Some opportunities worth exploring in the short-term, and in anticipation of a longer-lasting “new normal.”
When the news is mostly negative, it’s easy to forget there might be silver linings for small businesses in B.C. during COVID-19. Here are five to consider:
Focus on Local
COVID-19 is an unmissable opportunity to turn casual local customers into lifelong ones. We are all spending more time in our communities and neighbourhoods, and many people are realizing just how important local businesses are to communities and cities. Now’s the time to connect with them.
Let local people know you are open for business. Put in place a buy local marketing campaign or contribute to other organizations in your community that are working together to make a difference. Take the time to contribute in a meaningful way, and your community will return the favour.
Improve Your Website
Even if your business model isn’t suited to online sales, this could the perfect time to make your website better, including:
- Reviewing your content to ensure it reflects changing needs
- Updating your website to let people know about changes to your business due to COVID-19
- Posting details of your COVID-19 Safety Plan
- Setting up an email newsletter to keep in touch with customers
- Ensuring your site is optimized for search so people can find you online
Gain a Competitive Advantage
Many consumers are judging businesses—large and small—by how they respond to this crisis. Consider how you can stand out, including:
- Becoming an active part of your local community
- Effectively communicating your Safety Plan
- Making your customers feel safe
- Making it easy to buy your services or products
- Delivering excellent customer service
As times change, so should your marketing plan. Take this opportunity to look back at what has worked, what hasn’t, and develop a refined version of your ideal customer and plan your strategy for the coming months.
Make Your Business More Efficient
Almost overnight, businesses have had to do everything from launch online services to adapt to a remote-only workforce. As the B.C. economy starts to carefully open up, it’s a chance to take a step back, reflect on what has changed, and look for ways to permanently improve aspects of your business operations.
- Can your takeout service be more seamlessly integrated into your business permanently?
- Could adopting remote working after COVID-19 save you money on office space?
- What tools have you found that could help you create efficiencies and be more productive, such as online communication and project management tools, ecommerce platforms, and appointment-booking services?
Capitalize on New Ideas
Now is a good time to look to the future for long-term business opportunities in the “new normal.” Focus on your existing target market and think about how their needs and buying behaviour might have changed. Start by considering these three questions:
- What new problems do people face?
- What new wants and needs do they have?
- How can your business solve these problems and meet these needs?
A business plan is supposed to be an organic, living document that is regularly updated and revisited. When was the last time you looked at your business plan? Take advantage of Small Business BC’s Strategy Planning for Business Growth service and speak to a business plan advisor about how you can achieve organic growth during and beyond COVID-19.
Time for Those Projects
Every business owner has projects they’ve been putting off due to a lack of time. Whether it’s creating a mobile app, improving their store or launching new product lines, now is the perfect time to put those projects in motion.
Back to Business
Small Business BC is committed to helping business owners reopen in a safe and successful manner. Our Back to Business campaign features specific advice and guidance in the following areas:
Visit our Back to Business resource page