Coronavirus Business Toolkit: Everything Your Business Needs To Make it Through COVID-19

coronavirus business toolkit

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Coronavirus Business Toolkit

The coronavirus has caused millions of lay-offs, billions of dollars in damage, and a very large global headache.

If you own a small business, take a look at our new video titled “Coronavirus Business Toolkit: Everything Your Business Needs to Make it Through COVID 19”.

We list tools that will help you work from home, ways to find financial relief, where to apply for loans, easy ways to create graphics for social media, and how to install a quick update for your website to show your customers the precautions you are taking for the Coronavirus.

We list tools that will help you work from home, ways to find financial relief, where to apply for loans, easy ways to create graphics for social media, and how to install a quick update for your website to show your customers the precautions you are taking for the Coronavirus.

In this article, you will find local business tips that could make a serious difference for your business in the coming weeks, we made video tutorials for everyone to make it easy to follow. It’s time to do some serious research to make sure your business and financial well being stays in tact during this difficult time. We provided all of the information and actions that we have taken and that we have learned. Real life experience, not fake click bait. We hope you enjoy.

Updating Your Website to Have a COVID-19 Notice

This isn’t something you can ignore. If you are open, your patrons, customers, and clients want to know that you are taking it seriously. Not updating your Google My Business page, Facebook page, and website isn’t acceptable for most people right now. My wife barely leaves the house and is checking food delivery places to see how many times they are sanitizing, wearing gloves, masks, washing hands etc.

Here’s an easy way to address it.

  1. We’ve created a video on how you can very quickly and easily update your website to have your policies and procedures and notice about how you’re handling and taking precautions about COVID-19.

We utilize a simple plugin that is really meant for cookies, but it’s a quick fix. Do this, because it’s better to address the situation with more information than not address it at all. Everyone knows it’s happening and want to know what precautions you are taking.

Update Your Google My Business, RIGHT NOW!

This is literally the most important thing you can do online. Google My Business drives a HUGE amount of traffic.

Google plays a massive role as an intermediary between companies and their consumers.  Especially right now, consumers don’t know if you are open or not. Google has discontinuation  some services like Q&As, posts, descriptions, reviews, and owner responses but it has enacted other services that will help you, including CHANGING YOUR NAME!

Name

Google is allowing businesses to edit their business name field to reflect that they are offering curbside service, takeout, and delivery. For example, if your current name is “John’s Grill”, you are allowed to temporarily change your name to “John’s Grill — Delivery Available”.

Phone number

If regulations are keeping you at home but you still want customers to be able to reach you on your home or cell phone for information, update your work answering machine to reflect the changes and edit your GMB phone number to the appropriate new number.

Hours of operation

The discussion on how best to show that your business either has no hours or limited new hours is ongoing. I believe the best route for the present is to use Google’s method of setting special hours. This option should be especially useful for multi-location enterprises who can set special hours via the API.

reference: https://moz.com/blog/operating-during-covid19-tips-for-local-businesses

Engage Your Customer Base: Easy Social Media Graphics

Listen up. The game has changed. I don’t care if you are a 30 year old law firm or a construction company. You HAVE TO communicate with your customers and form more meaningful and lasting relationships. That means you have to find ways to be in front of them on email, text, social media, and any other avenue you can think of. Things are not going to go back to the way they were.

Especially right now. Everyone is at home. It means that you must adapt. You must get active. You must let your customers know what you are doing.

Look at where your customers social community lies…. IE, is your target customer on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, or another platform? Figure it out and communicate as much as possible.  We started a local community facebook group the other day and there is an overwhelming amount of community support funnelling into small businesses right now. Get social and reach out for help.

We created a video on how to quickly and easily make graphics that tell a story. Picture and video is better than text many times. Video is also proven to convert more. Don’t overthink the graphics. Just whip something up that lets customers know you are alive, you are open, or you aren’t open but you will be open on X (projected) date.

Canva has a “resize” feature that you will find on the top left hand side of your screen. You can choose to resize the picture for any size of platform. Here’s a few places you can use the graphic you create on Canva:

  • Linkedin: Business owners connect on Linkedin, there are lots of great courses on how to use it.
  • Facebook: It’s easy, throw it on a post, share it, put it in local groups. Let everyone know what you are up to.
  • Get on email and text message and start engaging with your customers.

Get Set Up To Work From Home!

This is extremely important. We provided a full list of tools that will help you work from home and manage your employees.

  • We’ve created a tutorial on how to get set up on Zoom. It’s very in depth, so if you have any questions, watch the video below or click the link we just added. The reason we did this is because many people are working from home for the first time in a very long time. Because of social distancing, businesses that have been working in person for the last 40 years have to adapt… Luckily, this is something Brand North has had practice with. In fact, we’ve become very good at it. We also created a completely separate blog post just for this, you can find it here.

One thing I want to say about Zoom and Slack and Skype and any other remote communication or project management system, is that, guess what? It’s only as good as you make it. Schedule regular video meetings on the books where everyone can attend. It will help bridge the gap and give you the ‘around the water cooler’ feel.

If you have more questions about this, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Lastly, we included information for small business owners about the new relief package.

Financial Relief Information From The CARES Act for Small Business Owners.

I’m not an accountant, but there is money out there. Businesses are hurting and the government just passed a massive relief package.

Here are some simple resources to learn how you can apply and get relief funds for your business.

Small Business Administration’s website: https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

PPP Loan program: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program-ppp

Details include:

Center for Disease Control guidance for Businesses and Employers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

If you are having trouble, I provided a link to my accountants website who will fill out the forms for you: https://www.afsgconsulting.com/coronavirus/financial-resources-for-everyone-during-coronavirus-pandemic/ Tell her you were referred by Brand North 😉

Don’t Forget About Your Website

 

Mobile Responsive WebsiteI wasn’t sure if I should add this, but I had to. I said it earlier: “The Game Has Changed”. You can literally order food now and the delivery person will ring your doorbell and leave your food on your front step.

If your local business is not set up to serve customers remotely in some sort of automated fashion, the time is now. Here are some options:

  • If you have a credit card processing machine, the most basic solution is to take orders over the phone and then ship them, allow curbside pickup, or deliver them. There are even new services that we have partnered with that give what’s called a “cash discount” so you don’t even pay for the processing, the consumer does.
  • Paypal always works really quickly and easily also for processing
  • If your site is built on WordPress  you can add a WooCommerce plugin and easily format online shopping needs. This is what we prefer to do since wordpress is so easy to manipulate.
  • Shopify also works extremely well in a drag and drop format. However, it does have its downsides since you don’t truly own the platform like a wordpress site. With both WooCommerce and Shopify you can add coupons and other easy checkout items to make shopping easy.

This pandemic is going to cause the United States to fast forward technologically-speaking by 10 years. Everything is digital or is going to be. If you can’t connect with your customers in a simple way, then chances are… you will soon be obsolete. That means social, that means text, and that means automating your website. In a year or two, if a customer has to pick up a phone to speak with you in order to buy your good or use your service, you will be in bad shape. You can start using technology to your advantage now and get ahead of the curve.

Get Smart About Client Acquisition!!!

I really mean this seriously. If you don’t know the lifetime value of a client to you, and exactly what it costs to acquire a client AND have multiple different ways to acquire clients (at-least 3), it’s time to learn.

I created a video that details some of the ways you can acquire clients.

Lastly, be on the lookout. There is major money being put back into their platforms in the form of free advertising by Google and Facebook. Google is committing to give advertisers $340m and facebook is committed to $100million.

Facebook

Google

If you want help applying for either of these programs, please go to our contact page and fill out a form. We are ready to help you.

I really hope this was helpful to everyone. This situation isn’t easy, but if we keep positive and focus on what we can control, then there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

If you need help with local seo or you are interested in business coaching or taking our course on local business scaling, we’re here for you.

 

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