By Nik Gripton
1) Go Digital.
In today’s world with Generation Z upcoming, the pandemic raging and reduced in-store sales, going digital is a MUST for small businesses. For restaurants, you’ll want to engage with delivery services such as DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grub Hub & EZ Cater. Consider the fees each charge, which ones are most popular in your area and choose which is more suitable for your company. Use all three if you can! Everyone needs to have a website! Even if it is linked into your etsy or shopify accounts, processes e-commerce direct, has your menu, your appointment scheduling and/or all of your services – you MUST have a website. In addition, you’ll need a heavy social media presence. Depending on your target demographic, everything from Twitter to Facebook, from Instagram to TikTok, you need to have your brand out there, create amazing content and sell from within the platform where able.
2) Use CoWorking Space.
Rent, Utilities, Insurance, Tech Support, Equipment and Staffing is an expensive endeavor. Utilizing local CoWorking space provides a professional, fully-equipped affordable way to pay only for what you use. Although some are more costly than others, you’ll find the cumulative savings puts a bundle back into your budget for more pressing items such as wages, benefits and tools of your trade.
3) Apply for Grants.
Local, federal and state resources are being provided to small businesses of all sizes. You can even access grants for sole proprietors, independent contracts and home-based businesses. Covid-19 has been hard on many small businesses and the ability to navigate this changing environment often depends on the ability to keep the lights on. In addition to the SBA, Maryland has a website that allows you to find resources throughout the state at https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business. One of the biggest issues in gaining access to funding is knowing where to find it, how to apply and provide exactly what they need for documentation. There are agencies that will help you do just that.
4) Market Aggressively.
Even though the market is tenuous at best, you’ll want to get your company into the view of those who spend money. Simple. The trend today is shopping small to save local businesses. However, if they do not know that you are there, they do not know to spend money with you. Utilize your advertising to engage, tell your story, let them know you’re a locally-owned small business and that you support their community and they’ll support you. You MUST use social media – business-based social media and engage them in community groups, on their personal pages and garner their support by showing up. Marketing does NOT have to cost a fortune to be effective. Find someone with local experience who understands how to pull people in without huge ad spends.
5) Offer Gift Cards.
If you don’t already have a program, get one in place. This will be one of the largest gift card based holiday seasons yet. People want to mail, email and text gift cards to family across town and out-of-state. Digital gift cards can be sold from your website, linked on social media and accessed through text campaigns. Many organizations are using gift cards to provide help for neighbors in need.
We have been working with small business owners since March and have built a vast network of resources and skills that can help provide you with access to COVID-19 survival resources. Contact us and we will help guide you into an affordable coworking space, put your digital game into high gear, make introductions to financial folks who have helped many of our clients and set you up with companies who offer gift cards, delivery services and more. NGMARKETING.BIZ for more information. Contact Me Today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org