The COVID19 outbreak is sending waves throughout the country, one of the most affected groups is the small business owner. In challenging times, it can be hard to know where to divert resources and attention. Between payroll, and dip in customers, small businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to staying afloat. Business development might seem like the last thing you should be focusing on, here are five reasons why it’s actually one of the first.
1. Everyone is on their computers (No really, everyone):
It’s no secret that a lot of people are online, and a lot of decisions are made online. Due to Coronavirus, a lot more people are on their computers. Don’t take my word for it, see what EU Commissioner Thierry Breton had to say about the increase in internet usage during the outbreak.
If there are enough people on netflix that they are worried about their infrastructure, there are more than enough people on their computers looking to make a buying decision. In a time where substantially more people are online, make sure your online voice is strong and recognisable.
2. Trade Shows are declining, for now:
A poll done by IEEE Global Spec found that only 54% of polled businesses were still planning on focusing on trade shows for 2020. With 20% planning on canceling, already canceled, or are giving their employees the opportunity to opt out of attending. What does this mean? It means that the money dedicated towards trade shows will be moved elsewhere. The same poll also asked the following question.
If your industry is highly reliant on trade shows, now is the time to consider shifting your attention towards new avenues. With 46% of people choosing not to reinvest that money, companies that do will be facing almost half the competition in their market. One of the reasons that people favor trade shows, is because lets you interact directly with your target market, and it allows you to showcase your products. Digital marketing cant replace a face to face conversation, but it can help you get a foot in the door, showcase a product, and start a conversation. Good digital marketing starts a conversation, good salesmanship closes deals.
3. Organic traffic is a roller coaster:
While many people are online during this pandemic, organic traffic is all over the place. Industries like travel, restaurants, and events are down, while investment and wellness sites are seeing a huge surge. What does this mean? You need to set up your website with analytics tools, and pay attention to what they are saying.
There are many ways to increase traffic, the two that we encourage most often are Search Engine Advertising and On page SEO optimized content creation. Broken down, SEA is paying per click for advertisements that push your website up to the top of the page. This is good in short term increments but can also be fairly expensive depending on the keywords you’re hoping to rank for.
On page SEO, is building out content on your page that is built in a way that engages the reader while also boosting your sites performance for certain keywords. In order to do this effectively, you need to be looking at the data. If you haven’t already, check out https://analytics.google.com/, and start looking at the analytics of your site’s performance.
4. Marketing is an investment, buy the dip:
Many companies end up seeing the market as an expense; no different from your internet bill or your payroll taxes. Great companies, see it as an investment. Companies are responding in a number of ways to the COVID19 outbreak, but one thing that we can be sure of, is that they are reacting. Are they cutting staff to save money? Are they broadening their target market? Are they burying their head in the sand? The businesses in your industry are going to be focused on ether mitigating damage, or doubling down their efforts towards growth. If you can do both, you will be much better off.
Internal investments such as marketing, especially in a time where your market may be becoming increasingly competitive, will pay off dividends when doors start reopening.
5. An Increase in unemployment:
As more and more companies lay off their staff to cope with the ramifications of the virus, the unemployment is starting to increase. Companies that have been looking to grow their staff should focus heavily on online recruiting. Skilled labor (especially 1099 contractors) are back on the market and will be looking for somewhere to land. Take this as an opportunity to showcase what makes your company attractive to these skilled workers. One of the most common objections that we here at Reds Media is “I have plenty of work, I just don’t have enough skilled labor”. This is your opportunity to grow your team. With digital marketing assisting your recruitment and business development objectives, you can grow your team while gaining new jobs concurrently.
With everything that’s going on it can be hard to keep your eye on the ball, operating a small business can be a juggling act on a good day. By investing in your business during hard times, you can ensure that you can not only rise above it, but be better prepared for future downturns. By taking the time to showcase what makes your business stand out online, you will grow you client base, and grow your name, regardless of the current economic health.