our branch hours are varying. Please call the branch for our current hours.
Adapt to the New Customer Behaviour
Customer behavior is changing with new regulations, so you may be wondering what your specific customers need from a business like yours right now. Consider asking them directly via your social media channels.
You may also be looking to shift some of your products or services online. Start by thinking about what value you offer your customers. Are there ways for you to offer that value in a different format or online channel? For example:
- A retailer with a brick and mortar shop might sell products online
- A restaurant might offer online ordering for pickup and delivery
- A personal trainer might begin virtual training sessions for clients
- An artist might host a YouTube livestream to teach classes
Identify the new customer needs
With many people hunkered down at home, previous needs disappear, and new ones emerge. Businesses that are quick to identify and adapt to these changes will have significantly better odds of riding out the crisis.
So, what can you as a small business owner do to adapt your business?
One good way to start is to analyse how existing or potential customers’ needs, behaviour and preferences have changed due to the current situation. Make sure to talk to your target customers to understand:
- Has their need (that your product or services addresses) changed?
- Why has it changed? (Use the 5 why’s to get to the core of ‘why’.)
- How has it changed? (Use the 5 why’s to get to the core of ‘how’.)
- If it has changed, do they believe parts of, or their entire need, has changed permanently?
Shut off Business Hours Completely
There are few situations more vexing to a customer than looking up the hours of operation for a business to discover that the information is inaccurate.
With COVID-19 state regulations constantly changing, maintaining accurate and up-to-date business hours may be too difficult to accomplish, especially for multi-location businesses.
To avoid causing confusion to consumers, you can disable your business hours in Google My Business.
This measure addresses customer confusion and will negate customer’s showing up at locations when they are closed.
By removing your business hours, but keeping a phone number accessible, it will prompt customers to call your business for updated hours and any additional information your customers are seeking.