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Steps to Take for SMBs during COVID-19
Throughout the duration this COVID-19 pandemic, SMBs need to stay afloat. We understand not all businesses are the same, so we gathered a list of what we believe are major points to take into account during this time of crisis:
1. Office Safety Measures 2. Customer Communication 3. Update Listings 4. Adjust Marketing Campaigns 5. Working from Home 6. Making sense of it all
1. Office Safety Measures
Ongoing safety measures are important for businesses still operating, and also for those who plan on reopening soon.
- Protecting yourself: It’s all about prevention. This helps spread less infection. For tips, check out the CDCs guide on Protecting Yourself from the Coronavirus
- Disinfecting your workplace:The CDC’s guide on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility is very thorough. This is also part of prevention.
- Protecting Employees and Customers: The CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesseswill help you with specific steps for this. More prevention.
- Communicating with Employees: Talk with your team to boost morale. Apply all safety measures mentioned above. Establish solid communication channels with those working remotely.
2. Keep Your Customers Informed
Your customers are precious. That’s why it’s imperative that you relay the status of your operations, the safety measures being applied, the easiest way to reach you for questions or concerns, and where to find any updates about the business. Crucial areas to take into account are:
- Emails: Make sure you personalize the emails. Do not send a general template. Each client is different and each service is different. Also, be human and empathetic. Clients are also suffering the effects of this pandemic.
- Voicemail greeting: Provide date, essential info, and any online platforms you’re using for updates.
- Social media profiles: Create a static post that provides your COVID-19 response or links to it on your website.
- Your physical location: If you have a brick-and-mortar location, please let everyone know the status of the place or any preventive measures being taken at the place.
- Your website’s Homepage: Let client’s know right off the gate that you’re on top of the situation. This can be reflected through a simple notification bar, a link to a COVID-19 page, or a full-page rework (this will depend on the nature of your business).
3. Update Google My Business
You probably have several listings online, but since most people rely on Google, this listing is a priority. To update or edit your listing, go to google.com/business and log in as your business account. Here is what to update:
- Hours: There’s a new “mark your business as temporarily closed” option. (if applicable.)
- From the business: Describe your current services, such as “contact-free delivery,” or announce your closing (if applicable).
- Attributes: Make sure any relevant attributes are checked off, such as delivery, pick-up, or drive-thru.
- For more information on Google My Business during COVID-19, check out their COVID-19 Guidance Page.
4. Adjust Your Marketing and Messaging
COVID-19 has caused drastic shifts in consumer needs and business goals. To stay relevant and considerate, we recommend adjusting your marketing strategies and messaging accordingly. Some of the things you can do are:
- Make sure all CTAs are adjusted to the strategies taken during this pandemic. For example, ‘Visit Us Today’ can be changed to ‘Contact-Free Delivery’.
- Since we don’t know how long this pandemic will last, you should verify any scheduled content or automated emails such as Holiday Offers or Mother’s Day.
Also, for those companies who need to continue marketing but lack budget, Google is issuing ads credits to small and medium-sized businesses. You can learn more here.
5. Working from Home
Keeping track of employees who are working remotely can be a daunting task without the right tools. To maintain output, morale, and connectivity during the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend the following tools:
• Google’s free apps (Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, etc.) are extremely reliable and user friendly. You might also want to check out the 10 G Suite tips to work with remote teams https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9283051
• A CRM with features relevant to your business’ operation and goals. This helps keep track of every employee task, and whatever details went along with it, to ensure that even remotely things are getting done on time and effectively.